Saturday, November 8, 2008

Going to the Movies in Paris

So tonight I decided to go to the movies. There are several big theaters on the Champs-Élysées and since I was over in that area, I decided to see the new James Bond movie, Quantum of Solace (which apparently isn't out yet in the US???).

Anyhow, before anyone gives me a hard time about going to the movies in Paris... let me just say that my quest in coming here for a month was to experience what it would be like to live here. And if I lived here, going to the movies on occasion is something that I would do - not something someone would likely do here on vacation. So it seemed like a perfectly logical way to spend a Friday evening! Ok, I'm done being defensive now ;-)

So a few observations from the experience:

I never realized this on any of my previous trips to Paris, but most of the new American film releases that are shown here are actually shown in English, with French subtitles! The way you can tell for sure is when you look up at the movie posters on the theater, if it says VO (standing for Version Original) somewhere down at the bottom, then that means it's in English. I can't believe I never knew that!

So tonight I saw the new James Bond movie in a very large theater filled with several hundred French people and as I watched and listened to the movie normally, they all had to read the subtitles. Wild! I guess with the new releases, there isn't time to get them dubbed? Not sure - I'll have to Google that to find out more ;-)

The theater itself reminded me more of one you'd see a concert in than a movie. It had a stage and curtain. The seats were semi-stadium - tiered, but not as much as at home. And the seats didn't recline or have cup holders, but... they were very cushy and more like living room chairs that movie theater seats. When the lights dimmed, the curtain opened and there was a full 25 minutes of fluff. Only two movie previews, the rest was regular commercials for everything from perfume to travel offers. Once the ads were done, the lights came back on and the curtain closed. Then a few minutes later, all the lights went out completely, the curtain opened and the main feature began. A bit peculiar. But nobody seemed confused by what had transpired but me, so I 'think' this is normal in France.

One thing I found really interesting was that people did NOT tolerate talking - which was great! Every time you'd hear a peep, people would loudly shoosh them. But that was actually quite odd given the fact that most of the people in the theater were reading the dialogue, not listening to it. I guess going to the movies is a great way to learn English and/or improve your English skills!

p.s. The Bond movie was good - not excellent. TONS of action (as you'd expect), but the storyline was a little lacking.

Click here to view all of today's photos (11/08/08)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

can't wait to see the new BOND!! I own ALL the movies!