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CULTURE

Screenings of French films with English subtitles in February 2022

Paris-based cinema club Lost in Frenchlation is back with more screenings of French films with English subtitles in February. Here's what's coming up.

A Paris cinema
Lost in Frenchlation is a cinema club in Paris that screens French films with English subtitles. (Photo by STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN / AFP)

February is generally a cold, dark and generally miserable month. 

Fortunately, it is only 28-days long this year and there is an exciting calendar of film screenings to get you through it. 

Lost in Frenchlation is a cinema club that offers English speakers who may not be fluent in French the chance to enjoy French films, by screening new releases with English subtitles to help viewers follow the story.

It has four projections planned in February, each of which is followed or preceded with a bonus event (a Q&A with the director, a stand-up comedy show, or fascinating walking tours). 

Vaccine passes are required as is mask-wearing. Before February 16th when the Covid rules will be relaxed you will not be able to munch popcorn (or anything else) inside the cinema.

This is the agenda: 

Thursday, February 3rd 

Les Choses Humaines is a dark drama, screened in English as The Accusation, which follows the story of a young man accused of rape. Various French film critics have described it as leaving an “emotional footprint”, “captivating” and “disturbing”. It is the latest work of acclaimed director, Yves Attal, and is based on the prize-winning novel of the same name by Karine Tuil. The screening will be held at L’Entrepôt cinema in the 14th arrondissement at 8pm and viewers are invited to come for a drink at the bar one hour before. 

Yves Attal will be present and the screening and will offer a Q&A session after the projection. 

Full price tickets are €8.50 although students and other €7 for students and other concessions. You can buy your ticket here

Thursday, February 10th 

En Attendant Bojangles is a film that explores the liminal space between love and insanity. Screened just before Valentine’s Day, it tells the story of a couple who are madly in love – in every sense of the word. This is the third long métrage by director Regis Roinsard, and has won a number of awards. 

There’ll be drinks at the bar from 7pm and the screening of the movie at 8pm. Prior to this, there is an optional movie walking tour starting at 5pm, on the Island of la Cité and around the Cathedral of Notre-Dame. Participants will learn about the cinematic history of Paris and the representation of the French capital in films – think An American in Paris, Midnight in Paris and the dream world of La La Land

Tickets for the walking tour are available here. The film will be shown in the Luminor Hôtel de Ville cinema in the 4th arrondissement. You can buy tickets at €10 full price and €8 for students and all other concessions. 

Friday, February 18th 

Le Test, you will be pleased to hear, is not about Covid. It is comedy tells the story or a family living in perfect harmony – until a positive pregnancy test is unexpectedly discovered in the bathroom, that is.  The film did not do well at the French box office but was lauded by critics, who described it as “playful”, “modern” and “subtle”. 

The film will be shown at 8pm at the Club de l’étoile in the 17th arrondissement. Viewers are invited for a drink at the cinema bar from 7pm and a pre-screening stand-up comedy show by American comic, Sarah Donnelly, will be held at 7:30pm. 

Tickets are €15 full price and €13 for students and all other concessions. You can reserve your spot here

Friday, February 25th 

Une jeune fille qui va bien tells the coming-of-age story of Irène, a 19-year-old jewish girl living in Paris in 1942, set against the looming backdrop of Nazi occupation. It is the directorial debut of famous French actress Sandrine Kiberlain and was selected for the Critics’ Week at Cannes Film Festival. 

Tickets are not yet available but be sure to keep checking this website for updates. An optional walking tour about the feminist history of Paris will be held beforehand. 

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CULTURE

Former Louvre museum director charged in art trafficking case

The former president of the Louvre museum in Paris has been charged with conspiring to hide the origin of Egyptian archaeological treasures that investigators suspect were spirited out of the country during the Arab Spring uprisings, a French judicial source said Thursday.

Former Louvre museum director charged in art trafficking case

Jean-Luc Martinez was charged Wednesday after being taken in for questioning along with two French specialists in Egyptian art, who were not charged, another source close to the inquiry told AFP.

The Louvre, which is owned by the French state, is the world’s most visited museum with around 10 million visitors a year before the Covid-19 pandemic and is home to some of Western civilization’s most celebrated cultural heritage.

The museum declined to comment when contacted by AFP.

French investigators opened the case in July 2018, two years after the Louvre’s branch in Abu Dhabi bought a rare pink granite stele depicting the pharaoh Tutankhamun and four other historic works for eight million euros ($8.5 million).

Martinez, who ran the Paris Louvre from 2013 to 2021, is accused of turning a blind eye to fake certificates of origin for the pieces, a fraud thought to involve several other art experts, according to French investigative weekly Canard Enchaine.

He has been charged with complicity in fraud and “concealing the origin of criminally obtained works by false endorsement,” according to the judicial source.

Martinez is currently the French foreign ministry’s ambassador in charge of international cooperation on cultural heritage, which focuses in particular on fighting art trafficking.

“Jean-Luc Martinez contests in the strongest way his indictment in this case,” his lawyers told AFP in a statement.

Arab Spring looting

“For now, he will reserve his declarations for the judiciary, and has no doubt that his good faith will be established,” they said.

French investigators suspect that hundreds of artefacts were pillaged from Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries during protests in the early 2010s that became known as the Arab Spring.

They suspect the artefacts were then sold to galleries and museums that did not ask too many questions about previous ownership.

Martinez’s indictment comes after the German-Lebanese gallery owner who brokered the sale, Robin Dib, was arrested in Hamburg in March and extradited to Paris for questioning.

Marc Gabolde, a French Egyptologist, was quoted by Canard Enchaine as saying that he informed Louvre officials about suspicions related to the Tutankhamun stele but received no response.

The opening of the inquiry in 2018 roiled the Paris art market, a major hub for antiquities from Middle Eastern civilisations.

In June 2020, prominent Paris archaeology expert Christophe Kunicki and dealer Richard Semper were charged with fraud for false certification of looted works from several countries during the Arab Spring.

They also had a role in certifying another prized Egyptian work, the gilded sarcophagus of the priest Nedjemankh that was purchased by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 2017.

Gabolde said an Egyptian art dealer, Habib Tawadros, was also involved in both suspect deals.

After New York prosecutors determined that the sarcophagus had been stolen during the revolts against Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak in 2011, the Met said it had been a victim of false statements and fake documentation, and returned the coffin to Egypt.

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