Thursday, 29 November 2007

La Vie En Rose

Today I saw La Vie En Rose (2007), a French movie (with subtitles) about the life of singer Edith Piaf which had been highly recommended from various friends. Be prepared: this movie is good, but very long (2:30) and certainly feels it. (I could have chopped out about half an hour quite comfortably.)

Also known as La Môme (2007), the movie documents the life of Edith Piaf, born on the streets of Paris in 1915, and her rise (and fall) from fame through her singing career. This 'little sparrow' (a tiny 4'8" woman) started out living on the streets with her mother before her father picked her up and dropped her off to live with her grandmother, a brothel madam. Edith was loved and cared for by Titine, a brothel worker, before her father returned and took her away to a life in the circus, where he was an acrobat/contortionist. Life goes on for poor, sickly Edith, who follows in her mother's footsteps and becomes a singer herself. The tale of her tragic career and personal life unfolds through a series of flashbacks and flashforwards - sometimes a bit confusing to follow, but generally very well portrayed.

A bit about the Empire Cinema in Island Bay ... I grew up knowing this building to be a hardware store, but heard my grandmother talking about the 'picture shows' she would see there as a little girl growing up in the bay. In 2005, it was restored and transformed into a gorgeous Lighthouse-style cinema with three boutique theatres and luxurious couches to recline on as you enjoy your cinema experience. If your movie starts before 6pm on a weekday, it only costs $10. They make great gelato and have heaps of free parking. (They're also literally two minutes down the road from me - really handy.) To top it off, I managed to get the whole cinema to myself today. Go, the Empire! :-)

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