Transcript for Episode 500: Episode 500: Celebrating France on Film

Category: French Culture

Discussed in this Episode

  • Ratatouille
  • Midnight in Paris
  • Amélie
  • The Da Vinci Code
  • Les Misérables
  • Dunkirk
  • Inception
  • Taken
  • La Vie en Rose
  • Moulin Rouge
  • Marie Antoinette
  • The Count of Monte Cristo
  • Napoleon
  • All Quiet on the Western Front
  • A Good Year
  • French Kiss
  • Paris Can Wait
  • Monte Carlo
  • Murder Mystery 2
  • Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris
  • Jean de Florette
  • Manon des Sources
  • Le Chateau de Ma Mere
  • The Day of the Jackal
  • Diva
  • Just Paris
  • Before Sunset
  • Untouchables
  • La Haine
  • Le Ballon Rouge

Happy Aniversary! 500 podcast episodes

[00:00:15] Annie Sargent: This is Join Us in France, episode 500, cinq cents.

Bonjour, I’m Annie Sargent, and Join Us in France is the podcast where we take a conversational journey through the beauty, culture, and flavors of France.

Today on the podcast

[00:00:30] Annie Sargent: Today, I bring you a conversation with Elyse Rivin of Toulouse Guided Walks, who has been my most frequent guest on this podcast, and a wonderful friend, about movies to watch before a trip to France.

I’m not big into celebrating birthdays and anniversaries, as a matter of fact, I forget them most of the time, so I decided to keep it simple. But getting to 500 episodes is a big accomplishment that I will be forever proud of. And thank you all who’ve been guests on this podcast. I could not have done it without you. Merci.

Podcast supporters

[00:01:05] Annie Sargent: This podcast is brought to you by listeners who buy my tours and services, which you can explore at my boutique: Plus Patreon supporters receive new episodes as soon as they are ready and without ads.

If that sounds appealing, join them by following the link in the show notes.

The Magazine segment

[00:01:25] Annie Sargent: For the magazine parts of the podcast, today after my chat with Elyse, I’ll discuss the big deal about swimming in the Seine, or not swimming in the Seine for the Olympics, whatever it may be. And also about the new extension of line 14 of the Paris Metro, a wonderful achievement.


Annie and Elyse

[00:01:54] Annie Sargent: Bonjour, Elyse!

[00:01:55] Elyse Rivin: Bonjour, Annie!

[00:01:57] Annie Sargent: We are sitting together for the recording of the 500th episode of the Join Us in France travel podcast. I can barely believe it.

[00:02:07] Elyse Rivin: I cannot believe it.

[00:02:10] Annie Sargent: You have been on many of these episodes, perhaps 150, 200 of those?

[00:02:16] Elyse Rivin: But, I don’t really know. We started out together, at the beginning we were doing all of them together, but then I would say, I’m not sure that it’s somewhere between 40 and 50 percent of them. I’m not sure.

Evolution of the podcast

[00:02:27] Annie Sargent: Yes, you’ve been on a lot of episodes, so I just want to say that obviously, when you do 500 episodes, the content evolves, right? You can’t do the same thing over and over again. We started out purposefully speaking about Paris a lot, because we know people are interested in Paris and so am I, you know, but then we’ve branched out into a lot of places.

And I was listening to a show about over-tourism recently, this is French people who work in the Ministry of Tourism and places like that, and they were saying that the obvious solution is to try and send people to different places in France.

[00:03:05] Elyse Rivin: That are less well known.

[00:03:06] Annie Sargent: That are less well known. Because everybody tends to want to go to the same places.

And honestly, you can get similar experiences in a lot of places in France. You don’t need to go to that one chateau, that one hotel, that one bakery, that one… we have hundreds of them, so…

[00:03:25] Elyse Rivin: Thousands, I would say.

[00:03:26] Annie Sargent: Yes, thousands.

Yes, so it’s important for you listeners to kind of broaden your horizons, and that’s what we tried to do in the show.

Deciding what content to cover

[00:03:35] Elyse Rivin: I would also say that it is true when you think about it, 500 episodes, now I know a lot of them are trip reports and, different kinds of trip reports, which are very, very interesting.

And I know people like to hear other people’s experiences, but think of the work that we’ve put in to making episodes interesting that many times. I mean, finding new subjects, places, people, itineraries, ideas, you know, sometimes I don’t know if anybody out there realizes we sit and brainstorm about like, what are we going to do?

And is this a good idea? Is that a good idea? Yeah.

[00:04:07] Annie Sargent: Yes, yes. And I’ve started now because I have so many people who ask me to come on the podcast, I’ve started doing kind of pre-recording meetings, short meetings to make sure that the person, you know, that this person would be a good interview because once in a while I’ve talked to people who are low energy.

You were just telling me about a customer of yours who was… (Annie laughing) let’s put it this way, it didn’t react too much.

[00:04:33] Elyse Rivin: It’s very difficult to be with people who don’t react very much, especially when you’re doing what we’re doing, we don’t see you listening to this, so who knows what you’re reacting to when you actually listen to it. But when I walk around and do visits with people, I expect some kind of visual reaction.

[00:04:52] Annie Sargent: Yes, you would like that.

[00:04:53] Elyse Rivin: I would like that, really, please. Even if it’s just asking questions, but please, some kind of reaction.

[00:04:59] Annie Sargent: Yes. Yes. So the content has evolved over time, obviously. An episode we did recently was about Maurice Ravel, we go into biographies, we go into history, not just the places per se, although we do talk about the places an awful lot, but you know, the content has evolved over time.

Podcast-adjacent communities

[00:05:17] Annie Sargent: The other thing that has happened is that there’s been quite a lot of community building. We have a Facebook group that is pretty big, I don’t want it to be much bigger. We could just open the floods and let everybody in, but I do not want that, because it’s hard to manage, and once you have a few thousand people, you know, is good enough.

[00:05:39] Elyse Rivin: It certainly is.

[00:05:40] Annie Sargent: Yes. So that has been wonderful, we both have a Patreon community that has been lovely and keep it going, which is much, much appreciated because it takes, I mean, it’s a job, you know, it’s my full time job. You do a few other things, but…

[00:05:57] Elyse Rivin: Well, I do the guide work and actually as of next September, it will be almost exclusively the podcast and guide work.

I will not be doing anything else, which is a new event in my life.

[00:06:09] Annie Sargent: Right, you used to teach and you don’t do that anymore.

[00:06:11] Elyse Rivin: Yeah. Tomorrow is my last final ever day of teaching.

[00:06:14] Annie Sargent: Oh, wow.

[00:06:16] Elyse Rivin: It’s going to be interesting.

[00:06:17] Annie Sargent: Yes. That’s exciting though.

[00:06:19] Elyse Rivin: It’s exciting. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:06:21] Annie Sargent: You have to retire eventually, right?

[00:06:23] Elyse Rivin: I’ve decided that it just means I’ll be putting more energy into creative things including the podcasts and other things like that.

[00:06:32] Annie Sargent: Wonderful. Yep. So some lesson learned is that we never run out of topics.

[00:06:39] Elyse Rivin: Right. Well, we don’t, but that’s because, let’s really be realistic, France is filled with places, with people, in terms of history, I mean, how many villages are there? Thousands historical places, people through history. France has such a long, rich, rich history. So wonderful, really, there’s so much to talk about.

[00:07:00] Annie Sargent: Yeah. There’s no need to limit what we talk about because there’s so much.

Lessons learned

[00:07:05] Annie Sargent: You know, lesson learned is hard to say, I was a little worried that anytime you put your name and face out there into the public, there’s going to be creeps, but we haven’t had very many creeps.

We’ve had just a couple over 10 years and it’s been easy to deal with them. I’ve been lucky, but of course we don’t talk about anything controversial really, I mean, it’s just travel, like…

[00:07:27] Elyse Rivin: Right, I mean, if we talk about any person that’s controversial, it’s usually someone historical, so it’s distanced from us, you know, in a certain kind of way, but it’s true, it’s a travel podcast, it’s not a podcast that should be riling people up.

[00:07:42] Annie Sargent: No, no, we don’t, we don’t try to do that at all and I don’t try to use headlines or titles that are clickbaity, because it’s just not my style, you know.

And I’m very lucky also that I do itineraries with people just about every day and that’s invaluable because I talk to you listeners every day.

I don’t advertise this service anywhere. The people I talk to are our listeners and they do, I get a really good feeling, a good, a really good idea of what they want and what they’re looking for because I help them create itineraries, you know, so it’s very clear to me what’s going to be most helpful for our general listenership.

And also, we do the bootcamp now where we get to hang out with people, you know, that’s just once a year, but I mean, who knows? We might do it more times a year if we want to. But it’s, you know, meeting people for real is invaluable because when you know your listeners, you can cater to your listeners.

[00:08:43] Elyse Rivin: And I think it also goes the other way, that I think when people discover the podcast and start listening, they have a different relationship when they contact you or I.

[00:08:53] Annie Sargent: Oh yes!

[00:08:54] Elyse Rivin: I have had so many people, if they just write to me, if they’re curious about whether I can do, give them a visit or something, it’s like, I feel like I know you, you know, that’s the one of the first things they say, which is very nice, actually,

[00:09:05] Annie Sargent: It’s lovely working with people that feel like they know you is amazing. That’s just a great, great thing.

Trip Reports Are a Vital Part of this Podcast

[00:09:11] Annie Sargent: We’ve had lots of guest contributions as well with the podcast because of these 500 episodes, lots of them were trip reports with people who just want to give back to the community and want to talk on the podcast.

I’m always welcoming people who want to do that. I might do a little bit more screening because I get too many requests, but you know, it’s fantastic. And I get a lot of queries also from book agents and people who have property in France and things like that. And I try to limit that to a certain extent because, it’s a bit much, you know.

They want to publicize.

Yeah, well, they want to, you know, if they have a blog or a service or something. And it’s okay for me, I don’t mind, I don’t ask them for anything in return besides we have to record an interesting episode together, you know, it has to be of interest to people who are not necessarily going to buy your services.

This is the reality, but we’ve had lots and lots of people who have absolutely, most of the people who come on the podcast have zero to sell. They just want to share. And that’s the reality of, you know, visiting France, we keep it real because we don’t make a movie about France. We tell you what it’s really like.

And I let people express themselves about what their trip was really like. So I think that’s really valuable as well. And it’s valuable for me as well.

Challenges we’ve had to Overcome

[00:10:41] Annie Sargent: There’s been some challenges to overcome. Most of them have to do with technology. I’m very lucky now that I have a podcast editor and my husband has been by my side troubleshooting a lot of things and helping me understand a lot of things.

He has more time for that kind of things now. He didn’t have much time to help me in the past, but I’m very lucky that now he has more time to help me, and so that’s been very good. I’ve had to learn a lot of new technologies that I had no idea…

But… but everyone out there should know that Annie likes learning about new technologies.

I do. I really do. It’s fun for me.

Looking forward

[00:11:21] Annie Sargent: Now, looking forward, well, we’re just going to keep doing what we’re doing. So, this is episode 500, we might have another 500, who knows?

You know, that’s 500 episodes takes about 10 years. So we’ll be old by then.

[00:11:34] Elyse Rivin: Ooh, I might be… I might be in a little bit of a situation trying to do that many episodes from a little bit of a chair, I don’t know.

[00:11:44] Annie Sargent: We’ll see, we’ll see, we’ll see.

[00:11:46] Elyse Rivin: We’ll see how things go. Well, hopefully it will work.

[00:11:49] Annie Sargent: I’m very, very grateful to all the listeners, to all the people who reach out to us and do episodes with me, and to all the patrons, to all the people who send in tips, recommendations, who participate, you know, talk back because we, I mean, we’ve enjoyed hanging out together, just recording.

[00:12:09] Elyse Rivin: You and I? Oh, for sure.

[00:12:11] Annie Sargent: Yeah, we just like, you know, she comes over, we talk, we do some stuff over Zoom, but we try to do it in person as much as possible. And it’s a lot, I mean, it’s very nice, I like doing this.

[00:12:22] Elyse Rivin: I just want to add something too, because the, between the people from the podcast directly who, for instance, contact us because of Patreon, or the people in the bootcamp, or even the people that through the podcast actually, for instance, contact me to do a visit, one of the things I’ve been getting a kick out of is meeting people from so many different places. For instance, so many different states in the United States that, places I’ve never, ever been to. People from New Zealand, and people from Australia, and it’s really wonderful.

I just find that it’s just, it’s like, it broadens my horizons as well. It’s like, I’m going, you listen in Australia and you’ve come this far? You know, this is just, it’s just great.

[00:13:03] Annie Sargent: Yes, this morning I was talking to somebody in Hong Kong. Hong Kong. Yes. She’s coming to Paris, Paris and Provence in a few days, she’s arriving and we just did a ‘Bonjour chat’ because she wanted very, very well organized lady. Very, very well organized. Anyway, lovely to talk to all of you and I’m very grateful for the podcast.

I hope, I mean, producing 500 episodes is no feat, you know, no small feat.

No, no small feat, it’s a big feat. It’s a big feat, not small one. But it’s given me so many opportunities and I wouldn’t change anything, like, I’m really happy I convinced you to do this with me.

[00:13:39] Elyse Rivin: Yes. When she did, I went: A podcast?

What? What’s that?

[00:13:46] Annie Sargent: But you figured it out.

That’s wonderful.

Films you should watch before a Trip to France

[00:13:49] Annie Sargent: All right. Let’s talk about films you should watch before a trip to France. Now, when I say should, I don’t really mean should, you don’t have to, you don’t have to do anything, but movies are fun. Okay. Movies and series, at the end of the day, I don’t know about you, but I enjoy just sitting down and watch something.

[00:14:09] Elyse Rivin: Well, you’re talking to the right person here, you know. I love all films, and I love series, and I really must say that, I studied French starting in high school, and an absolutely epiphanal, now that’s a big word, experience for me, was my junior year. When I was a junior in high school, my French teacher, bless her, she’s in heaven for the last God knows how many years now, took our class to the city, because I was in the suburb of New York, to see a film by Truffaut.

And I had never, ever seen anything but good old American films before.

It was a revelation. It was a revelation, first of all, because I loved the fact that it was a French film, and it was of course filmed in Paris, but also, especially me, who’s really into art and culture and things like that, it was a revelation that there are other ways of making films, and there are other styles of acting. And I have never, ever forgotten that day and that experience, and it set me off on my quest to know more about cinema, especially French cinema.

[00:15:16] Annie Sargent: Interesting. So yes, you actually go to the movies a lot more than I do. I like to watch stuff at home.

[00:15:23] Elyse Rivin: Well know that you can.

[00:15:24] Annie Sargent: Yes. And when you couldn’t, I would go watch some movies, but even big movies, sometimes I didn’t go. Like I wasn’t, it was never my…

[00:15:32] Elyse Rivin: Yeah, I love going to the movies.

[00:15:34] Annie Sargent: So it is true that movies can help you with cultural climitations?

Is that a word? Aclimatization?


[00:15:45] Elyse Rivin: Acclimation?

Maybe acclimation.

I’m not sure if that’s the French word or the English word.

[00:15:50] Annie Sargent: Yeah, so you get used to learning about a place, it’s different, you know, you do that.

Language exposure in movies

[00:15:54] Annie Sargent: There’s some language exposure in movies. Although if you watch movies just in English, meh, yeah. I’m really annoyed that Disney+ and some Amazon streaming services, they will only show me movies dubbed into French.

Yes, I watched one just now on Disney+.

[00:16:13] Elyse Rivin: You can’t get it in the original language.

[00:16:14] Annie Sargent: You cannot switch to the original language, which annoys me because I can see on their lips.

I can read their lips. It’s English.

[00:16:21] Elyse Rivin: Well that’s, I have this ongoing discussion with my husband because I will only watch films in original version.

I don’t care what country they’re from. And I’ll read the subtitles. Of course, here I read them in French. But I don’t see the point of watching somebody mouth something that you know is not the original language or the voice.

[00:16:39] Annie Sargent: Yeah, I prefer the original voice. Anyway, movies also give you some historical context, some movies more than others. There’s a lot of historical movies about World War II, World War I.

Big events like that. So those are great. Scenic preview of the beautiful places in France is wonderful. Now, of course, you need to know that when they make a movie, they empty the place.

They light it just right. They do a, I mean, if you’ve ever seen a movie being filmed in Paris, they turn an area into a set and it’s a big, big deal turning a whole, an area into a set. So it’s not something they do easily, but it will give you an idea of what the places look like and what the nicest looking places in France are.

Obviously. The architectural highlights for the same reason. You will see buildings like you don’t see at home, you know, in movies that are set in France. Also culinary curiosity. You know, it will just go, Oh, what are they eating?

[00:17:42] Elyse Rivin: Oh, food, of course, is a big subject of films in France.

[00:17:45] Annie Sargent: Yes, it really is. And also emotional connections with the country, which would, you were just saying, you know, for you, it was a big deal that, that emotionally you got hooked.

[00:17:55] Elyse Rivin: I did.

[00:17:56] Annie Sargent: For people who like fashion and style, you can see that movies also, you know, they show you the fashion and the style.

On the other hand, of course, these are movies. You should know that we don’t all drive 2 CV or Renault 4 or you know, thank God…

When I walk, in my village, there is no Edith Piaf or re place, you know, playing in the background unless I have earbuds and then I can do what I want. French women don’t all look stunning and perfect. No, no. Some of don’t even give a damn.

Come to France as you are

[00:18:29] Elyse Rivin: And interestingly enough, there are still lots of people who write when they’re about to plan their trips to France and worry that they’re not going to be chic enough.

You know what, France has learned to be like America, that is, people wear comfortable shoes, they wear comfortable clothes, it’s finished where you have to walk around on high heels and these tiny little dresses, that’s all gone.

[00:18:51] Annie Sargent: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. French men are not all charming and trustworthy…

[00:18:55] Elyse Rivin: Or trying to make a pass at you.

[00:18:56] Annie Sargent: Or, yeah, or that. Yes.

Can you imagine? It would be so tiring. We don’t all live in chateaus surrounded by vineyards.

A Good Year

[00:19:05] Annie Sargent: We don’t all have a housekeeper that will come and, one of them, the movie I was watching just when you arrived…

It’s called “A Good Year”.

[00:19:14] Elyse Rivin: The one by Maille?

[00:19:15] Annie Sargent: Yes. Yeah. It’s a fun movie, but you know, there’s a housekeeper, there’s scorpions in this movie. Apparently, that house in Provence has scorpions. There’s no scorpions in Toulouse, thank God. And whenever he sees a scorpion, he screams and the housekeeper runs to kill the scorpion for him.

We don’t have that, you know, for spiders, well, I have rushed to people’s assistance with spiders before. You know, we don’t all have cicadas singing all day long, thank God that would be awful. But you knew all that, right? I mean, you’re not dumb, you know, these are movies, these are movies.

An American in Paris

[00:19:52] Annie Sargent: And there are some movies that are particularly unrealistic, like “An American in Paris”.

[00:19:59] Elyse Rivin: You talking about the Gene Kelly one? Oh, it was filmed at a studio. I don’t even think it was filmed in France.

[00:20:04] Annie Sargent: No, none of it is in France.

And it’s singing and dancing. It’s lovely.

[00:20:09] Elyse Rivin: But it has, it’s not France.

[00:20:11] Annie Sargent: Yes, it’s called an American in Paris, but it’s not France. Okay.

Amélie Poulain

[00:20:14] Annie Sargent: Amélie Poulain.

[00:20:16] Elyse Rivin: Amélie Poulain. Okay. Let’s talk gritty here. Okay. The exterior scenes were really shot in Montmartre.

[00:20:23] Annie Sargent: Sure.

[00:20:24] Elyse Rivin: Of course, the story is a fairytale, which is delightful.

It’s an absolutely delightful story, but at least you get real exterior shots, which, of course, have helped people want to go to the same two places all the time, the grocery store and the cafe. But still, you do get a sense for a part of Montmartre from the film.

[00:20:41] Annie Sargent: The grocery store is in my Montmartre walking tour, but not the cafe, because it was down the hill too far. And I’m ah, I don’t want to schlep them all the way down the hill just for that.

[00:20:50] Elyse Rivin: It’s true that it does give you a glimpse of that part of Paris.

Right, right.

Moulin Rouge movies

[00:20:56] Annie Sargent: Then you have Moulin Rouge.

Now, which Moulin Rouge? Because there are several.

So there’s one from 2001, it’s like…

[00:21:05] Elyse Rivin: The one with Nicole Kidman?

[00:21:07] Annie Sargent: I think so, yes. Well, now that one, as far as I remember, I did see it in the movies. I haven’t seen it again since. It’s just this big musical where everybody sings. Was it actually about the Moulin Rouge?

No, it’s about the whole can-can thing and, the whole style of entertainment that Moulin Rouge embodies.

[00:21:27] Elyse Rivin: I have a vague memory of it being this kind of entertaining, but very weird movie, actually, you know.

[00:21:33] Annie Sargent: Yeah, and by the way, the paddles of the Moulin Rouge fell down. Yes.

[00:21:38] Elyse Rivin: Well, they’ve been up for a long time.

[00:21:40] Annie Sargent: Probably going to put them up again.

[00:21:41] Elyse Rivin: However, there is another Moulin Rouge. I put it on my little list, and I remember watching this several times on television. And this was even before I knew I was going to be an art student and come to France and I’ve seen it since. It’s an old, old movie, it’s really old.

It’s called Moulin Rouge and it’s about the life of Toulouse Lautrec. And the actor, it’s an American movie. So I doubt very much if it was filmed in France at all, but it’s pretty realistic in terms of what his life was like when he moved to Paris to become an artist. And the actor who played him, I remember this because it impressed me, I was young the first time I saw it, and I must’ve been in high school or in college, they didn’t have computer generated imagery at the time. And they fixed it the camera in a way so that it looked like he had stumpy legs because he really didn’t have stumpy legs. And so he walked around and you really get the impression that was way the poor Toulouse Lautrec actually, the way he walked, you know, it was very realistic in terms of talking about how hard his life was as a cripple.

[00:22:45] Annie Sargent: Yeah, yeah, he had some.

[00:22:47] Elyse Rivin: But it was interesting because it shows him as an artist too.

[00:22:49] Annie Sargent: So that’s one that you would recommend, if people can find it.

[00:22:52] Elyse Rivin: Yes. Yes. If you can find it, if you can stream it somewhere. Yes. Yeah.

[00:22:56] Annie Sargent: Yeah. And I can’t verify which ones you can stream from where you are, because it changes with country. Like, you know, there’s some things I can see here in France, but not in Spain. Like, ah, it’s annoying. It’s Europe.


La La Land

[00:23:09] Annie Sargent: Another movie that’s not very realistic about France is La La Land, but it only ends in Paris. But the Paris it shows at the end is not real at all.

Midnight in Paris (2011)

[00:23:20] Elyse Rivin: No, but, do you have Midnight in Paris there?

[00:23:23] Annie Sargent: Yes, I was coming to that in a second.

[00:23:25] Elyse Rivin: Oh, because it’s one of my faves.

[00:23:27] Annie Sargent: So, I couldn’t watch it again because nobody streams it or sells it here.

[00:23:32] Elyse Rivin: I just watched it again on French television.

Ah, well, but I don’t watch French Television.

It was on Canal Plus just recently, about a month ago.

[00:23:39] Annie Sargent: Yeah. Yeah.

[00:23:40] Elyse Rivin: I love it. I love it. Now, it was really filmed, the exterior scenes were really filmed all in Paris, some of them around the Panthéon, Rue Saint Geneviève, and it really is a wonderful homage to the crazy Paris of the 1920s and 30s, and it’s fun, it’s so much fun.

[00:23:57] Annie Sargent: It’s a delightful movie. I really recommend that one because it’s just delightful to watch.

[00:24:01] Elyse Rivin: And it mentions all the artists that were big, you know, I don’t even know if some of them were famous at the time, but they’re all famous now.

[00:24:07] Annie Sargent: Yeah. Yeah.

The Da Vinci Code (2006)

[00:24:09] Annie Sargent: Da Vinci Code, the movie, which is half in Paris, half in London, well, perhaps not quite half in London, but a lot of it is in London, but the Paris scenes are fabulous. Like it’s

[00:24:21] Elyse Rivin: And the Saint-Sulpice when he goes into Saint-Sulpice, right?

[00:24:24] Annie Sargent: Yes, yes. So that one is, I mean, that one is worth watching just because, there’s a lot of action, it’s fun, it takes place a lot of it in the center of Paris.

[00:24:35] Elyse Rivin: They do a lot of running.

[00:24:36] Annie Sargent: And Touteau, what’s her first name? Audrey Tautou.

Yeah. She has a bit of a French accent when she speaks English, but they don’t make fun of it, which is nice because a lot of American movies and TVs and things make fun of French accents.

So thank you for not making fun of her French accent.

[00:24:54] Elyse Rivin: And she’s same one that’s in Amélie.

[00:24:56] Annie Sargent: Yes. Yes. She’s Amélie as well. Yes. Yes. She’s a great actress.

French Kiss

[00:25:00] Annie Sargent: French Kiss is, it’s one with, what’s his name?

[00:25:05] Elyse Rivin: I don’t know that one.

[00:25:07] Annie Sargent: Hang on.

So French kiss was filmed in 1995. It has Kevin Kline. It’s very unrealistic. It’s this vineyard kind of story. It’s very much like A Good Year, which the story of A Good Year is the… kind of the go, go, go financier from the city of London, inherits a property in France, in Southern France. He had spent time there as a child with his uncle, but hasn’t been back for a long time and he goes back and he intends to just sell it and get it over with. But of course, things happen. Things happen. The one thing that’s very realistic is that at some point, there is a potential second heir that shows up. And it is true that in France, even if an heir shows up 10 years after the estate has been settled, they can always claim their part of the estate.

Even that much later? Yes. So this is a part of the plot that is realistic. That’s just French law, how it works. So French Kiss, the one with Kevin Kline is that sort of movie, but I haven’t watched it again because I couldn’t find it anywhere to stream.

Paris Can Wait (2016)

[00:26:21] Annie Sargent: Another one ‘Paris Can Wait’.

Have you seen that one? I don’t remember seeing that one.

[00:26:27] Elyse Rivin: Who’s it by?

[00:26:28] Annie Sargent: I don’t remember.

Apparently, it’s lots of landscapes of France and just a beautiful, a beautiful show, but I don’t remember seeing.

Monte Carlo (2011)

[00:26:36] Annie Sargent: Monte Carlo is, kind of a teen comedy and it shows Monte Carlo and fairytale kind of playground for rich people, you know, and it glosses over the realities of local, you know, but a fun movie if you, yeah, this is not one that I’ve seen.

(Mid-roll ad spot)

[00:26:52] Annie Sargent: So tell us about the ones that you’ve watched or that you remember and that you recommend.


[00:26:57] Elyse Rivin: Okay, so of course we’ve mentioned the other one about Paris, granted it’s an animation, but Ratatouille is a movie that everybody has to see.

[00:27:07] Annie Sargent: I rewatched it this week.

[00:27:10] Elyse Rivin: I mean, it’s a Pixar movie, okay?

But it really, using, I mean, this little mouse, you know, who wants to be a chef, you know? It’s a delightful, delightful movie, and I love it because it’s really a parody of the snobbism of the French chefs and French cooking, and they all have these very silly French accents and everything.

And in the animation, they do such a lovely job of drawing Paris, and it’s just a fun, fun, fun movie.

[00:27:35] Annie Sargent: And there’s one spot in the movie where he’s standing in front of the rat killing store.

And he’s shaking in his boots. Like, oh, that’s what they do to us.

On my Les Halle Tour, the food tour, I take you right to that.

[00:27:55] Elyse Rivin: So it really exists?

It really exists. It’s for real.


One of the things I love about the movie is that food critic, you know, I mean, people who have restaurants who really have pretensions of a good restaurant tremble, literally tremble. You see them shaking in the movie.

It’s a delightful movie. It really is.

[00:28:14] Annie Sargent: Yes, I agree. I enjoy watching it again. If you have grandkids or anybody young in your family, you got to sit down and watch that with them.

[00:28:21] Elyse Rivin: You’ll never again see a little mouse making haute cuisine. So there you are, you know.

Is Paris Burning? (1960)

[00:28:25] Elyse Rivin: I have two movies that are about World War II. Now, there are lots, and lots, and lots of movies about World War II. I was trying to figure out, which of the movies that I think are the most, in some way, realistic and really are filmed in places.

And one of them I just interestingly re-saw, interestingly enough, on television, because it’s a very old movie, and that is a classic called ‘Is Paris Burning?’ And it was filmed in the 1960s before Paris cleaned up. So you see, it’s about the very end of World War II, when the German general was given the order by Hitler to bomb and destroy Paris and how he disobeys. And the whole movie is about the tension between, is he going to destroy Paris before the allies arrive or not?

And it was filmed in Paris, on the streets in Paris, and you see all of the gorgeous buildings, the Haussmannian street buildings and everything, but they are black with soot because in the 1960s, they hadn’t yet cleaned everything up. And so it’s quite remarkable, both because it’s very realistic in terms of what the story is, even though you have some famous actors, like I think Burt Lancaster and people like that, but it’s also because it really is filmed on the streets in Paris, you know, so it’s really worth.

The Longest Day

[00:29:40] Elyse Rivin: And then I was debating and then I decided that I wanted to add ‘The Longest Day’ by Spielberg. Because he really did film it on the beaches in Normandy and he really did go to the towns there and, again, it’s even more of a serious movie than ‘Is Paris Burning?’ Because Paris Burning basically has what you could call in some strange way a happy ending, but it’s a fabulous movie and it’s very realistic in terms of the events leading up to the invasion of Normandy. And since we’re coming up to the 80th anniversary, for anybody out there who is planning anywhere in the near future of going to Normandy, this is of course a great movie to see.

[00:30:18] Annie Sargent: Definitely is. So I installed an app recently on my phone called, Just Watch. And with this app, you can see where a particular movie is either streaming or available for purchase in your locale. And unfortunately, there were not a single one World War II movies that I could find. You know, I tried to remember all the titles and then I put in a keyword World War II.

Not a single one is streaming around here. And perhaps I just didn’t do the search right, but it’s kind of sad.

[00:30:54] Elyse Rivin: That is kind of sad, especially because French television tends to replay certain movies, especially the French ones, of course. But of course you never know ahead of time when they’re going to show them. And it isn’t necessarily on a streaming service, so if it’s just on public television, that doesn’t mean you’re going to have access to it particularly, you know.

[00:31:12] Annie Sargent: Right, I mean, Canal Plus has this streaming thing that you can subscribe to.

[00:31:18] Elyse Rivin: They do. And of course, they keep them for a certain amount of time. Some films are kept longer than others. I do not know how that works, the availability. But the other movies, I sort of made them by little categories. I had fun doing this.

Marie Antoinette by Sofia Coppola (2006)

[00:31:31] Elyse Rivin: Two movies about queens, one of which is much more fun and less serious than the other. The fun one is Marie Antoinette by Sofia Coppola, which was made in 2006. If I’m not mistaken, she actually got permission to film some of the scenes in Versailles.

Almost the entire film takes place in Versailles, and it’s of course about Marie Antoinette and her life as a young queen, but with a very californian take on it. I don’t know how else to explain it, you know, so it’s really fun to watch. It’s gorgeous costumes and scenery. And my God, how did they walk around with those things on top of their heads all the time, you know?

But it’s really gives you an idea of the opulence and the weird etiquette of the court in Versailles.

La Reine Margot (1994)

[00:32:18] Elyse Rivin: And the other one, which is far more serious and it’s not for children, just to be warned, is that ‘La Reine Margot’, which is a French movie about the very first wife of the King Henry IV and Margot, her name was actually Margaret, was the sister of three brothers who became in one after the other kings and all died.

And that was how Henry IV wound up becoming king, our famous Protestant king of France. It’s a movie that is at the same time, realistic historically, and very, very, very over the top baroque. And very French. So it’s definitely not a movie for children, but it’s very, very interesting if you want to see what life was like at that time.

[00:33:00] Annie Sargent: Yeah, I meant to stream that one on Netflix and I didn’t get to it before we recorded.

[00:33:06] Elyse Rivin: It’s Isabelle Adjani when she was much younger before she lifted her face and her neck and her, the rest of her body all at the same time.

The Three Musketeers

[00:33:13] Elyse Rivin: And there’s a third one, which is, is just the latest version of something that you love and that is the Three Musketeers.

Yes, it came out last year with three very popular young French actors and Vincent Cassel who plays the older guy in it, but it made a fortune at the movies. It was a huge, huge success and I honestly was, I didn’t have time, I was going to go online and see how many versions of the Three Musketeers there are.

I actually do not have any idea. Lots!

But there’ve been television versions, there’ve been movie versions.

But if anybody wants to see a new, wonderful version of, at least the first half of the story, because it was cut into, made into two movies, go see this one, and it is streaming, you can get it now, because it’s a very recent movie, and it’s so much fun, and the sword scenes are absolutely fabulous.

[00:34:02] Annie Sargent: Yeah, like those. I like those.

Jean de Florette and Manon des Sources

[00:34:04] Annie Sargent: And then I just added a few that are really filmed in places outside of Paris and outside of the North and my favorites, and I just recently, when I say recently means in the last six, eight months, we saw them, interestingly enough, on television, and that is the two films together: Jean de Florette and Manon des Sources.

Yes, and I wanted to re-watch them and I cannot find them for streaming anywhere in France.

[00:34:30] Elyse Rivin: So strange. And those are wonderful. I was actually shocked to see that, because I didn’t remember, that they were made in 1986, which is a long time ago, which really makes me feel old, let me tell you. They are based on the books by Jean Giono and they are wonderful and they are filmed in Provence.

And every scene is filmed out of doors in Provence and they’re based on this classic story of, it’s actually the turn of the 20th century. That’s where, it’s both a romance and a tragic story, but it’s wonderful, gorgeous, great acting, won all kinds of awards. And the two films are basically the two volumes of the story that followed the history of this family.

It’s two generations. It’s with great actors that are still around and very, very famous. And so I highly recommend seeing them.

[00:35:23] Annie Sargent: And the third one is called Le Chateau de Ma Mere.

[00:35:25] Elyse Rivin: Le Chateau de Ma Mere, which is less exciting. I just recently saw it again.

[00:35:29] Annie Sargent: I haven’t seen it for a long time.

[00:35:32] Elyse Rivin: Even my husband, who really would rather watch that than anything Americanized, said eh, eh.

It doesn’t have the same action that Jean de Florette and Manon des Sources has, it’s a little bit more, oh, this is the story of my mama, this is the story of my papa, it’s nice because it was filmed.

And then another one that I saw a while ago, but I would love to watch again with Juliette Binoche is in French ‘Le Hussard sur le toit’. The hazard, I don’t even know how you say hazard in English. It’s an officer in the army and actually it takes place in 1830s. It’s based on a book by Giono also.

But it’s about a real event, although the story is romanticized, and it was filmed in Manosque and Cisteron in the Provence area. And it’s about a huge epidemic of cholera. And how these soldiers who were part of the Savoy Italian Army at a time when Nice and Provence was not actually an official part of France, were sent to help, do something to help these people because there was this huge epidemic, I don’t even remember how long it lasted, that was terrible in that part of the Southeast. And it’s a very beautiful, romantic movie, in spite of the subject matter, it actually is.

[00:36:43] Annie Sargent: Huh, interesting,

[00:36:44] Elyse Rivin: And the last one on my list, it’s fun, it’s funny, and it takes place in the Gers.

There aren’t too many movies that are specifically, it’s actually the subject of the movie. It’s with Eddie Mitchell and a group of other actors that people in France know, and it’s called L’amour est dans le pré, which is basically that ‘Love is in the fields’, and it’s really about a group of Parisians who are very snobbish, who wind up in this country house in the Gers, which we’ve done as a podcast where of course nothing really happens, it’s just the countryside. And how at first they go crazy because they were so bored and then eventually fall in love with how wonderful it is in the Gers. And it was filmed there.

[00:37:24] Annie Sargent: Yeah, so it’s a bit like ‘A good year’. In the end, they fall love.

[00:37:28] Elyse Rivin: This is the French version, with lots duck food.

[00:37:31] Annie Sargent: Yeah, Gers, mean… what are you going to do?

[00:37:33] Elyse Rivin: It’s foie gras and duck.

[00:37:34] Annie Sargent: So the ones that I rewatched in preparation for this episode is the Da Vinci Code, I recommend, Ratatouille, which I also recommend, A Good Year, it’s okay, I mean, you know, it’s fine.

Murder Mystery 2

[00:37:46] Annie Sargent: And Murder Mystery 2. So this is Jennifer Aniston, and what’s the name of guy?

He’s really super famous. Anyway, it’s really silly. It’s extremely silly. The second half of the movie takes place in Paris. With the first half takes place in some Island. It’s a sort of comedy that’s almost French style comedy, like it’s so over the top. It’s very, very over the top. But the scenes in Paris, at the end, and the scenes around the Eiffel Tower are incredible. I don’t know how long they had to close down the Eiffel Tower to film all of this, but there’s some serious action. If you want to see Jennifer Aniston jumping over the side of the Eiffel Tower, you got to watch Murder Mystery 2, because that’s not something you see everywhere.

It was, that was a really silly movie, just to, it’s entertaining, you know, it’s… but it is filmed in Paris. It is the real Eiffel Tower. It was very fun to watch it.

[00:38:45] Elyse Rivin: I just realized there was one category of film I hadn’t even thought of that probably could have added. There’ve been a few films in the last few years about the history of Dior and about the history of high fashion.

Mrs. Harris goes to Paris

[00:38:56] Elyse Rivin: And I saw that on that very big list that people who’ve been listening have sent in, a movie that I actually did see on streaming on television recently. It is true, it’s very charming. It’s ‘Mrs. Harris goes to Paris’ with a wonderful British actress, of course, now that I can see her face and her name escapes me completely. But it’s really about her going to the Dior house in the 1950s or 60s, because she has this dream of having this high-end gorgeous ball gown.

I think aside from the fact that part of it was filmed on the streets, they did actually get permission to film scenes inside the House of Dior. If you want to see a film that talks about the whole world of the high-end haute couture, it’s a kind of fun little film to see.

[00:39:39] Annie Sargent: Right. Right. And to end, we’re going to go through some of the movies, because this was a, this was inspired by a discussion on the Facebook group. I don’t even know who started this discussion, but somebody who just wanted to do some research about France by watching movies before her trip. So she started a list and then a bunch of people added to it.

Ballerina (2016)

[00:40:02] Annie Sargent: And I’m just going to skip the ones that we already talked about, but ‘Ballerina’, apparently 2016, an orphan escapes to Paris and dances. From, apparently this lady, this person said it’s streaming on Tubi or Roku channel. I don’t know what Tubi is.

A Monster in Paris

[00:40:18] Annie Sargent: ‘A monster in Paris’ from 2011. A monster in 1910 Paris falls for a beautiful singer, streaming on Peacock and Amazon.

Rugrats in Paris (2001)

[00:40:27] Annie Sargent: Rugrats in Paris, from 2000, I think that’s, animated. Stu works on an amusement park in Paris, and the gang travels with him. It’s streaming on Paramount+ in the US, not in France.

A Cat in Paris (2010)

[00:40:41] Annie Sargent: A Cat in Paris, 2010, a cat helps rescue a girl, sounds good to me, streaming in Tubi.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

[00:40:50] Annie Sargent: The Hunchback of Notre Dame 1996, of course, we didn’t mention this one, Quasimodo locked in a tower must help a woman, that’s streming on Disney, in the US.

And just like Three Musketeers, there are probably a bazillion versions.

Of course, yes.

The Aristocats

[00:41:06] Annie Sargent: The Aristocats, of course, The Aristocats. So the abandoned cats returned to their home in Paris. That’s streaming on Disney, but not in France.

Historical films about war and revenge, uh, pre revolution

[00:41:15] Annie Sargent: Historical films about war and revenge, pre-revolution: The Man in the Iron Mask, The Three Musketeers,

[00:41:23] Elyse Rivin: Les Misérables.

[00:41:25] Annie Sargent: Of course. Les Misérables. There’s a couple of versions. This person recommends, specifically the 2012.

Hugh Jackman, he plays Jean Valjean and Anne Hathaway, and she played, she won an Oscar for playing Fantine.

Marie Antoinette, the 2006 movie with Kirsten Dunst. Is that the same one you were…?

The Count of Monte Cristo, 2002

[00:41:47] Annie Sargent: The Count of Monte Cristo, 2002, wrongfully imprisoned man seeks revenge.

Napoleon, 2003

[00:41:54] Annie Sargent: Post Revolution, Napoleon from 2003, so this is an epic, epic biopic Waterloo, historical war film.

I couldn’t find that one.

All Quiet on the Western Front, 2022

[00:42:05] Annie Sargent: World War I, ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’ from 2022. Yeah.

[00:42:11] Elyse Rivin: Uh, 2022?

[00:42:12] Annie Sargent: Yes, apparently 2022.

[00:42:13] Elyse Rivin: They remade it?

Yes… apparently.

Because it’s a classic from the 1940s.

[00:42:18] Annie Sargent: It’s a book, obviously, I mean, I read the book, I don’t remember seeing the movie, either old or new, but apparently…

[00:42:24] Elyse Rivin: It’s a classic of what is considered to be an anti-war movie.

Dunkirk, 2017

[00:42:28] Annie Sargent: Right. World War II, Dunkirk, that’s the 2017.

Yeah, so the allied soldiers retreat at Dunkirk, during the Battle of France.

[00:42:38] Elyse Rivin: I have to say that, I do think Longest Day is much better, it’s became famous and got great reviews for the use of cinematography but…. whatever, I mean, it’s another movie… I definitely think the Longest Day, if you’re going to choose one of them, choose the Longest Day.

[00:42:54] Annie Sargent: Yeah, yeah.

Hugo, 2011

[00:42:56] Annie Sargent: There’s another movie called Hugo, 2011. So best picture winner about a boy who lives alone in 1930s Paris. I don’t know anything about this one.

Chocolat, 2000

[00:43:05] Annie Sargent: Chocolat, 2000.

[00:43:07] Elyse Rivin: Which is delightful.

[00:43:09] Annie Sargent: A woman and her daughter open up a store in 1959 France. It’s aparently streaming on Paramount+, and Amazon Prime.


[00:43:17] Annie Sargent: So now, suspense. Inception, which…

[00:43:22] Elyse Rivin: Same Nolan, the same guy who did Dunkirk.

OK, yeah. So this is… the thief, Leonardo DiCaprio, steals by going into dreams. That’s streaming on Hulu. And there’s a magnificent scene of that taking place on the Bir-Hakeim bridge in Paris. It’s part of my Eiffel Tower tour, I take you to that.

Taken, 2008

[00:43:47] Annie Sargent: Taken 2008, Liam Neeson, tries to save his kidnapped daughter in Paris.

[00:43:53] Elyse Rivin: Well Taken, there’s a 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, I think. Yeah. He has somebody taken just about everywhere and he has to go find them.

[00:44:02] Annie Sargent: So this is like Angela Lansbury. Do not want to be a nephew of hers because they all get murdered.

[00:44:08] Elyse Rivin: So this one, I think there’s more than one that actually takes place in Paris.

[00:44:13] Annie Sargent: There you go. All right.

La Vie en Rose, 2007

[00:44:14] Annie Sargent: La Vie en Rose, 2007, a biography about Édith Piaf, with Marianne Cotillard.

Aha, very good. Yeah, I did not see that one.

[00:44:22] Elyse Rivin: I did see it. It’s actually, she does a very good job of playing her. I don’t know, I doubt if she was actually the one who sang, but it was actually quite good.


Funny Face, 1957

[00:44:32] Elyse Rivin: Funny face. 1957. Audrey Hepburn

Yes. And and Fred Astair.

Dancing and singing.

[00:44:38] Annie Sargent: Apparently it’s streaming on Paramount+.

[00:44:41] Elyse Rivin: With paper mache walls that represent Paris.

Julie and Julia, 2009

[00:44:45] Annie Sargent: Oh, oh, one that’s very good, Julie and Julia from the 2009 Meryl Streep plays Julia Child, apparently it’s streaming on Prime, but not in France.

Paris Je t’aime, 2007

[00:44:59] Annie Sargent: ‘Paris, Je t’aime.’ 2007.

20 Filmmakers explore the many faces of love, it’s streaming on Peacock and on Amazon. Yes. I would like that.

C’était un rendez vous

[00:45:10] Annie Sargent: C’était un rendez vous, 1976. French short film on high speed drive through Paris.

C’était un rendez vous.

TV Series

[00:45:18] Annie Sargent: Call my agent series.

[00:45:21] Elyse Rivin: That’s a series. A great series.

[00:45:23] Annie Sargent: Great series. Yeah.

[00:45:24] Elyse Rivin: Yes. Yeah. No, series is a whole other thing. We have another podcast just on series, I think.

[00:45:28] Annie Sargent: Well, we did one about… what’s her name, Emily in Paris (2020).

We did one about that. John Wick 4, Montmartre fight scene apparently is quite spectacular.

I don’t know anything about this one.

Lupin, which is a series.

Which is a series. A series but it’s very good.


[00:45:45] Annie Sargent: Oh, another one I watched is Untouchables, to prepare for this episode.

[00:45:50] Elyse Rivin: That made him famous. Yes.

[00:45:52] Annie Sargent: So Untouchables, if you can get that in the US, it is a marvelous movie. It’s based on a true story about this paraplegic, very successful man who had an accident and is now quadriplegic and needs assistance for all sorts of things.

And he has a lot of people, because he’s very rich, he has a lot of people assisting him and he’s looking for a new person to do physical therapy, bathe him, that sort of thing. And Omar Sy shows up to take the job.

[00:46:24] Elyse Rivin: From the other side of the boulevard, as they say, the other side of rocade in French.

[00:46:28] Annie Sargent: Yes. yes. It’s wonderful. It is wonderful. Both of the actors are, all of the actors are excellent.

A great, great movie called Untouchables. Loved it. I loved seeing it again.

Oh, somebody says Jean Luc Godard’s films, you know, groundbreaking in New Wave cinema. There’s Contempt, A Woman is a Woman, Breathless.

La Haine

[00:46:48] Annie Sargent: Let’s see, La Haine.

[00:46:50] Elyse Rivin: Which I have never seen. It’s a very violent movie.

About guys in the ghetto.

And, Matthew Kasavitz is one of the… and Vincent Casello, two of the actors in it. I’ve heard lots of things about it in all the years, but I have never actually had the stomach to actually watch it.

Le Ballon Rouge

[00:47:06] Annie Sargent: Yeah, yeah. Le Ballon Rouge, The Red Balloon. That’s like this little kid runs around Paris and the red balloon, I think it’s an animation or perhaps it’s…

I watched it with my daughter when she was little. It’s really, really cute. The little red balloon bounces up and down, and the kid chases down the balloon.

It’s lovely. It’s, yeah, it’s fantastic.


Napoleon, 2023

[00:47:28] Annie Sargent: Napoleon from 2023.

[00:47:30] Elyse Rivin: Which is the one with

Joaquin Phoenix. That just was last year. I didn’t see it. I actually, my husband went to see it on recommendation of my stepdaughter.

Apparently, the battle scenes are really incredible, really well done. It’s supposed to be pretty much an analysis of his entire life, and it’s weak, what I’ve heard from a lot of people is that the battle scenes are great, go for that, but it’s not going to give you more insight into who he really was.

[00:47:57] Annie Sargent: Didn’t see it either, so I can’t really say one way or the other.

The Day of the Jackal, 1973

[00:48:01] Annie Sargent: The Day of the Jackal, 1973 political thriller set in 1963, based on a true attempt by French right wingers to kill Président De Gaulle for granting independence to Algeria. Great cast, lots of action, set mostly in Paris and surroundings.

Diva, 1981

[00:48:19] Annie Sargent: Diva, 1981, young postman on motor scooter falls in love with an American opera singer who has a concert in Paris, then gets caught up in a tale of Parisian police corruption and Asian intrigue.

[00:48:33] Elyse Rivin: I believe it’s Luc Besson, no?

[00:48:34] Annie Sargent: I think you’re right.

[00:48:36] Elyse Rivin: It’s totally surrealistic.

[00:48:37] Annie Sargent: This person says, one of the coolest movies of the 1980s, brilliant for showing Paris by night. Plus, it has two Citroën Traction, ha, ha, Traction avant

[00:48:48] Elyse Rivin: I think it was filmed, there were some scenes in the subway, actually.

[00:48:51] Annie Sargent: Also, okay. The person says it has two Citroën Traction Avant and a man slicing a baguette. Compulsory viewing, says whoever wrote this.

Just Paris

[00:49:01] Annie Sargent: And there’s a movie called Just Paris by Cédric Klapisch with Romain Duris. It’s from 2008 and maybe the best movie for showing places like Amelie Poulain, but I think it’s the most authentic about people in Paris just living their lives.

Before Sunset, 2004

[00:49:19] Annie Sargent: And then Before Sunset from 2004.

[00:49:23] Elyse Rivin: Which is charming.

[00:49:24] Annie Sargent: I haven’t seen it.

[00:49:25] Elyse Rivin: Oh, what’s her name? She’s a French actress who moved to the States who made the movie. It’s a very, it’s kind of like a less quirky Woody Allen type movie.

[00:49:35] Annie Sargent: Okay.

[00:49:35] Elyse Rivin: It’s very romantic and it’s really charming.

[00:49:38] Annie Sargent: All right. And then Desire, great movie with Marlon Brando, all about the woman Napoleon was engaged to before Josephine.

Let’s see, Before Sunset and Nocturna. Two very different movie, Taxi and Taxi 2.

[00:49:54] Elyse Rivin: All the Taxis, there’s 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, they all take place in Marseille and they’re all about a wild taxi driver and thieves and burglars.

It’s silly. It’s about car rides and chases in Marseille.

[00:50:06] Annie Sargent: Okay.

Dan Levy’s ‘Good Grief’ on Netflix, I enjoyed it for the parts I did watch. A lot of people can hate on Emily in Paris all they want, but it is truly visually stunning. Absolutely love those drone shots of Paris they have in between scenes.

And it’s true that you cannot use a drone in Paris unless you’re a movie maker. And you have permits and all of that. Oh, we have been talking too long Elyse, too long.

[00:50:31] Elyse Rivin: Oh my goodness, we could do movies forever, and ever, and ever, Annie.

[00:50:35] Annie Sargent: Well, but this was really interesting because I would have liked to watch more of these movies, I swear, it’s hard to see them. This is where my good old collection of DVDs comes in handy. But I took all of those down to Spain. I did, and so I think I have some of these movies on DVD, but they are in Espana, so I will have to go watch them down there.

[00:50:59] Elyse Rivin: Now you’re going to have to go watch down there. It’s going to confuse your brain between the Spanish and the French again.

Merci Beaucoup Elyse here’s to another 500!

[00:51:11] Annie Sargent: Let’s clink, let’s clink by your microphone, by the microphone. Whoa, sorry. Oh, and by the way, we never drink on the podcast. I know there’s a lot of podcasters who drink, ah, you know, they drink some wine or beer while podcasting.

Oh, no!

We never, ever do that. If we’re silly, it’s just a natural silly.

It’s not the… not the drinking silly kind. All right, Elyse.

[00:51:37] Elyse Rivin: Bye Annie!

[00:51:37] Annie Sargent: Au revoir.

[00:51:38] Elyse Rivin: Au revoir.

Thank you Patrons!

[00:51:39] Annie Sargent: Again, I want to thank my patrons for giving back and supporting the show. Patreon supporters get new episodes as soon as they are ready and ad-free. And those of you who choose to pay annually, save 16% OFF.

I offer five levels of support with increasingly great perks that start at $2 per month, and you can see all of that at

And a shout out this week to new patrons: Wouter Koek, Jonellyn Dittenhauser, JoAnn Stubbings, and my thanks to Amanda Rose for increasing your pledge to Groupie du Podcast. And to all my current patrons, merci, patrons make all the difference and go behind the scenes helping me make this podcast a great resource for francophiles, and we also interact one on one quite a bit. And to support Elyse go to

To Swim or not to Swim

[00:52:45] Annie Sargent: So one of my patrons sent me a question about swimming in the Seine or not, whatever the case may be. Okay. What’s happening? Let me explain. Let me try to explain what’s happening.

In Paris, they have an extensive water reclamation system that gets overwhelmed at times, mostly by rain and runoff.

So, especially for the Olympics, they had a goal that the Seine would be swimmable. And it has been swimmable in the past, you can see photos of people jumping into the Seine from the Pont d’Inéa in 1945, and then it got more and more polluted. Not that it’s a filthy, horrible river that catch on fire or anything like that, but the pollution levels are too high for people to swim in.

The cleanup started about 20 years ago when they started putting in all sorts of things to retain the water and re claim it, clean it up before it got to the Seine. They were hoping that this would be completely done by this year, and theoretically it should have been. Except that this year is extremely rainy, probably three or four times rainier than normal.

And so they need to have at least a week or two without rain before the system can catch up, and clean up all the water running into the river. And that’s why it is not certain that the Olympics swimming competition will take place in the Seine as was initially planned, perhaps they will have to do it at a swimming pool instead, which is not the end of the world but, there you have it. Weather is unpredictable.


Extension to line 14 of the Paris Metro

[00:54:31] Annie Sargent: And the other thing I wanted to mention is that the extension to line 14 of the Paris Metro is now in operation. This extension is fully automated, it is also fully accessible, whereas most of the rest of the Paris Metro is not. Every station is protected by doors.

It’s like line one of the metro has been for a long time. This metro will serve between Orly airport and Saint Denis Pleyel, where a major Olympic venue is. The construction lasted for eight years. They added 14 kilometers of tracks and 16 stations. They will have a new metro come every 85 seconds in peak hours, which is a lot of metros.

The ride time between Châtelet and Orly is going to be 25 minutes, so that’s half as long as what it is today with the RERB, and those who have a monthly or yearly pass will have the fee to get to the Orly airport included. I am not certain if the weekly pass includes this.

Several people have told me that it does, but I found a lot of interviews with people on French radio, et cetera, where they say it’s not for weekly pass holders. And so I don’t know. It’s a question that somebody needs to ask at a metro station because it’s really not clear, I’ve heard, but for yearly and monthly, I know it’s included, for the weekly Navigo, I’m not sure.

But, the cost is 11.50 Euro, it’s not a super expensive way, for the most part they’ve counted on visitors to fund a lot of the costs of the Paris Metro, and I think it’s going to be wonderful to be able to go to Orly on the Metro. French people, I should add, mostly when we fly within France, we mostly fly into Orly. We rarely fly into CDG. That’s mostly for international travelers.

My thanks to podcast editors, Anne and Cristian Cotovan, who produced the transcripts.

Next week on the Podcast

[00:56:39] Annie Sargent: Next week on the podcast, an episode with Cami Turner about getting her first taste of France. It’s always good to talk to people who come visit for the first time because they notice a lot of things that the rest of us perhaps are blind to anymore. And remember, patrons get an ad-free version of this episode, click on the link in the show notes to be like them.

Thank you so much for listening, I hope you join me next time so we can look around France together, and perhaps for another 500 episodes of this podcast.

Au revoir.


[00:57:16] Annie Sargent: The Join Us in France travel podcast is written, hosted, and produced by Annie Sargent and Copyright 2024 by AddictedToFrance. It is released under a Creative Commons, attribution, non-commercial, no derivatives license.


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Category: French Culture