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CULTURE

Lost in Frenchlation’s September screenings in Paris and Biarritz

Cinephiles rejoice - the film club that screens French films with English subtitles returns this week after a summer break - and it has expanded out of Paris.

Lost in Frenchlation's September screenings in Paris and Biarritz
(Photo: Sebastien Bozon / AFP)

Anglophones in Paris have been able to enjoy Lost in Frenchlation’s regular offerings – but, this month, English speakers in Biarritz can also enjoy some French cinematic culture.

Five films are on the docket in Paris in September;

Rodéo, directed by Lola Quivoron, screens on September 2nd, at Publicis Cinema, avenue des Champs-Élysées. Members of the film crew will attend the screening.

Tickets are €13 full price, €8 for students and all other concessions

Jean Eustache’s cult 1973 masterpiece La Maman et la Putain screens on Thursday, September 8th, at L’Entrepôt Cinema, 7 Rue Francis de Pressensé, Paris 14, in the presence of a surprise guest. 

Tickets, available from the cinema, are €8.50 full price; €7 for students and all other concessions.

Noémie Merlant’s Mi Iubita Mon Amour follows a woman’s pre-marital romance with a young man she meets during a bachelorette holiday in Romania. 

Tickets for the screening on Thursday, September 15th at Luminor Cinema, Luminor, 20 Rue du Temple, Paris 4, are €10 full price; €8 for students and all other concessions.

Prior to the screening, a two-hour walking tour of Saint Germain des Prés, highlighting influential women writers is available in collaboration with Women of Paris, for an additional €15. Full details for the tour are available here

Dust off your dancing shoes for Lost in Frenchlation’s big event on Friday, September 23rd, comedy Rumba La Vie, directed by and starring Franck Dubosc.

Prior to the film, which starts at 8pm, there’s a toe-tapping performance by and San.TooR dance company. Tickets for the screening – and the dance show preview – at the Club de l’Étoile Cinema, Club de l’Étoile, 14 Rue Troyon, Paris 8, are €15 full price; €13 for students and all other concessions

The final Lost in Frenchlation-ed film of the month is La Dérive des Continents, directed by Lionel Baier, on Thursday, September 29th.

The evening starts with drinks before the screening, followed by a Q&A session with Canadian actor Théodore Pellerin, who plays Albert in the drama. Tickets for the evening at L’Arlequin, 76 Rue de Rennes, Paris 6, are €10 full price; €8 concessions.

In south-west France, the Cinéma Le Royal, in Biarritz, will show Mi Iubita mon amour on September 8th, and Rodéo on September 22nd.

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CULTURE

What you need to know about the French bear festival recognised by Unesco

The Fête de l'Ours, celebrated in parts of southern France, has been added to UNESCO's world heritage list - here is what you need to know about this quirky festival involving Frenchmen in bear skins chasing young women.

What you need to know about the French bear festival recognised by Unesco

Baguettes are not the only French cultural phenomenon to have been added to the UNESCO “intangible world heritage” list this week.

The Fête de l’Ours – or the Bear Festival – which takes place in the Pyrenees, along the border with Spain, also made the cut. Stretching all the way back to the Middle Ages, the festival has some surprising components.

The tradition involves a man dressing up as a bear and chasing humans. At the end of the festival, the humans catch the man in the bear costume, and ‘skin’ him (take off his bear costume) so he can “become human again,” Patrick Luis, the organiser of the festival in Prats-de-Mollo-la-Preste, told Franceinfo.  

READ MORE: The decades-old battle between French farmers and conservationists over bears

It is a celebration of the end of winter, and while it was celebrated in all villages in the region up to the 19th century, it still occurs in three villages in the Haut Vallespir, located in the Pyrenees-Orientales département.

The application for UNESCO heritage status was made alongside Andorra, where two other Bear Festivals still happen each year. There is a slight difference though – the Andorran festivals celebrate female bears specifically.

Over the years, people living in this part of France have continued the tradition, even during times of war. The festival always takes place in February, and each year about 10,000 people participate.

Meant to symbolise the rebirth of spring, the festival has some interesting facets.

READ MORE: OPINION: 24 years after I first reported on wolves in France, they are at my door in Normandy

Robert Bosch, a specialist in the Bear Festivals, told Ouest France that the “bear man comes out of the wilderness to replenish the village.” In order to do this, the idea was that the man in bear costume would impregnate the young women of the village, and once that function has been accomplished, he is “stripped of his wild attributes and allowed to become human again.”

Requesting UNESCO status

Over ten years ago, several local elected officials in the Pyrenees came up with the idea of trying to get the festival recognised status. First, they managed to register the festivals in the Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage in France, in 2014.

Eight years later, they finally achieved the crowning moment for their region – being listed in the UNESCO “intangible world heritage list.”

For the inhabitants of the three French villages, UNESCO recognising their festival has given “a boost of life” and “a boost of importance,” one village resident told Franceinfo

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