Friday, January 18, 2013

At the movies

Add to Google Reader or HomepageWe have been in France for three days now. It was bittersweet leaving the states as we had had a wonderful (hot!) summer, a great garden harvest, we traveled and saw a lot of friends and missed seeing many other friends. Whoever coined the phrase: “So much to do; so little time” had a real insight into life.

We arrived in Vaison la Romaine for the beginning of the Telerama film festival – where one can go to a selection of wonderful films for only 3€ during a 10 day period. Last evening, we saw Amour. Tonight, we saw De Rouille et d’Os (Rust and Bone). Amour is on the short list of best films of 2012. It was amazing but was it better than Lincoln or The Sessions or Flight? (This was a year of some great films in the states as well.)

We have been members of a Westside Neighborhood Movie Group for about 20 years in Lansing. We so like the Westside Neighborhood Movie Group concept of viewing a specific film and then meeting to discuss it that we started a Ciné-Club in Vaison la Romaine. Our Ciné-Club meets less formally and less often and the business of discussing films is conducted in French. Some people in the club struggle to discuss films using the present tense and few adjectives. Others with more proficiency in French can discuss films and provide provocative insights similar to our Westside Neighborhood counterparts.

The Ciné-Club includes people from England, America and France. We did this so that the French presence keeps us “ex-pats” honest and speaking in French. I think that Ellen and I were surprised at how often one can spend a whole day ‘in English’. The English-speaking ex-pat community here is large and welcoming and that makes it easy to slip into an English-speaking ghetto.

We can’t take all of the credit for creating this affiliate of the Westside Neighborhood Movie Group. One day when we were having lunch with our former French teacher, we talked about searching for more opportunities to speak French and she encouraged us to create the Ciné-Club à la Westside Neighborhood Movie Group. Since then, it’s been off to the movies Allons au cinema! I have spoken about Michelle before because I so admire her capacity to figure out teaching a foreign language. She always met the needs of a diverse array of students. – and this was not her major career!

My mother used to say that we met to eat and maybe discuss a movie. I think her observation was correct both in Lansing and in Vaison la Romaine. Et pourquoi pas?


  1. Welcome back to Vaison-la-Romaine. Didn't know there was a film festival there. Will have to remember that for when we go to Sablet early in the year. How long will you be in Vaison? We are trying to figure our our dates for a trip in the not too distant future. I know we will be there from May 25 to June 8 and then again in the fall.

    1. Merci Michel,.

      Thanks for the comments. We will be in Vaison until the end of May. We return to Lansing on 28 mai.

  2. No doubt there is greater appreciation of the word "ghetto" among thinking people, but was it really necessary to use a word heavy with pejorative connotations to describe "slipping into an English speaking "community?" How about "clique" with it's French origin?

    1705–15; < French, apparently metaphorical use of Middle French clique latch, or noun derivative of cliquer to make noise, resound, imitative word parallel to click1