A century of Italian immigration and culture in France (1860-1960) #continuation

“CIAO” is part of those words that, accompanying the migrations of millions of Italians around the world, have been adopted from the languages ​​of the countries reception, as in France where it is now part of current vocabulary. This greeting is useful to welcome and say goodbye at the same time.


CIAO ITALIA! is an “arrivederci” of the Italians to theirs country, never an “addio” . It is also a welcome formula from France to its neighbor.

Exchanges between France and Italy have been numerous since from Antiquity and go far beyond military conquest of “Gaul” by Rome. In the Middle Ages, men, women, goods and ideas cross the Alps, spreading a sort of “Italian model” in France and throughout Europe. In the 19th and 20th centuries, about 26 million Italians emigrate for both economic and political reasons. A part of them heads to France, which was missing at the time of manpower. Italians became like this the most numerous foreigners in France from the beginning of the 20th century until the 1960s.

Today commemorated, their integration did not happen however smoothly. Between distrust and desire, violence and passions, rejection and integration, the exhibition CIAO ITALIA ! tell this story by highlighting the contribution of Italians to society and French culture. The exhibition traces the geographical journey, socio-economic and cultural experience of Italians in France from the Risorgimento from 1860 to 1960.

The exhibition will take place in the hall of the library of Laveno Mombello in Villa Frua from the 25 March 2022 until the 12 April 2022. Free entrance

The exhibition is open:
Monday until Thursday 9:00 – 18:00
Friday and Saturday 9:00 – 13:00

Comune
Laveno

Dégustation of aged “Crus Classés” of Bordeaux

On Monday May 16th  at 18:30, we shall have in the Club House a wine tasting of aged Crus Classés of Bordeaux presented by our colleague Javier Gallego.

2005 Château de Fieuzal Pessac-Léognan (Grand Cru Classé de Graves) | Vivino

The price to participate in this event is 30 €. The whole fundraising will be dedicated to an “Europa Terzo Mondo” project, except the amount due to the Club house (3e/pers).Here are the list of wines :

Férrière 2005 Margaux 3rd Cru Classé (3CC)

Fieuzal 2005 Pesssac Leognan Cru Classé (CC)

Léoville Poyferré 1995 St Julien 2nd Cru Classé (2CC)


We shall taste three wines, less than the usual number in the French Semester tasting events, because aged wines require a longer time to explore.

In parallel, there will be an auction sale of a few prestigious other Crus Classés. Again all the money will be donated to ETM.

List of bottles that be auctioned: 

Average market price
Minimum Bid(Wine-searcher.com)Vivino.com
Phélan Ségur2002St Estèphe CB304480
Grand Corbin Despagne2005Saint Emilion CC305048
La Tour Blanche2003Sauternes 1 CC4066143
Sociando Mallet2001Medoc CB507762
Camensac  Magnum2005H Médoc 5cc 60102
Ponntet Canet1995Pauillac 5cc80149219
Baron Pichon-Longueville1995Pauillac 2CC100203265
Pavillon rouge-Ch. Margaux1995Margaux100217222
Cos d’Estournel1995St Estèphe 2CC100234376
Latour1994Pauillac 1CC2005681059
Margaux1995Margaux 1CC200684820

All the bottles have been aged in a conditioned cellar (13° in summer)

We have to limit the number of participants to 50. For registration please send a message to wineclub.jrc@gmail.com
See you soon
TWC

Photo Exposition Gilles Clément: Giardini di resistenza

The JRC French semester puts the spotlight on the works of Gilles Clément, gardener & botanist, through a photo exhibition which will be held at the Giardino of San Gabriele in Ispra from 23th April to 15th May. It will pursued during InFiorita festival (7th-8th May).

A vernissage will take place this Wednesday 27/04 at 5.45 p.m.

Giardino San Gabriele.

There will also be guided tours of the exhibition on Saturdays and Sundays at 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. until May 15 to be specified at the same time.

The ‘Giardini di resistenza’ exhibition in Ispra will present his three key concepts The Garden in Movement, The Planetary Garden and The Third Landscape.

‘If the planet is a garden, we are all gardeners – perhaps not aware of it, yet the choices and lifestyles of each of us have an impact on the biosphere and on our collective, vital space.’

 His work is powerful rethinking of our relationship with nature:

“Observe before acting”,

“Work with, not against nature’’

Gilles is known not only for his famous public parks like André Citroën and Quai Branly Museum in Paris, but also for his ground breaking books on how gardens should serve society, the community, wildlife, specially insects and nature.

Gilles Clément’s ‘third landscape’ inspired ‘’the Eiffel Tower roundabout’’ in JRC.

For those interested in pursuing their travel with Gilles Clément you could visit the biennial of architecture and landscape in Versailles (13 May – 13 July 2022) http://www.ecole-paysage.fr/site/ensp_fr/2e-edition-de-la-Biennale-darchitecture-et-de-paysage-.htm

See also the special page on the Third Landscape on this website

Silent movies and live music

Vive la France! Sound and Art vibes in the French semester in collaboration with the European Club, JAMM. A silent movie accompanied by live music

Friday 29 April 2022, Ispra, Club House ca 19h

“The Epic of the French Silent Film, starting with the Lumière Brothers”.

The films will be screened and the music will be performed reflecting dances, soundtrack and original author music by artist musicians on violin and piano.

Time will be updated more precisely soon .

Vive la France! suggestioni Sonore e d’Arte nel semestre francese d’Europa.  Club Europeo, JAMM, Semestre Francese: 
Programma: 

Venerdì 29 aprile 2022, Ispra, Club House

“L’Epopea del Film Muto francese, a partire dai Fratelli Lumière”. 

Con accompagnamento su balli, colonne sonore e musiche d’autore originali al violino e pianoforte. 

Saranno proiettate le pellicole e contemporanea esecuzione dal vivo delle musiche

FR Semester VéloMai: “a vélo” with Stendhal & friends on Lake Maggiore

It is VeloMai, and we have prepared something special for you !

NEW DATE: due to uncertainties with weather, the event will be May 22nd

We offer for the Sunday 22nd May a nice “promenade” bike ride with culture and food , the perfect combination!.

It is one-day bike ride (approximately from 10 am to 5 pm, length about 35 km), medium / low difficulty, with outdoors nature and cultural stops with reading from French authors who have written about Lake Maggiore.

The day includes a lunch stop with French products.

Costs: € 15.00 / each – possibility to rent a bike for € 5.00 (electric bikes € 10.00)- departure and arrival in Piazza San Martino in Ispra.

Description:

Lake Maggiore fascinated and inspired great French artists, who discovered these places in the wake of Napoleon Bonaparte or during the “Grand Tour” and other travels during the 18th and 19th centuries. The pedaling itinerary starts from Ispra and touches the municipalities of Angera, Ranco, Cadrezzate with Osmate, Brebbia, Monvalle, touching Lake Maggiore and crossing the hinterland. We will observe the landscape from various points of view and during the day we will heapassages by Stendhal, Flaubert, Dumas and others. The lunch break will be in the form of a picnic and will have French products as its theme.

  • Date: Sunday 22 May, 2022 (10.00h), register by 19 May
  • Registration: Bicycle Shop Romeo, piazza san Martino 63, 21027 Ispra.
  • Phone and WhatsApp: +39 348 8516 760
  • Email: lalibereria@bottegadelromeo.com

Huge thanks to Jean-Michel TERRES for the idea ad the organisation !

Photo Exposition Gilles Clément: Giardini di resistenza

The JRC French semester puts the spotlight on the works of Gilles Clément, gardener & botanist, through a photo exhibition which will be held at the Giardino of San Gabriele in Ispra from 23th April to 15th May. It will be also highlighted during InFiorita festival (7th-8th May).

A vernissage will take place this Wednesday 27/04 at 5.45 p.m.

Giardino San Gabriele.

There will also be guided tours of the exhibition on Saturdays and Sundays at 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. until May 15 to be specified at the same time.

The ‘Giardini di resistenza’ exhibition in Ispra will present his three key concepts The Garden in Movement, The Planetary Garden and The Third Landscape.

‘If the planet is a garden, we are all gardeners – perhaps not aware of it, yet the choices and lifestyles of each of us have an impact on the biosphere and on our collective, vital space.’

 His work is powerful rethinking of our relationship with nature:

“Observe before acting”,

“Work with, not against nature’’

Gilles is known not only for his famous public parks like André Citroën and Quai Branly Museum in Paris, but also for his ground breaking books on how gardens should serve society, the community, wildlife, specially insects and nature.

Gilles Clément’s ‘third landscape’ inspired ‘’the Eiffel Tower roundabout’’ in JRC.

For those interested in pursuing their travel with Gilles Clément you could visit the biennial of architecture and landscape in Versailles (13 May – 13 July 2022) http://www.ecole-paysage.fr/site/ensp_fr/2e-edition-de-la-Biennale-darchitecture-et-de-paysage-.htm

See also the special page on the Third Landscape on this website

INFIORITA 5th ed.

The next edition of InFiorita Ispra will take place on 23 and 24 April 2022 postponed to 7-8 May 2022. The Horticultural Show of gardening, biodiversity and sustainability will have for theme “FIORIRE per VIVERE” (BLOOM TO LIVE)

For the 2022 edition the French Semester of the JRC Ispra is delighted to contribute with two initiatives :

A stand (of the garden club) will have information on the activities of the French Semester and on JRC

we are organising a special exposition on the Landscape architect Gilles Clement in the gardens of San Gabriele from 23 April to 15 May – go check the special announcement on this!

A vernissage will take place this Wednesday 27/04 at 5.45 p.m.

Giardino San Gabriele.

There will also be guided tours of the exhibition on Saturdays and Sundays at 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. until May 15 to be specified at the same time.

It will be the fifth edition of this review that over the years has enchanted both exhibitors and visitors, also thanks to the splendid natural setting in which it takes place and the interesting cultural insights into the environment and everything that is ” green “: BLOOM to LIVE!

website: https://www.infioritaispra.it/

French movie 09 – Florida (2015)

Mandatory mask FFP2 and registration

register Here (max 50 people in the Club House auditorium)

Although he’s now eighty years old, Claude Lherminier is still as imposing as he ever was. But his bouts of forgetfulness and confusion are becoming increasingly frequent. Even so, he stubbornly refuses to admit that anything is wrong. Carole, his oldest daughter, wages a daily and taxing battle to ensure that he’s not left on his own. Claude suddenly decides on a whim to go to Florida. What lies behind this sudden trip?

Floride was Jean Rochefort last movie and is in a sense a tribute to him. He is of every scene. First half of the movie shows him mischevious, try-hard, filled with humour. Thus the tone of movie changes, we understand the changes his character follows and we see his touching, fragile side.

The movie without Rochefort would not hold, however the thematic of memory is well used and shows how it is essential, to ourselves, to our relationship with others, and even to the image we can have of people that already left this wolrd.

A century of Italian immigration and culture in France (1860-1960)

“CIAO” is part of those words that, accompanying the migrations of millions of Italians around the world, have been adopted from the languages ​​of the countries reception, as in France where it is now part of current vocabulary. This greeting is useful to welcome and say goodbye at the same time.


CIAO ITALIA! is an “arrivederci” of the Italians to theirs country, never an “addio” . It is also a welcome formula from France to its neighbor.

Exchanges between France and Italy have been numerous since from Antiquity and go far beyond military conquest of “Gaul” by Rome. In the Middle Ages, men, women, goods and ideas cross the Alps, spreading a sort of “Italian model” in France and throughout Europe. In the 19th and 20th centuries, about 26 million Italians emigrate for both economic and political reasons. A part of them heads to France, which was missing at the time of manpower. Italians became like this the most numerous foreigners in France from the beginning of the 20th century until the 1960s.

Today commemorated, their integration did not happen however smoothly. Between distrust and desire, violence and passions, rejection and integration, the exhibition CIAO ITALIA ! tell this story by highlighting the contribution of Italians to society and French culture. The exhibition traces the geographical journey, socio-economic and cultural experience of Italians in France from the Risorgimento from 1860 to 1960.

The exhibition will take place in the hall of the library of Laveno Mombello in Villa Frua from the 25 March 2022 until the 12 April 2022. Free entrance

The exhibition is open:
Monday until Thursday 9:00 – 18:00
Friday and Saturday 9:00 – 13:00

Comune
Laveno

The “Tour de France” of the French Wines

Dear wine lovers,

The JRC Ispra Wine Club together with the French Semester Committee are pleased to organize the Tour de France of the wine tasting which will be done with a dinner.

When : Friday 6th May from 6.30pm to 10.30pm

Why : To discover the large variety of wines from France

Where : At the Nuova Mensa (through the external gate, so open to everyone)

What will we eat? : some french specialties, including appetizer, Aligot and saucisses from Aubrac region, Comte cheese from Jura and dessert.

What will we drink? : To not interfere with your tasting, that will stay a surprise but we will propose 6 different wines. Of course, each one will be presented and discussed during the event.

The cost of this event is 30 euros/pers.

For technical reasons, we have to limit participation to about 130 persons. First come, first serve !

To book tickets please send email to wineclub.jrc@gmail.com, we will confirm your booking and will inform how to pay.
See you soon

The wine club

French Wine Event March: Under the sun of the Rhone Valley…

Dear wine lovers,

We are extremely pleased to announce new events related to the french semester.

The wine club together with the french semester committee will organize a series of 6 events. Four of them will be held at the club house and will focus on the most famous French appellations, and two large tastings will be held at the Mensa (one to present French wines and the second on wine and cheese pairings). We will come back to you for the other events.

Let’s start with the first one:

Monday 28th March from 6.30pm to 8.00pm, at the club House:

Under the sun of the Rhone Valley, 2 whites and 3 reds from Lyon to Avignon

To book tickets please send email to wineclub.jrc@gmail.com. 

The cost of this event is 15 euros/pers.

For technical reasons, we have to limit participation to about 40 persons. First come, first serve !

See you soon

The wine club

Celebrating achievements of French women in science!

The 8th March is the international day for defending women’s rights. This is the occasion to celebrate and promote women’s achievements, including in science! To that end, the team of the French Semester at the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission organises a virtual event with an amazing panel of 8 French scientific women!

Our invited speakers include both confirmed scientists at the forefront of their field and young promising scientists in environmental and health sciences:

  • Céline Bellard, researcher at CNRS (Orsay) and specialist of invasive alien species
  • Manon Bickert, post-doctoral researcher at Modena University and specialist in marine geosciences
  • Karen Boniface, scientific project officer at the European Commission Joint Research Centre and specialist in global navigation satellite systems applied to Earth observation 
  • Nadine Gobron, project leader at the European Commission Joint Research Centre and researcher in the optical remote sensing domain
  • Line Le Gall, professor at the National Museum of Natural History (Paris) and specialist of marine biodiversity discovery
  • Sandrine Pavoine, professor at the National Museum of Natural History (Paris) and specialist in ecology and mathematics
  • Karine Princé, independent researcher and expert for the European Commission and specialist of bird conservation
  • Maïté Verreault, researcher in experimental neurooncology and project manager at the Paris Brain Institute.

This event will be held virtually, on March 8th 2022, between 12h30 and 14h30. In a first part, they will present their background and one of her main scientific successes. They will then share their insights on some of your questions as well as their (good and bad!) experience about being a woman in science. With the breadth of themes we have for you in this event, you will also be able to learn about a wide range of scientific topics such as biodiversity, marine geosciences, Earth observation and cancer, and hear about the challenges that women experience to become successful leading scientists!!

Marine Robuchon, scientific project officer at the European Commission Joint Research Centre and researcher in conservation sciences, will moderate the event.

Programme

  • 12h30 – 12h32: Welcome address by Catherine Simoneau (President of the JRC French Semester team) on behalf of the JRC French Semester team
  • 12h32 – 12h35: Opening by Bernard Magenhann (Deputy Director General of the JRC)
  • 12h35 – 12h40: Introduction of the event by Marine Robuchon
  • 12h40 – 14h00: Presentations by the 8 invited speakers (10 min each)
  • 14h00 – 14h30: Panel discussion

Watch this event via the Streaming Service of the European Commission!

French Folk Dances

On the left, the danse teacher Cristina Zecchinelli – on the right, a danse in circle

This course, organised by the JRC Dance Club includes a “dancing trip to France”, an area in which traditional music and dance have rediscovered the characteristics and liveliness of the past. Thanks to some passionate researchers, a large part of this heritage has been saved, and thanks to them we can now find ourselves dancing as we used to.

The ancient melodies and traditional songs guide the dancers in circles, chains, quartets, with exchanges of ladies and knights, finding themselves still immersed in the ancient rural world, where music and dance were part of the spontaneous expression of the people.

In our meetings will be proposed the practice of some dances trying to turn on, or increase, the curiosity about this particular and fascinating repertoire. The course is for everyone, trying not to bore the most experienced and not to put in difficulty the less experienced. We will start from the circle to then discover other choreography and couple dances, with complex crossings and new steps, browsing the regions of Brittany, Gascony, Berry and Poitou.

You will also be given the necessary elements to be able to dance freely, having even more fun, in future concerts and dance evenings.

Our teacher is Cristina Zecchinelli: a lover of dance since childhood, she identifies in the French Dances the repertoire that most attracts her, for the harmony of sounds, the elegance of movements and the intensity of the relationship that is created between dancers, especially in the meeting between Lady and Knight. Passionate, she attends numerous courses and stages in France and Italy with scholars, researchers and teachers of traditional French folk dance.

A medical certificate and the subscription to the club will be necessary to attend the course.

Come and try! 

When: Thursday from 8 to 10 pm

2 Thursdays a month we will have a lesson with the teacher, the other Thursdays we will practice without the teacher.

Where: Multisport Hall, Club House (Ispra)

Contribution to participate: 60 euros for 3 months (January-February-March 2022)

For further information

Responsible of the course: Giulia Barbero Vignola

Contacts: giuliettabv@gmail.com

Teacher: M. Cristina Zecchinelli

Gift distribution at JRC Ispra

On the 19th of January a small gift will be distributed by French volunteers at the gates of the JRC.

Bergamotes of Nancy

The Bergamot of Nancy is a sweet, translucent candy with a unique taste. It was the first confectionery in France to be awarded PGI status, a Protected Geographical Indication.

This translucent square sweet has a yellow amber colour, is slightly tart and is flavoured with bergamot orange essential oil. This natural oil from Calabria, Italy was brought to Nancy well before 1750 by René D’Anjou and René II, both Dukes of Lorraine.
Once the favourite candy of Stanislaw Leszczynski, another Duke of Lorraine, it became the specialty of Nancy’s confectioners at the end of the 19th century.

In Lorraine, only 4 confectioners are authorised to make Bergamot of Nancy PGI candies, and they must strictly adhere to the production methods. The ones you got, are coming from the Confiserie Stanislas.

Bêtises de Cambrai

Bêtise de Cambrai is a popular candy and a specialty of the town of Cambrai. Their original flavor is mint, but nowadays there is a great range of flavors such as apple, chocolate, violet, and cherry. The candies are usually decorated with a caramel stripe which gives them extra sweetness

Berlingots

Berlingots are one of the oldest traditional hard sweets in France, recognisable by their shape which resembles a pyramid with rounded edges. They were first made in two areas of France: Carpentras in Vaucluse and Nantes in Loire-Atlantique.
Berlingots Carpentras are translucent with white stripes and date back to the early 1800s while the Berlingots Nantais are opaque, covered in a dusting of sugar and were first made at the end of the 19th century.

Caramels au beurre salé

French movie 01 – Le Brio (2017)

Le brio / Quasi nemici: l’importante è avere ragione

Friday 28 January at 8:45pm, Auditorium Club House

Movie in French with Italian subtitles,
mandatory registration, mandatory Mask FFP2 , mandatory Super Green Pass

Please REGISTER HERE (max 50 people in the Club House auditorium)

FRENCH

Le rêve de Neïla Salah (Camelia Jordana) est de devenir avocate et pour y parvenir elle s’inscrit à l’université d’Assas. Mais quand on vient de Créteil et que l’on est d’origine maghrébine, le projet ne va pas de soi, surtout quand on a affaire au fameux professeur Mazard (Daniel Auteuil) , un cynique qui n’a aucune limite dans ses provocations : deux milieux, deux générations, deux perceptions du monde vont se confronter. Pourtant, quand le prof apprend que son étudiante a décidé de se présenter au prestigieux concours annuel d’éloquence, conscient du potentiel de la jeune femme, il accepte de l’aider. Portés par ce projet commun, tous deux vont devoir réviser leurs certitudes et préjugés… Pour sa cinquième réalisation, Yvan Attal a voulu faire « un film politique, social, mais aussi léger, drôle, avec de l’émotion ». Ceux qui ont vu le film saluent les performances du duo formé par ce vieux briscard de Daniel Auteuil et par la nouvelle recrue, Camélia Jordana.

ENGLISH

Entering the contest for the first time is the feisty and stubborn Neila (Camelia Jordana), who hails from the Paris banlieue of Creteil and is in her freshman year of law studies at the conservative Panthoen-Assas University. On the very first day of class, Neila is berated by her professor Pierre Mazard (Daniel Auteuil) in front of the entire amphitheater, with the latter dishing out a racist rant that quickly goes viral. As a result, Mazard is reprimanded by his boss and forced to coach Neila for the “concours d’eloquence” as a way to demonstrate that he’s not a complete bigot.
Thus ensues a rather predictable series of ups and downs as Mazard lectures Neila on the art of speech, citing Schopenhauer and Rabelais, having her read Nietzsche out loud with a pen in her mouth, forcing her to orate on the Paris metro and repeating his favorite axiom over and over: “The truth doesn’t matter — it’s about being right.” Meanwhile, Neila tries to balance her newfound communication skills with life at home in the projects, where she sparks a romance with a local boy (Yasin Houicha) who doesn’t exactly share her capacity for rhetoric. Back in Paris, the lonely Mazard contends with his own alcoholism and loneliness, proving that the best teachers don’t necessarily make for the best people.

Cast: Camelia Jordana, Daniel Auteuil, Yasin Houicha, Nozha Khouadra, Nicolas Vaude, Jean-Baptiste Lafarge
Director: Yvan Attal

Opening Ceremony of the French Presidency​ JRC Ispra, 19 January 2022

12:30-13:30

Welcome by Master of Ceremony
Jean-Francois Martin, Facilitator 


Address by Stephen QUEST
Director General Joint Research Centre​


Address by Bernard MAGENHANN 
Deputy Director General Joint Research Centre​


Address by Martin/Karmen POLJANSEK
​Delegates of the JRC Slovenian Semester Organising Committee ​


Address by Catherine SIMONEAU and friends
President of the JRC French Semester Organising Committee
Common ensemble opening from all our JRC French Semester site leaders:
Sophie Roulette (JRC Geel)
Rachel Eloirdi (JRC Karlsruhe)
Jean-Pierre Schosger (JRC. Petten)
Damien Geerter (JRC Seville)
Valerie Enjolras (JRC Bruxelles) 


Flag Ceremony (video)
-Slovenian Anthem and Lowering of the Slovenian Flag​
-French Anthem – and Raising of the French Flag​
[with simultaneous video clips from all our JRC sites)​
-European Anthem 


Address by Pauline ROUCH
Head of Cabinet of Commissioner Mariya Gabriel on Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth


Address by H.E. M. Christian MASSET    
French Ambassador to Italy​ 


​​​

A Taste of France (edutainment) and Unveiling of the symbol


13:30

Closing of the Ceremony


The link to the recorded video will be available soon.

​ 

 ​

​ ​

 ​

French movie 07 – Il favoloso mondo di Amélie (2001)

Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain (2001)

Wednesday 27 April at 8:45pm, Auditorium Club House

Movie in French with Italian subtitles,
mandatory registration, mandatory Mask FFP2 , mandatory Super Green Pass

Please REGISTER HERE (max 50 people in the Club House auditorium)

Amélie grows up a slightly introverted child as a result of her unusual parents. When she grows up she has her own unusual habits and quirks. When she finds a hidden box of childhood toys in her house she decides to track down the owner and return it to him. Seeing the happiness that she brings to him she resolves to work in secret to make other people happy. However can she be happy herself?

Why you should see that movie :

the grace is the fundamental virtue of film. a grace as result of humor, childhood’s crumbs, profound faith and love and joy and an actress who explores in wise manner each part from her character. a film who remains adorable for its deep force of freedom, high art and translation of every day reality in the right language who preserves the tools of fairy tale. a film about life as miracle. useful . charming. extraordinary. because it discover and not propose. because it is a crazy, magnificent trip in the essence of things. because it has not a specific genre. because it seems be only one of beautiful spring mornings.

French movie 11 – The Intouchables (2011)

The Intouchables / Intouchables (O. Nakache & E Toledano, 2011)

Friday 24 June at 9:30pm, Piazza Ferrario, Ispra

In Paris, the aristocratic and intellectual Philippe is a quadriplegic millionaire who is interviewing candidates for the position of his carer, with his red-haired secretary Magalie. Out of the blue, Driss cuts the line of candidates and brings a document from the Social Security and asks Phillipe to sign it to prove that he is seeking a job position so he can receive his unemployment benefit. Philippe challenges Driss, offering him a trial period of one month to gain experience helping him. Then Driss can decide whether he would like to stay with him or not. Driss accepts the challenge and moves to the mansion, changing the boring life of Phillipe and his employees.

Why you should see that movie :

Terrific comedy-drama from France about Philippe (Francois Cluzet), a rich man who was left paralyzed from the neck down after an accident and Driss (Omar Sy), a man from the ghetto who hasn’t had much going on in his life until he gets the job of taking care of the handicapped man. THE INTOUCHABLES has been breaking box office records around the world but I decided to stay away from it because of some rather lukewarm reviews. I’m certainly glad the trailer kept telling me to go see it because no matter what the critics say, this here is a complete winner and it’s easy to see why so many people have fallen in love with it. I’m really not sure why so many critics have bashed it for being a “crowd winner” or “too happy” because neither makes much sense. I thought the film was quite remarkable because the pre-credit sequence is just so touching and funny that you can’t help but fall in love with these two characters and the journey of their friendship that follows was incredibly touching and best of all is that it felt real. Cluzet and Sy are simply so terrific in their roles that you really do feel as if you’re watching real people with real issues. The way the two play off one another is so remarkable to watch that once you’ve seen it I don’t see how you could forget them. Directors Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano do a remarkable job balancing the comedy with the drama and in the end they really create such a special atmosphere that it’s impossible not to get caught up with it. THE INTOUCHABLES is without question one of the best films of the year and hopefully the strong word of mouth from around the world will get more people to check it out.

French movie 12 – Le concert (2009)

The concert (R. Mihaileanu, 2009)

Friday 01 July at 9:30pm, Piazza Ferrario, Ispra

Thirty years ago, Andrei Simoniovich Filipov, the renowned conductor of the Bolshoi orchestra, was fired for hiring Jewish musicians. Now a mere cleaning man at the Bolshoi, he learns by accident that the Châtelet Theater in Paris invites the Bolshoi orchestra to play there. He decides to gather together his former musicians and to perform in Paris in the place of the current Bolshoi orchestra. As a solo violin player to accompany his old Jewish or Gypsy musicians he wants Anne-Marie Jacquet, a young virtuoso. If they all overcome the hardships ahead this very special concert will be a triumph.

Why you should see that movie :

An explosion of desperate comedy, melancholy drama and passion

The Concert is a French/ Italian/Romanian/Belgian production shot in Moscow and Paris. The publicity blurb says that the musical finale is worth the ticket price alone, but I would say even reading the list of exotic names floating over the opening credits is worth a good percentage of the price.

We travel back 30 years to when Andrei, talented young conductor of the Bolshoi Orchestra, was humiliated and sacked by Breshnev for refusing to get rid of his Jewish musicians. Fast forward to the present, and we find him still working at the Bolshoi – but as a cleaner. One lucky day he finds himself alone with the office fax machine. What follows is an audacious plot to get his old sidekicks to Paris, using borrowed instruments, hired suits and fake passports, posing as the real Bolshoi for a concert at the Theatre du Chatelet. If you can imagine a story as full of colour and drama as the TV rock ‘n’ roll serial epic Tutti Frutti, jammed into just one cinema experience, this could be it. It’s rare to see so many set pieces in one film.

I laughed out loud once or twice – and if you know what a grumpy old man I am you would realise what that means. I was also moved to tears, but I’m not telling you why. That would spoil it all – just saying that under its layer of manic fast-cut comedy the story carries a deep, dark and passionate secret which gradually reveals itself as the comedy peels off. The music is, I have to add, beautiful – whether it’s Roma dance jigs in the street or Tchaikovsky in the concert hall. Bring a hanky!

French movie 08 – The Taste of the others (2000)

The Taste of Others / le gout des autres (2000)

Wednesday 11 May at 8:45pm, Auditorium Club House

Three men, three women, opposites, possibilities, and tastes. Castella owns an industrial steel barrel plant in Rouen; Bruno is his flute-playing driver, Franck is his temporary bodyguard while he negotiates a contract with Iranians, his wife Angélique does frou-frou interior decorating and loves her dog. The conventional Castella hires a forty-year-old actress, Clara, to tutor him in English, and he finds her and her Bohemian lifestyle fascinating. Is this love? What would she say if he declared himself? Through Bruno, Franck meets Manie, a barmaid who deals hash. They begin an affair. Are they in love? They joke about marriage. As the women hold back, the men must make decisions.

Why you should see that movie :

sharp, subtle, sublime

This debut for Jaoui (playing the role of Manie) as a director is a great comedy. Hilarious, but not over the top. ‘Le Goût des Autres’ has some very sharp dialogues filled with subtle jokes and delivered by a perfect cast. It was no surprise to learn afterwards that the same screenwriters wrote the script for ‘Un Air de Famille’ by Cedric Klapisch, another French comedy at its best. But this one is without a doubt one of the most enjoyable movies of the year. A well deserved Oscar-nominee for ‘best foreign language film’.

French movie 10 – L’ufficiale e la spia (2019)

L‘ufficiale e la spia / J’accuse (R. Polanski 2019)

Friday 24 June at 9:30 pm, Piazza Ferrario, Ispra

In 1894, French Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a young promising officer, is degraded for spying for Germany, wrongfully convicted of treason and sentenced to life imprisonment at Devil’s Island. Among the witnesses to his humiliation is Georges Picquart, who is promoted to run the military counter-intelligence unit that tracked him down. But when Picquart discovers that secrets are still being handed over to the Germans, he is drawn into a dangerous labyrinth of deceit and corruption that threatens not just his honor but his life.

Why you should see that movie :

The story is nothing revolutionary, no extra twist or suprise but the real gem here is the way the story is told and the movie was shot.

In contrast to the oversaturated Hollywood exhaustive action packed style this movie manages to tell the intriguing Dreyfus affair in France 1895 without unnecessary overdone action scenes/music whilst maintaining the core tension of the topic that doesn’t let you off the hook.

When the movie was finished I couldn’t believe that over 2h were over and I felt pleasantly refreshed and renewed, although I was constantly focused on what will happen next. That’s the level of smoothness we are talking about here.

A connection to past Polanski or French movies is definitely visible and this way of storytelling can be thought of as a new take on it.

If you like historical dramas with a good portion of crime you should definitely take a look at this gem.

French movie 06 – Delicatessen (1991)

Delicatessen (1991)

Wednesday 30 March at 8:45pm, Auditorium Club House

mandatory registration,
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mandatory Super Green Pass

max 50 people in the Club House auditorium

You can register HERE

Storyline

Centered on a post-apocalyptic society where food is scarce and used as currency. In an apartment building with a delicatessen on the ground floor. The owner of the eatery also owns the apartment building and is in need of a new maintenance man since the prior one “mysteriously” disappeared. A former clown applies for the job and the butcher’s intent is to have him work for as little as possible. The clown and butcher’s daughter fall in love and she tries to foil her father’s plans by contacting the “troglodytes”, a grain eating sub-group of society who live entirely underground

  • Why you should see that movie :

A film about people, relationships, feelings, gestures, reactions, answers to the reactions of the other, absurd, chaotic, without coherence; Not surprising because it is only a film about ordinary people living together.
A dark comedy, a childish game who seems be more improvisation, it is a strange artistic delight and this is its basic virtue to be an open door to an universe who mix love story with savage habits, food with eccentricity , fear with a sort of carnival. So, a show about simple people who is more expression of imagination, seductive for the puzzle of images, great for the references to the world of circus, great for the delicate portrait of hidden aspects of life, taboos. A form of experiment and this is its significant good point.

French movie 05 – Tanguy (2001)

Tanguy (2001)

Friday 18 March at 8:45pm, Auditorium Club House

Mandatory registration
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register Here (max 50 people in the Club House auditorium)

Storyline

Tanguy is 28 years old and staying home with his parents. So the parents organize a get-out-of house campaign.

  • Why you should see that movie :

Tanguy is a very good and funny comedy. The film became quite famous and now sociologists in France, Great Britain and Canada call young adults staying with their parents although they have enough income to live in their own house the “Tanguy generation”. The main actors Eric Berger and Sabine Azema are really excellent.

French movie 04 – C’est la vie: prendila come viene (2017)

Le sens de la fête / C’est la vie: prendila come viene (2017) with Italian subtitles

Mandatory registration, mandatory Mask FFP2 , mandatory Super Green Pass; Please register Here (max 50 people in the Club House auditorium)

Wednesday 02 March at 8:45pm, Auditorium Club House

Pierre is marrying Héléna and he wants his wedding party to be first-rate. For that he has reserved the services of seasoned caterer Max Angély and his team. The reception is to take place in a sumptuous 17th-century leisure castle and its beautiful park, and an excellent DJ will supply the music. The rich, arrogant groom demands that everything go according to plan. Max assures him that it will, but he doesn’t mention that his team isn’t absolutely above reproach. For instance, Etienne (as James), a second-rate entertainer, has replaced the top-level DJ; Adèle, Max’s short-tempered assistant, keeps causing embroilment; Guy, the wedding photographer, is a free-loading has-been; Josiane, Max’s close collaborator (and lover), is on the verge of breaking up with him; Julien, a depressive ex-teacher-turned-waiter, once had a date with–the bride; Samy, an additional waiter, proves worthless. But Max, whose motto is “Always adapt!” is the persistent kind and will do everything to save the situation. Will he manage? That is the question.

Why you should see that movie :

Directors Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano had already come up with a masterpiece in 2011: INTOUCHABLES, brimming with joie de vivre despite the physical and social limitations of the two main characters, brilliantly played by François Cluzet and Omar Sy.

That same zest for life is present in LE SENS DE LA FÊTE, and certainly the acting is of the highest order once again. Were this an American film, and Jean-Pierre Bacri would certainly have received an Oscar nomination. His control over his party function team, his business sense, his perceptiveness of his troop members’ moods, and even his occasionally deadpan moments render his performance sublime, possibly the most complete, subtle, and perceptive I watched in 2017.

There are many other performers in this film but that never detracts from the film’s focus and all of them do an excellent job of raising this film to the highest levels of comedy, including two Indians from the Punjab who have some of the peachiest small parts I have watched in the recent past.

From the above, it is easy to conclude that dialogue is sharp and funny, as characters find themselves in all manner of laughable, embarrassing, sexy, unprofessional, and other situations. Perhaps the screenplay’s greatest merit is that it keeps subtly misleading the viewer into believing that the outcome of a given sequence will be this or that – to be sure, you never get the pat solution!

Photography is excellent, especially the night shots and the sequence involving a balloon in flight. Soundtrack is very appropriate, never interfering, but always helping to give substance to the film.

Finally – please forgive me if I repeat my introduction – what a great job of directing!

This is one of the best, subtlest and most sublime comedies I have ever had the privilege to watch. I was really sorry to see the credits roll up at the end. and that’s not what I feel about many movies these days

French movie 03 – Happiness is in the field (1995)

Happiness Is in the Field – Le bonheur est dans le pré (1995) – with English subtitles

Mandatory registration, mandatory Mask FFP2 , mandatory Super Green Pass; Please register Here (max 50 people in the Club House auditorium)

Wednesday 16 February at 8:45pm, Auditorium Club House

Everything goes awry in the life of Francis Bergeade: his firm is on strike, his wife Nicole despises him and he has a heart attack. All these reasons incite him, helped by his best friend Gérard to take the place of Michel who disappeared more than twenty years ago and is demanded by his family. Thus, Francis arrives in the life of Dolores who breeds ducks in the south of France with her two daughters…

Why you should see that movie :

If you like good, intelligent comedy (something completely different from American empty-headed comedies) this picture is perfect for you. It has interesting and witty dialogues, bright atmosphere and great performances by Michel Serrault (Francis) ,Eddy Mitchell (Gerard) and specially Sabine Azema who is excellent and hilarious as Francis’ wife Nicole.

The plot of “Le Bonheur est dans le pre” is a simple one, but the excellent casting, the finesse of tone and dialogues, the constant humour give this movie real class.

It’s a modern fairy tale, worth seeing again and again (especially when you feel a bit depressed, or slowed down), an apology of the simple (and free) pleasures of life.

Some might remember the ‘Safrane’ as one of the highlights of the movie, I prefer the one remark made by Cantona: “C’est pas lourd le confit !”

French movie 02 – The women on the 6th floor (2010)

The Women on the 6th Floor (2010) – with English subtitles

Mandatory registration, mandatory Mask FFP2 , mandatory Super Green Pass; Please register Here (max 50 people in the Club House auditorium)

Wednesday 02 February at 8:45pm, Auditorium Club House

Paris, in the early 1960s. Jean-Louis Joubert is a serious but uptight stockbroker, married to Suzanne, a starchy class-conscious woman and father of two arrogant teenage boys, currently in a boarding school. The affluent man lives a steady yet boring life. At least until, due to fortuitous circumstances, Maria, the charming new maid at the service of Jean-Louis’ family, makes him discover the servants’ quarter on the sixth floor of the luxury building he owns and lives in. There live a crowd of lively Spanish maids who will help Jean-Louis to open to a new civilization and a new approach of life. In their company – and more precisely in the company of beautiful Maria – Jean-Louis will gradually become another man, a better man.

Why you should see that movie :

This interesting film is full of humor , drama , touching scenes and good feeling . It is a simple , dramatic and humorous portrait of a time when the Spanish people had to go other countries in order to encounter a work . This amusing as well as funny picture deals about lives of the immigrants with a minor support in their live condition and including a touching and emotive finale . As in Spain of the 50s and 60s ruled by General Franco there’s no job , there’s no money , and there’s no option for the poor people but to emigrate to a foreign country and attempting to encounter work . As it concerns about the Spanish way of life of a crowd of maids , their habits , costumes ; at the same time they improve the serious but uptight stockbroker who lives a steady yet boring life , being suddenly changed when appear the Spanish maids ; as Jean-Louis will gradually become another man, a better man . Actors are frankly magnificent with a first-rate acting for whole cast . Sensational Fabrice Luchini along with the wife played Sandrine Kiberlain and a gorgeous as well as sympathetic Natalia Verbeke . Special mention to the group of Spanish maids magnificently performed by Carmen Maura , Lola Dueñas , Berta Ojea , among others . Colorful and evocative cinematography by Jean Claude Larrieu . Imaginative as well as sensitive original Music by Jorge Arriagada , Raul Ruiz’s usual . It was a success among spectators, as well as a hit smash in the various film festivals it took part in ; as it achieved Prix d’interprétation à Natalia Verbeke au festival Sarlat 2010 .