Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Glowria here we come

One of the things we've really missed by living out here in provincial France is the chance to stay up to date with current films. As you can see from what I put on my profile...

I love to watch films and because of the lack of Version Originale films in our part of France, we bought a projector and turned a wall into a 'movie experience'. I even rustle, fidget and chat a bit just to simulate the real thing.

...we really enjoy an evening spent with the shutters closed (yes, shame to block out the daylight/setting sun but it's in a good cause) and having our shared movie experience.

When we first moved here - some seven years ago now - and got our first projector (we're on son of projector now) we signed up for an French online dvd rental club. All went well for the first year but then they went out of business only forgot to tell anyone. Our payments were still taken out of our account but no films were being received. We tried to cancel the standing order but in France that has to be done by the recipient of the money (go figure!). Film club sites had complaint after complaint about this particular organisation but, in the end, we were just put quite low down on their list of creditors.

We then resorted to the street booths which automatically dispense dvds once you put your bank card in. The drawback with these is that they are incredibly slow to read your bank details and then dispense your choice. You can be in this little booth for about 18 minutes waiting to breathe proper air again and all the while people are peeking in trying to hurry you up (and yes, I've done it myself to others). I'm fed up buying films from Amazon, as cheap as they are atm - our little book room is now full to bursting with shelves of books and dvds, some of which I just wouldn't bother to watch again.

It was time to stop all that. I have today signed up with Glowria - a French online dvd rental club. One drawback - so many of the film titles are translated into French (example - 'The Hangover was released in France as Very Bad Trip) and every foray into their site means I have to have the IMDB page open.

First two in my list - Vicky Christina Barcelona and Julie and Julia - and I didn't even need to look up the translation.


A Super Dilettante said...

My dear, Glowria sounds like a promising French online DVD rental club. I usually buy films on Amazon. Like you, my shelves are also running out of space with DVDs and Books. I wouldn't mind buying something that I know I would enjoy watching it again and again. A friend of mine recommended me to join Hope all is well with you. I'm composing a letter to you...will finish it during this long bank holiday weekend. Love xxx

Lulu LaBonne said...

Sounds good, I hated VCB and loved J&J (but then I am the only person in the world who can't stand Penelope C)

If there are other Brits in your area is it worth doing a swapping thing - I bet you're not the only one's with perfectly good dvds you don't want to watch again

Nora Johnson said...

Yes indeed watch out for mistranslations like some of these below:

In China, The Full Monty = Six Naked Pigs
As Good As it Gets = Mr Cat Poop

Grease = Vaseline

Czech Republic:
Bad Santa = Santa is a Pervert

And this snappy French one:
The Matrix = The Young People who traverse Dimensions wearing Sunglasses

Haha! Happy viewing, dear FF!Aren't you glad you don't live in China etc?!


C. Troubadour said...

Oy, what a mess with those booths and that company that went out of business! Hope Glowria works out for you. We do love our Netflix in the U.S.

Dumdad said...

Firstly, I have to disagree with Lulu LaBonne: I loved Vicky Christina Narcelona. But, unlike Lulu, I love Penelope C!

I've lived in Paris for 16 years now and have also had the problem about watching English/American movies. To start, I used to buy videos through Amazon and stock up every time I was in England.

A few months ago I had over 400 (yes, FOUR hundred videos) cluttering up the house. I've now given tons away and most of the rest I sacked up and junked. I still have about 100. I've had good value out of the videos as I must have watched each one at least twice.

Then came DVDs and I could hire from a local shop (still do). I also buy from Amazon. Latest purchases: Ashes to Ashes, the complete set of Jonathan Creek, Edge of Darkness.

I'm also lucky that our local flicks, the Kosmos, runs most films in VO and usually gets the very latest. For example, next week they're showing The Ghost. I loved the book so I hope the film will be good as well.

Oops, I've rabbited on.

Angie Muresan said...

Both those movies are amazing, FF.

We rarely watch movies any other place than at the theaters. If we like something, we buy it; but we really have to like it enough to want to watch it again.

Veggie Carrie said...

I love VCB... I think it's such a beautiful film. Maybe it's a bit like marmite though, as it appears to evoke mixed feelings. I haven't seen J&J though, that's on my 'to watch' list.

Steve said...

Suddenly recession ravaged Britain looks like the land of milk and honey for the sheer proliferation of cinemas in every town. Not sure what I'd do without them. As for buying DVDs on Amazon... I buy extra shelves every few months.

Anonymous said...

I don't know that video service, but I hope it works out for you.

Those are both great movies, enjoy your screenings.

Don't forget, Cannes is coming up soon!

the fly in the web said...

I want a DVD of 'The Duellists'.
Can't find it anywhere.

Ayak said...

I'm not really into films as such, although when we lived near Kusadasi I found a shop that sold pirate copies of all the latest films for 5 lira (apx 2 pounds) so I bought a couple. I order dvds of TV series where I've missed episodes, and ones that I know I'll watch over and over Morse and Spooks for I suppose if I found a rental company here I probably wouldn't use it.
Glad to hear you've found a new rental company...hope it works out better than the last one.

Anonymous said...

Lol Nora Johnson - I think the alternative translation for Bad Santa is spot on!!

I hope it works well (and doesn't go bust). I don't know if you can use Lovefilm in France. If you can then it is very good; I opted for pay as you go rather than a regular payment as it can take me some time to get round to watching it. They mean what they say too about no late fines etc. after I had had one film 3 months they e-mailed me a gentle reminder in case I had put something on top of the DVD and forgotten it.

Anonymous said...

Ah - two films that I really want to see! Online film rental is the way to go...

Lynda Howells said...

Hope you enjoyed or are enjoying your filmsx lynda

Jennysmith said...

Hi. Vicky Christina is very good. Don't know about the other one.

Yes, you can't keep buying these things - they really do clog up everywhere.

I've never joined a DVD thing. I don't even get up to Blockbuster. Would love a projection room. Makes me think of Hollywood and that. xxxx

Ken Devine said...

Home you're talking! Bev won't entertain the idea yet but when we get to France it'll be a different matter.

Anonymous said...

Julie and Julia is a lot of fun. I liked Julia better than I liked Julie.

Vera said...

Sounds fun, snuggling up watching home movies. Sometimes I miss watching a good film, especially at the weekends during the winter. Good idea about the projection onto a wall, providing one has a flat wall to project on to in the first place! Our walls are all uneven, so I think we would have a prob.

Delana said...

Great tip FF. I'm checking it out now. I rarely buy dvds because I usually only watch a film once. But now, as a "language learning" tool, I watch them first in English, second time in french with english subtitles, 3rd time in french with french subtitles...and lastly...well I haven't gotten to french only. Actually I tried it twice and fell asleep both times! BTW, Meryl Streep, does an amazing Julia Child

Anonymous said...

I so get what you mean about the film titles and those little booths. I would spend loads of time at them and would often get home to realise that I had already seen the film in English! I very rarely watch a film twice so watching it a second time in dubbed French if a bitter disappointment.

Hope the new rental website works out for you.

marc aurel said...

I still feel that I cannot live without "Une salle de projection". (I am practicing my french). I need that return to the womb, to enter a camera obscura with a machine instead of a pin hole. Recently I have been going to an all digital multiplex. I am an enthusiastic convert. Films will soon be beamed directly to all cinema halls and maybe, down the road, straight into our homes too. We may also finance films by subscription. The future beckons, decay takes a back seat. Tout est cinema.
(Inspired by "Les Parapluis de Cherbourg" - on youTube!

Carol said...

I've not seen Julie Julia yet but I read the book and thought it was absolutely brilliant!! (Although it made me so hungry I had to be careful when I read it!!)

Let me know what you think of it

C x

Jean said...

I buy DVD's when they are cheap enough and a lot cheaper than going to the cinema, which I hate - being crammed in with people I wouldn't usually choose to sit so close to for two hours.
Now I have piles of DVD's that I have watched once and will probably not watch again. Julie and Julia is an exception. I really enjoyed it and would certainly watch it again.
Good luck with Glowria.

lady macleod said...

OH I do miss my days in Rabat of visiting DVD alley where they had every film currently running in the theatres for a few dirhams; and a cache of old films as well.

Savitra said...

I'm about to give-up renting new releases from Netflix. Nothing wrong with Netflix but last night, for example, we were set to watch the new release of Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) but we had to sit through about 10 minutes of sales crap and nonsense before the actual movie. And the worse part was the dvd wouldn't permit fastforwarding or skipping to the menu. It was like having a telemarketer inside your house and not leaving when asked.

If that's the direction the film companies are going I done with it all.

Paul C said...

Good film choices. Three of mine are Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium with Dustin Hoffman, Bright Star depicting love for poet John Keats, and The Last STation with Christopher Plumber portraying Leo Tolstoy.

Dash said...

FF, I am so glad that we have sky TV. The local DVD rental shop has just closed down, it was pretty crap anyway, I am so jealous of Belle Mere, she has an arts cinema near her that show all the new releases in VO.

French Fancy said...

ASD - I've just spent ages adding films I'd missed first time round. I've got 4 on the way now - I've signed up for 4 a month and they send them all at once. We're going to make it a weekend thing

Lulu - it turns out that VCB is not being sent in my first batch. I had to make a long list and I guess they just pluck out what is immediately to hand. J&J is one of them though

Nora - that would be a good 'let's make a long car journey less boring' type of game.

Hello C Troubadour and welcome to the blog. Oh, that film company that went bust really taught us a big lesson here. It was when we found out that once you sign a standing order in France it can't be cancelled by the payee (which seems plain daft to me)

Dumdad - You are lucky to have such a good cinema so near. There are a few cinemas in Brittany that show VO films but the nearest is about 45 mins drive and - to be honest- the movie experience there is not so great. I have to take a cushion because I find the seats very uncomfy for my back

French Fancy said...

Angie - I used to love going to the cinema but I've got to say that watching things in the peace and quiet of one's own home is pretty good - especially as we have cinema quality viewing

Carrie - I am a big Woody fan - both of his films that he appears in and his films that he only directs. Mr FF prefers it when WA is not in the films however. Annie Hall/Manhattan are two of my favourite ever films

Steve - Amazon DVDs are so incredibly cheap now. I've got Avatar here and we are going to be watching it on Sunday evening.

Dedene - yes, Cannes is coming up but I've not been invited to any premieres - they missed me from the list

fly - I remember the Duellists. I bet you could get a copy on e-bay

Ayak - I enjoyed the first couple of series of Spooks but after a while it began to get too formulaic for me - that is my main gripe with most of the UK television series. I find US series like The Wire/ The Sopranos/ Six Feet Under to be more to my taste.

CA - No, unfortunately Lovefilm is for UK people only. I like their softly softly approach to reminding you though. I can't see the same technique happening in France somehow

Fi - I'm having a great time going through the database of 29,000 films and picking my list of 50.

Lynda - Hello and welcome to the blog. They should be with us in a few days and we've elected to watch one every weekend - which will take discipline I reckon, especially with some that I am dying to see.

Jen - I used to love going into a Blockbuster store. Mind you in those days I used to eat chocolate and the selection of what to eat during the film was almost as enjoyable as selecting the film

Ken - I wouldn't be without it. When we first got it set up I ordered one of the roller screens that took up about half the wall but it was a bit of a faff each time. I think they make electronic ones now but we're used to our blank white wall

Ian - Meryl is my favourite actress and I just love all her films. I so know I'm going to enjoy that one

Vera - I did grumble about having to lose a wall in the beginning - we had to move our painting and pictures all on to the other walls and - on entering our living room - to be confronted with a bare white wall is a bit odd. Mr FF has put a wooden surround framing the wall now but, even so, it would have been nice to have a dedicated movie room

Delana - yes, we sometimes watch our favourites with the French sous titres on and it does help a lot with the argoat.

Hello Piglet in France and welcome to the blog. Those booths drive me mad. Mr FF scrolls up them really quickly (he is conscious of the queue mounting outside) and I can never decide whether to look at the list of titles on the right or at the picture of the film on the left.Then that bank procedure is so slow - grrrr, this is a much better idea

Marc - I loved that extract you posted. Imagine the first time someone saw a film image in the cinema. It is such a hard concept to imagine - the very first person to see a moving image.They must have been totally mesmerised.

Carol - Oh I can't wait to see it now. You've really whetted my appetite

Jean - we've got dozens of DVDs now that I will never watch again. Maybe we should swap some

Ladym - Hello and welcome to the blog. It sounds like you've had a fair few experiences of seeing films in exotic places

Savitra - Hello and welcome to the blog. That drives me mad too. On our copy of Mamma Mia there are about 15mins of trailers first.

Paul - I've pre-ordered Bright Star with this DVD club but I don't think it's out till mid-June. I must keep an eye out for the Tolstoy one too, as well as find out about the Dustin Hoffman one you mentioned

Dash - we've got Sky but not the movie channel. Our only movie one is Film Four. We don't watch much tv really. I much prefer movies

Debs said...

Love the translated titles!

My daughter had borrowed Vicky Christina Barcelona for me from her father's enormous DVD collection. I can't wait to see it.

Anonymous said...

Sorry I have been a bit absent
much too much rushing around
and family and trying to write
and altogether being negligent of blog world!
When we lived in Marrakesh we would buy AWFUL pirated DVDS in French/English
where you would see people walking across the screen on their way to the loo
since they were shot in movie theaters
then we started downloading stuff onto the computer.
In NY there is far too much available not to mention the TRIBECA film festival next door.
Off to England on Monday for a week!!
to eat English food YUM

Phil Lowe said...

I get my film kick through and the rlocal Fopp store where the films are generally a fraction of the main shop prices. I watched The Hangover today. It was ace! I got it from the local library for a £1 hire for a week and often swap films with my neighbour. On occasion I actually go to the cinema - the independant one in town.

C. Troubadour said...

LOL, dear French Fancy, it's me, CT :). I had to shorten my name because it was spilling over into the picture I added (that paisley thing).

French Fancy said...

Hiya Debs - me too, I thought about driving for 90 mins there and back to see it when it was VO at Rennes but I sort of gave up on the idea.

Ewix - oh I'm glad everything is ok and it is just life that has got in the way. Have a wonderful UK trip and getting to hold little you know you. I'll be thinking of you

Phil - I've actually got the Hangover due to the generosity of a dear friend that I seem to have lost touch with. It is such a funny film.

CT - Oh silly me - and there I was cross on your behalf that someone had virtually ripped off your nick. :)