On Saturday night (and until very early Sunday morning) was the Nuit Blanche. The program was quite exciting at first: DJs on boats on the Seine, cranes transformed into Calder mobiles, art installations and music all over the place! But unfortunately… it rained.
Many of the exterior events were closed or ended earlier, and some places usually packed with people were empty. It was a bit disappointing compared to the previous years, but some attractions were as good as always. On Place Sainte-Catherine, there were, as usual, very artsy short films being played on large screen in the middle of the square with a carpet for people to sit on. At the Blanc-Manteaux Center, there were some kind of weird, psychedelic, fluorescent lights with creepy music.. also as usual.
But the place where the ambiance was really exciting was Beaubourg. A band played techno-dance-but not very good music on the 2nd floor and the whole crowd danced, or should I say “danced” to the “music”. After a while of feeling our stomach vibrating to the pound of the bass, we got bored and went to the quays, which was the worst idea ever. The only thing fun we saw while walking next to the water was a boat with flamethrowers on top (it was pretty cool, but it seemed as though the boat didn’t really know where it was going..).
The previous years, there had always been dancers at the “arcades”, but this year there were only a dozen people standing in a line a few meters apart that were doing some moves that were apparently supposed to be “contemporary dance”. From where I stood, it looked more like a bunch of people stretching after their evening jogging than professional dancers dancing in a synchronized and artistic way. Sorry for all the bad feedback, but the rain was certainly the main cause for all those disappointments. Maybe people weren’t as motivated as they were before? I don’t know, but I’m sure next year will be a lot of fun.
– Flore, Paris
Who doesn’t like going to watch a movie in another language (with subtitles), right? It’s really good that even mainstream cinemas like the Vue chain in London are showing foreign languages, the main one recently being “Untouchable“. Although it came out a year ago in France, it only hit our screens last week, and has had mixed reviews. To be honest, I had to disagree with what most of the critics said: I thought it was a great movie, and absolutely hilarious in parts. The acting is really, really good and it’s not as clichéd as it could have been… I’d definitely recommend it (although half the newspaper reviewers wouldn’t).
This is what Philip French of the Observer has to say about it:
“Based on a true story” but more than a little tweaked, this popular movie is to be France’s entry for the best foreign language film Oscar. It’s a polished account of the odd-couple friendship between Philippe (François Cluzet), a rich, handsome, cultivated quadriplegic, and his new carer, Driss (Omar Sy), an intelligent, charismatic, uneducated young working-class west African who has done time for robbery. What draws them together is their total honesty, sense of humour and contempt for stuffy bourgeois hypocrisy, and the general gaucheness of nearly everyone around them. It’s as slick as an oil spill, as sugary as an eclair, and many moviegoers will find it irresistible.”
And here’s the trailer, so you can see just how good it is:
Taking place this weekend at Somerset House is the Vodafone London Fashion Weekend. It started today and lasts until Sunday evening, with a chance for visitors to experience a catwalk show, and shop some designer brands at discount prices. There are also talks taking place by various professionals in the industry as well as a chance to do some “celeb spotting”… Tickets are almost sold out, so book now so you don’t miss out – buy them from the official site http://londonfashionweekend.co.uk/ to make sure they’re legit.
Every year at the end of the summer, the mayor of London hosts a free festival on the banks of the Thames, lasting 2 days. This year, it’s this weekend: September 8 and 9. It’s a fun thing to go to – as well as loads of events, there’s great food from around the world, street performers, art installations and live music. Tomorrow there’s Shishi-Odori dance by Oshu Kanatsu-Ryu Dance Troupe, “All Eyes on Korea” by the Tate Modern, a boat display in St Katherine’s Docks and a Night Carnival (to name a few). As a sort of closing to the London 2012 Olympic Games, there’s also a Homage to Rio display worth checking out. It all ends with a firework finale between Blackfriars and Waterloo Bridge.
To find out more, visit the official website: http://thamesfestival.org/