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5 pseudo-profound French quotes about the movies

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I’ve been at the Sundance Film Festival all week, so I thought I’d find a nice quote about the movies. But hélas! I kept coming across quotes that seem profound but are in fact quite stupid. So, here are 5 of them. What do you think? Am I being too harsh?

First, from celebrated cinéaste Jean-Luc Godard:

« Quand on va au cinéma, on lève la tête. Quand on regarde la télévision, on la baisse. »

What does that even mean? What if you sit in the balcony at the movies? What if you have a TV above your fireplace or you sit on the floor while watching the télé?  What if you watch a movie on TV? I could go on, but I won’t.

Next up, a quote from René Clair:

« Réclamons pour le cinéma le droit de n’être jugé que sur ses promesses. »

The right to only be judged on one’s promises? As in, I promised this would be a good movie, but I lied? 

« Si on a du génie, on fait pas de cinéma, on écrit un grand livre. »

Maybe Michel Audiard, who was a screenwriter after all, was just attempting to be self-deprecating when he said this? Let’s move on to a quote from director/screenwriter André Téchiné about how cinéma can lapse into navel-gazing. 

« Un cinéaste, ça se demande comment va le monde. S’il ne pose pas cette question, il fait du cinéma qui se prend le pouls. »

It sounds poetic, but it’s a fairly trite statement. Basically, he’s saying that if you don’t ask what’s going on in the world, then you’re not asking what’s going on in the world. Deep.

Let’s finish things off with some American bashing from Bertrand Tavernier.

« Un film n’est pas seulement une histoire que le cinéma vend, mais aussi une culture, un pays, un autre type de consommation. Cela, les Américains l’ont pas très bien compris. »

If America isn’t selling an entire culture and a country with its movies then I don’t know who is.

 

One hour of conversation…

One hour of conversation

“One hour of conversation is better than 50 letters”  If epistolary genius Mme de Sévigné says it, it must be true.

Ask Mark Twain

Dear Mark Twain,

I’ve been studying French for quite a while now, and I really want to visit Paris and see all the sights. It just sounds so romantic! You’re a famous, beloved author who’s traveled all over Europe. What were your favorite sights to see in Paris?

Sincerely,

francophilexoxo2013

Dear absurdly-named person,

Anywhere is better than Paris. Paris the cold, Paris the drizzly, Paris the rainy, Paris the damnable.

-Mark Twain

(Editor’s note: that’s a real quote from the man.)

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Paris Street Art + Quote

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