What you need to know about this year’s Cannes film festival

The Cannes film festival serves up 12 days of movie magic on the French Riviera each May. Here are the biggest moments, on and off screen, that have made 2019 a vintage year:

What you need to know about this year's Cannes film festival
Director Quentin Tarantino (C) jokes with photographers while posing with actress Margot Robbie and actor Brad Pitt during a photocall for the film "Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood". Photo: Valery HA
Tarantino ovation
Twenty-five years after he ripped up the rule book for independent cinema with his Palme d'Or-winning “Pulp Fiction”, Quentin Tarantino returned to Cannes with one of his best-reviewed films in years.
The world premiere of “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”, a dark fairytale set in the Tinseltown of 1969, sparked frenzied scenes of festival-goers rushing to catch the first glimpse of the movie. When it was all over, the director and his stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie basked in a rapturous six-minute standing ovation.
A visibly moved Tarantino gave the crowd what it wanted: his rendition of the two-fingered eye swipe from John Travolta and Uma Thurman's unforgettable dance scene in “Pulp Fiction”.
Elton touches down
British singer-songwriter Elton John poses during a photocall for the film
Elton John poses during a photocall for the film “Rocketman”. Photo: Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP
Elton John came to Cannes to join the pantheon of rock legends with their own sequin-spangled biopics, and “Rocketman” blew away audiences on the famed seaside Croisette boulevard.
Despite wincing in pain during a photo session from an apparent hip problem and limping his way down the festival's fabled red carpet, John rallied for his movie star moment. The “Tiny Dancer” singer fought back tears as the crowd cheered the high-energy picture and it was waterworks again when the on-screen Elton, British actor Taron Egerton, tried to describe his feelings about playing the pop legend.
At the raucous after-party, John sat down at a grand piano on the beach and brought the house down with a soaring duet with Egerton of the title track. 
Sealed with a kiss
Spanish actor Antonio Banderas poses during a photocall for the film
Antonio Banderas poses during a photocall for the film “Dolor Y Gloria (Pain and Glory)”. Photo: LOIC VENANCE / AFP
Spain's most acclaimed director Pedro Almodovar reunited with two stars from his early films, Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz, for his stunner of a Cannes contender, “Pain and Glory”.
Banderas plays a film director loosely based on Almodovar himself while Cruz appears as his mother in flashbacks.
In a scene many called the best kiss of this year's festival, Banderas's middle-aged character briefly reunites with an old flame, played by Leonardo Sbaraglia, for a blazingly erotic embrace.
 “I've never dared to kiss anyone in such an intimate way,” Almodovar said. “Two 50-year-old men kissing with so much passion and excitement on screen is not often seen.”
Women in motion
Pro-choice activists march behind a banner and wave scarves of the Argentinian pro-choice movement as they arrive for the screening of the film
Pro-choice activists march behind a banner and wave scarves of the Argentinian pro-choice movement as they arrive for the screening of the film “Let It Be Law (Que Sea Ley)”. Photo: ANTONIN THUILLIER / AFP
Abortion rights activists joined by a group of female stars led by Cruz, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Spanish actress Rossi de Palma and French director Claire Denis seized the Cannes spotlight for a pro-choice demonstration.
Waving green bandanas, they turned out to support the Argentinian documentary “Let It Be Law”, which premiered at the festival. It tells the story of the struggle for women's rights in the overwhelmingly Catholic country, which has become bitterly divided over abortion.
And a year after the #MeToo scandal over sexual misconduct in the entertainment industry rocked the festival, one accuser made a dramatic entrance. Sand Van Roy, whose rape allegation against French film mogul Luc Besson was dropped in February for lack of evidence, walked up the vaunted steps with the words Stop Violence Against Women tattooed on her back, next to a raised-fist feminist symbol.
And during the final gala competition screening, heavily-pregnant “Sibyl” director Justine Triet walked the red carpet resplendent in a flowing white blouse covering her jutting belly. As she accepted a standing ovation at the end of the film, the camera zoomed to her bare feet, having slipped off her heels during the screening.
The scandal
French-Tunisian film director Abdellatif Kechiche attends a press conference for the film

French-Tunisian film director Abdellatif Kechiche attends a press conference for the film “Mektoub, My Love : Intermezzo”. Photo: Sébastien BERDA / AFP
No Cannes festival is complete without a scandal and this year it was one of France's top directors who delivered the goods.
Critics overwhelmingly dismissed Abdellatif Kechiche's “Mektoub, My Love: Intermezzo”, an ode to pole dancing and women's derrieres, as a pointless jiggle fest that exploited its female cast. At a stormy press conference, the director defended the rambling epic, which included a 13-minute explicit sex scene in a nightclub toilet, as a tribute to “desire”.
But Kechiche, who won the Palme d'Or won in 2013 for the lesbian love story “Blue Is the Warmest Colour”, railed at an AFP question about the sex assault allegations levelled against him in October. Branding the query “stupid and sick”, he said he had a “clear conscience” but that the “new morality of our time disturbs me”.
A glorious feeling 
Guest arrive under the rain for the screening of the film
Guest arrive under the rain for the screening of the film “The Whistlers (La Gomera)”. Photo: CHRISTOPHE SIMON / AFP
Rainy, cool weather put a dampener on many of this year's festivities, washing out yacht parties and beach screenings. Cannes organisers have a nose for showmanship, however, and turned one night's downpour into a playful tribute to classic cinema.
Guests for the final instalment of Claude Lelouch's “A Man and a Woman” trilogy were treated to “Singin' in the Rain” on the loudspeakers as they made their way up the sodden red carpet.  A few attendees even twirled their umbrellas.
By AFP's Deborah Cole

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French films with English subtitles to watch in November

As days get shorter and temperatures drop, November is a great month to enjoy a warm and comforting moment at the cinema. Here’s a round up of the French movies with English subtitles to see in Paris this month.

Cinema in France
Photo: Loic Venance/AFP

The cinema group Lost in Frenchlation runs regular screenings of French films in the capital, with English subtitles to help non-native speakers follow the action. The club kicks off every screening with drinks at the cinema’s bar one hour before the movie, so it’s also a fun way to meet people if you’re new to Paris.

These are the events they have coming up in November.

Friday, November 5th

Boîte Noire – What happened on board the Dubai-Paris flight before it crashed in the Alps? In this thriller Matthieu, a young and talented black box analyst played by Pierre Niney (star of Yves Saint-Laurent among other movies) is determined to solve the reason behind this deadly crash, no matter the costs. 

The screening will take place at the Club de l’étoile cinema at 8pm. But you can arrive early for drinks at the bar from 7pm. 

Tickets are €10 full price, €8 for students and all other concessions, and can be reserved here.

Sunday, November 14th

Tralala – In the mood for music? This new delightful French musical brings you into the life of Tralala (played by Mathieu Amalric), a 48 years old, homeless and worn-out street singer, who one day gets mistaken for someone else. Tralala sees an opportunity to get a better life by taking on a new personality. He now has a brother, nephews, ex-girlfriends, and maybe even a daughter. But where is the lie? Where is the truth? And who is he, deep down?

The night will start with drinks from 6pm followed by the screening at 7pm at the Luminor Hôtel de Ville cinema. There is also a two-hour cinema-themed walk where you’ll be taken on a “musicals movie tour” in the heart of Paris, which begins at 4pm.

Tickets cost €10, or €8 for students and concessions, and can be found here. Tickets for the walking tour cost €20 and must be reserved online here.

Thursday, November 18th

Illusions Perdues – Based on the great novel series by Honoré de Balzac between 1837 and 1843, this historical drama captures the writer Lucien’s life and dilemmas who dreams about a great career of writing and moves to the city to get a job at a newspaper. As a young poet entering the field of journalism, he is constantly challenged by his desire to write dramatic and eye-catching stories for the press. But are they all true?

The evening will kick off with drinks at L’Entrepôt cinema bar at 7pm, followed by the movie screening at 8pm. Tickets are available online here, and cost €8.50 full price; €7 for students and all other concessions.

Sunday, November 21st

Eiffel – Having just finished working on the Statue of Liberty, Gustave Eiffel (played by Romain Duris) is tasked with creating a spectacular monument for the 1889 Universal Exposition in Paris. It’s ultimately his love story with Adrienne Bourgès (Emma Mackey) that will inspire him to come up with the idea for the Eiffel Tower.

After a first screening last month, Lost in Frenchlation is organising a new one at the Luminor Hôtel de Ville cinema, with pre-screening drinks at the cinema bar. 

Tickets cost €10, or €8 for students and concessions, and can be found here

Thursday, November 25th

Les Héroïques – Michel is a former junkie and overgrown child who only dreams of motorbikes and of hanging out with his 17-year-old son Léo and his friends. But at 50 years old, he now has to handle the baby he just had with his ex, and try not to make the same mistakes he has done in the past. 

The film will be followed by a Q&A with the director Maxime Roy who will discuss his very first feature. 

Tickets cost €10, or €8 for students and concessions, and can be found here.

Full details of Lost in Frenchlation’s events can be found on their website or Facebook page. In France, a health pass is required in order to go to the cinema.