Niagara Gazette

Night & Day

July 1, 2014

CALLERI: Thinking about movies 4,000 miles from home

Niagara Gazette — MARSEILLE, France — A look at the movie listings in major cities in France looks a little bit like the listings in Buffalo and Niagara Falls.

Currently playing are major studio American motion pictures such as "Maleficent," "X-Men: Days Of Future Past," "Edge Of Tomorrow," "Transcendence," "The Other Woman," and "Rio 2." This is in addition to home-grown French films, of which there are many. The most popular movie in France for the past couple of weeks is one of those, a comedy called "Sous les jupes des filles," which is directed and co-written by Audrey Dana. It's about 11 Parisian women, all of whom are at a crossroad in their lives, especially regarding romance and their careers. The title is an idiom that loosely translates as "under their clothes, women are equal to other women." The film has been described as a mix of the comic overtones of "Bridesmaids" and the relationship aspects of "Love Actually."

One American movie showing here in Marseille, where I'm staying with French friends, is "The Two Faces Of January," which is a United States and France co-production. It's based on a novel by Patricia Highsmith, who wrote "The Talented Mr. Ripley." The thriller stars Kirsten Dunst, Viggo Mortensen, and Oscar Isaac and is written and directed by Hossein Amini. Dunst and Mortensen are a married couple involved in a murder investigation who become friends with a con artist (Isaac) in Greece in 1962. It will open in the U.S. in August.

I'll be able to see the film because, as I've written before, some theaters will show the original English-language version with French subtitles, which is the way most French moviegoers enjoy their motion pictures. They want to hear the true voices of the actors and actresses. France is steeped in an exciting and energetic cinema culture, and everything contributes to the appreciation of a film, including the tone and inflection of how dialogue is spoken. This is different from Italy, where all movies are dubbed into the Italian language. It's a fact that most Italians have never heard the actual voices of film stars from around the world.

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