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10 French Movies That Can Transport You to Paris

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“America is my country, and Paris is my hometown,” wrote Gertrude Stein. Me, too; or, well, almost. For the last few years I was shuttling between New York and the French capital, where my now-husband worked, and in that time Paris came to feel like a city where I had history, whose streets I could navigate by muscle memory. Now that trans-Atlantic travel is all but suspended, the closest I can get to Paris is onscreen — but, luckily, the view is fantastic.

Paris was the site of the first movie screening, back in 1895 (though the Lumière Brothers shot those first pictures in Lyon). It remains the home of Europe’s largest, most vibrant film industry — France exports more movies than any country, bar the United States.

Here I’ve picked 10 movies that transport me back to Paris, from the early days of sound cinema to the age of streaming. I’ve omitted many Paris movies made in English, some shot on soundstages (“An American in Paris,” “Moulin Rouge!”) and others on location (“Funny Face,” “Midnight in Paris”). Instead I’ve selected the French films I rely on when I want to escape America for Paris … which, these days, is quite often.

Paris today is so much more than its touristic, tree-lined core; it’s continental Europe’s most diverse city, where French mingles with Arabic and Wolof and you’re more likely to hear Afro trap than Édith Piaf. This assured coming-of-age film by Céline Sciamma follows a young Black teenager as she shuttles across the racial, economic and cultural divides between Paris proper (or “Paname,” in the girls’ slang) and its suburban housing estates, whose architecture the director films with rare style and sympathy. Aubervilliers, Bondy, Mantes-la-Jolie, Aulnay-sous-Bois: these nodes of Greater Paris, birthplace of singers and stylists and the world’s greatest soccer players, deserve the spotlight too.


The most intimate and most Parisian film of Claire Denis, very probably France’s greatest living director, follows a widowed father, who is a train driver, and his only daughter, a student, as they hesitantly step away from each other and into new lives. The cast (including Mati Diop, who’s since become an acclaimed director herself) is almost entirely of African or Caribbean origin, yet this is the rare film that takes Paris’s diversity as a given, and its portraits of Parisians in the working-to-middle-class north of the capital have a fullness and benevolence that remain too rare in the French cinema. Just as beautiful as its scenes of family life are Ms. Denis’s frequent, lingering shots of the RER, Paris’s suburban commuter railway, which appears here as a bridge between worlds.


The near entirety of this gray-steeped musical — directed by Christophe Honoré and with a dozen tunes written by the singer-songwriter Alex Beaupain — takes place in the gentrifying but still scruffy 10th Arrondissement, where I put back a few too many drinks in my 20s. As its young lovers sing on some of Paris’s least photogenic streets, on their Ikea couches or in their overlit offices, the capital turns into something even more alluring than the City of Light of foreign fantasies. This is the film to watch if you miss everyday life in contemporary Paris, where even the overcast days merit a song.


Paris had a good 80s: think Louvre Pyramid, think Concorde, think Christian Lacroix. Éric Rohmer’s tale of an independent young woman, keen to hang onto both her boyfriend and her apartment, offers the most chic dissection of Parisian youth — big-haired models dancing in Second Empire ballrooms, and lovers philosophizing at cafe tables and one another’s beds. There’s a killer ’80s score by the electropop duo Elli et Jacno, but what makes its beauty so bittersweet is its sublime star Pascale Ogier, who died shortly after the film’s completion, age 25.


It’s just eight minutes long, it has no dialogue, but this is the wildest movie ever made in Paris; it’s a miracle that no one died. Early one morning, the director Claude Lelouch got in his Mercedes, fastened a camera to the bumper, and just floored it: down the broad Avenue Foch (where he clocks 125 miles an hour), through the Louvre, past the Opéra, through red lights and around blind corners and even onto the sidewalks, to the heights of Sacré-Cœur. Every time I watch it I end up covering my eyes and then laughing at the insanity of it all: cinéma vérité at top speed.


It’s 5 p.m. on June 21, the longest day of the year, and the pop singer Cléo has gone to a fortune teller to find out: is she dying? And for the rest of Agnès Varda’s incomparable slice of life we follow her in real time — one minute onscreen equals one minute in the narrative — across the capital’s left bank. She walks past the cafes of Montparnasse, down the wide Haussmannian boulevards and into the Parc Montsouris, where she meets a soldier on leave from the front in Algeria: another young Parisian uncertain if he’ll live another year. As Cléo puts her superstitions aside, the streets of Varda’s Paris serve as the accelerant for a woman’s self-confidence.


Jean-Luc Godard’s first feature is so celebrated for its innovative jump-cuts and careering narrative that we forget: this is, hands down, the greatest film ever made about an American in Paris. As the exchange student hawking the New York Herald Tribune on the Champs-Élysées, Jean Seberg invests the movie with a breezy expatriate glamour, feigning French insouciance but hanging onto American wonder. And if her language skills are iffy — my French husband imitates Seberg’s Franglais when he wants to mock my accent — she embodies the dream of becoming someone new in Paris, even if you fall for the wrong guy.


The suavest of all Paris gangster films — and my go-to movie for days sick in bed — orbits around the handsome narrow streets of hillside Montmartre and, just south, the seedy nightclubs and gambling dens of Pigalle. Bob, the elegant, white-haired “high roller” of the title, is a retired bank robber after one last big score, but Paris’s old underground, and its old codes of loyalty, are fading away. The cast is undeniably B-list, and genre conventions cling to their roles like barnacles: the world-weary but wise cafe proprietress, the hooker with a heart of gold. But watch as Melville’s hand-held camera trails Bob in his trench coat and fedora, or follows a garbage truck around the Place Pigalle like a ball in a roulette wheel. Paris looks like a jackpot.


We’re in Paris’s working-class northeast in this aching period drama of the belle epoque, directed by Jacques Becker and starring Simone Signoret as the titular golden-haired prostitute caught between two lovers. It’s based on a true story of a courtesan and the gang murders she inspired — but Mr. Becker paints the scene like a dream of the 19th-century capital, of cobblestoned alleyways, smoke-choked bistros and horse-drawn paddy wagons.


Jean Renoir’s early satire stars Michel Simon as a prodigiously bearded tramp who, one fine morning, walks halfway across the Pont des Arts and jumps into the Seine. Saved by a kindly bookseller, Boudu moves into his apartment and promptly turns his family’s life upside down. The movie’s skewering of middle-class values has not lost its bite, but its outdoor shots of the Latin Quarter, a university neighborhood not yet overrun by tourist-trap cafes, have become a poignant time capsule.


By: Jason Farago
Title: 10 French Movies That Can Transport You to Paris
Sourced From: www.nytimes.com/2020/11/17/travel/french-movies-paris.html
Published Date: Tue, 17 Nov 2020 12:51:43 +0000

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Vacation

What could you order from Ansett Airlines’ inflight bar in the early 1970s?

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People have always liked to drink on board flights, especially people from Australia. Therefore, it should be no surprise to anyone that there was an inflight bar offering in the 1970s.

Ansett Airlines were a major player in the Australian domestic market up until their demise in September 2001. For many years, there were two domestic airlines, Trans-Australia Airlines (TAA) and Ansett.

Ansett’s Inflight Bar

At the time, Ansett operated Boeing 727s, Douglas DC-9s and Fokker F27 Friendships on domestic routes in the country. Airline tickets were quite expensive, with tariffs agreed upon by both airlines thanks to Australia’s weird two-airline policy at the time.

While tickets were expensive and food complimentary, you still had to pay for a drink at the bar. Here is an inflight bar menu from the era, showing the drinks available and their prices.

Clearly the pricing is astounding by today’s standards – 30 cents for a beer? I’ll have thirty-three please! I like how Australian gin is 35c while the imported gin is just 5c more. Which would you choose?

You can tell it is from another era as you can buy cigarettes on board. These price up at 45c, a far cry from the extortionate prices people in the west pay these days for a smoke!

Overall Thoughts

The on board offering is pretty comprehensive for internal flights, and I imagine you’d be hard pressed not to find something you might like. In those times, all payments would have been by cash as well, which would have meant a lot of coinage being handled on board.

Of course, things haven’t changed too much over the years. On many airlines you pay for your drinks just as they did back in the 1970s. Shame the prices aren’t the same of course!

Did you ever buy drinks on board flights from the inflight bar back in the day? Do you still? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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Featured image by Daniel Tanner on Airliners.net via Wikimedia Commons.
Menu image by Ikara on Australian Frequent Flyer.

By: The Flight Detective
Title: What could you order from Ansett Airlines’ inflight bar in the early 1970s?
Sourced From: travelupdate.com/ansett-airlines-inflight-bar-menu/
Published Date: Thu, 19 Nov 2020 15:03:14 +0000

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These Shrimp Leave the Safety of Water and Walk on Land. But Why?

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The shrimp stop swimming at dusk and gather near the river’s edge. After sunset, they begin to climb out of the water. Then they march. All night long, the inch-long crustaceans parade along the rocks.

The parading shrimp of northeastern Thailand have inspired legends, dances and even a statue. (Locals also eat them.) During the rainy season, between late August and early October, tourists crowd the riverbanks with flashlights to watch the shrimp walk.

Watcharapong Hongjamrassilp first learned about the parading shrimp, and the hundred thousand or more tourists who come each year to see them, about 20 years ago. When he started studying biology, he returned to the topic. “I realized that we know nothing about this,” he said: What species are they? Why and how do they leave the safety of the water to walk upstream on dry land? Where are they going?

Mr. Hongjamrassilp, a graduate student at the University of California, Los Angeles, decided to answer those questions himself. His findings appeared this month in the Journal of Zoology.

Working with wildlife center staff members, Mr. Hongjamrassilp staked out nine sites along a river in Thailand’s Ubon Ratchathani province. They found shrimp parading at two of the sites — a stretch of rapids, and a low dam.

The videos they recorded revealed that the shrimp paraded from sundown to sunup. They traveled up to 65 feet upstream. Some individual shrimp stayed out of the water for 10 minutes or more.

“I was so surprised,” Mr. Hongjamrassilp said, “because I never thought that a shrimp can walk that long.” Staying in the river’s splash zone may help them keep their gills wet, so they can keep taking in oxygen. He also observed that the shells of the shrimp seem to trap a little water around their gills, like a reverse dive helmet.

DNA analysis from captured shrimp showed that nearly all belonged to the species Macrobrachium dienbienphuense, part of a genus of shrimp that live mostly or fully in freshwater. Many Macrobrachiumspecies spend part of their lives migrating upstream to their preferred habitats.

Most parading shrimp that Mr. Hongjamrassilp captured were young. Observations and lab experiments showed that these shrimp probably leave the water when the flow becomes too strong for them. Larger adult shrimp can handle a stronger current without washing away, so they’re less likely to leave the water.

Walking on land is dangerous for the little shrimp, even under cover of darkness. Predators including frogs, snakes and large spiders lurk nearby, Mr. Hongjamrassilp says. “Literally, they wait to eat them along the river.”

And the shrimp can survive on land for only so long. If the parading crustaceans lose their way, they may dry out and die before they get back to the river. A few times, Mr. Hongjamrassilp came across groups of lost shrimp dead on the rocks, their once-translucent bodies baked pink.

Yet most navigate upstream successfully, and scientists have spotted other freshwater shrimp around the world performing similar feats, scaling dams and even climbing waterfalls.

Leaving the water when the swimming gets tough may have helped these animals spread to new habitats over their evolutionary history, Mr. Hongjamrassilp said. Today, the number of parading shrimp in Thailand seems to be declining. He thinks tourist activity may be a factor, and learning more about the shrimp might help protect them.

The study’s authors made “some really excellent observations,” said Alan Covich, an ecologist at the University of Georgia who was not involved in the research. But understanding why the Ubon Ratchathani shrimp move upstream, and how far they travel, will require more research, he said.

“The most surprising thing to me was that it attracted so many tourists,” Dr. Covich said. He doesn’t know of any other example of people gathering to appreciate a crustacean in quite the same way.

“We have crayfish festivals, we have all kinds of things,” Dr. Covich said, “but generally it’s people eating them, not watching them move.”

By: Elizabeth Preston
Title: These Shrimp Leave the Safety of Water and Walk on Land. But Why?
Sourced From: www.nytimes.com/2020/11/18/science/shrimp-parade-thailand.html
Published Date: Wed, 18 Nov 2020 17:02:07 +0000

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Will Aer Lingus launch transatlantic flights from Manchester?

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There are reports that Aer Lingus have applied for 1,500 slots at Manchester Airport for the Summer 2021 season. This will allow the airline to base four aircraft there and service flights to the United States.

At present, there have been no press releases from the airline stating what is going on. Even so, it probably makes sense for the Irish airline to do this in the current market.

Aer Lingus And Manchester

From what is known, there will be three Airbus A321LRs and an A330 based at Manchester. These will operate non-stop services to New York JFK, Boston, Chicago and Orlando, and the season starts on 28 March 2021.

With Thomas Cook having gone out of business, there is likely space for another competitor. New York and Orlando will see competition from Virgin Atlantic, while the other two routes have no airline flying at the moment.

Aer Lingus has been connecting passengers over Dublin very successfully from the UK regions for a while now. Due to this, they will have visibility on traffic patterns, potential yields and more, making this an informed decision.

I imagine they also hope to cream off some of the connecting traffic that routes through London Heathrow on British Airways and Amsterdam on KLM among others. It would prove to be quite successful.

Transatlantic Joint Venture Approval

The US Department of Transport has tentatively given its approval for Aer Lingus to join the oneworld transatlantic joint business. This is operated by American Airlines, British Airways, Iberia and Finnair.

These airlines coordinate schedules and pricing, share revenues and expenses. For the consumer, it means more choice – those making a booking on British Airways across the Atlantic will also see options on American Airlines on the BA web site as one example.



Theoretically, it would allow people seeking flights on the British Airways web site to automatically be given options to fly non-stop with Aer Lingus, along with the Manchester-London Heathrow-US city connecting itinerary.

Whether Aer Lingus will join the oneworld alliance, even in a oneworld connect capacity remains to be seen. Frequent flyers would welcome it, especially those in Ireland.

Overall Thoughts

No doubt the boffins have been working behind the scenes to see if the business case for transatlantic flights from Manchester stack up. As things have proceeded as far as a slot application, I would guess chances are good that it will go ahead.

Either way, let’s see if this happens and if it does, whether Aer Lingus will stay for the long haul. If they can make more money elsewhere, they’ll up sticks and leave. Regardless, it is an interesting development in European aviation.

What do you think of Aer Lingus starting transatlantic services from Manchester? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

To never miss a post, follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
All my flight and lounge reviews are indexed here so check them out!

Featured image by N509FZ via Wikimedia Commons.
Aer Lingus A321neo LR by Pitmanaaron via Wikimedia Commons.
Business class cabin via One Mile At A Time.

By: The Flight Detective
Title: Will Aer Lingus launch transatlantic flights from Manchester?
Sourced From: travelupdate.com/aer-lingus-manchester/
Published Date: Wed, 18 Nov 2020 18:03:48 +0000

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