The South from your sofa: our Top 10 lockdown films

Being on lockdown doesn’t stop you travelling from the comfort of your home. Enjoy a sofa tour of the beautiful Région Sud thanks to On Guard, Jean de Florette, The Brice Man, Heartbreaker and more – you’ll soon be here for real!

Heartbreaker

Treachery on the Côte d’Azur

Let’s take a little trip to Monaco, Saint-Raphaël and Cap d’Ail with Pascal Chaumeil’s film “Heartbreaker” (2010). Alex Lippi (played by Romain Duris) makes a living breaking up couples. He is hired by the father of a rich heiress to ruin her upcoming wedding. But time is running out: Lippi only has 10 days to seduce Juliette Van Der Beck (Vanessa Paradis). After getting the low-down on her little foibles he poses as her bodyguard and goes into overdrive: Roquefort cheese for breakfast, slow songs by George Michael and dance moves from Dirty Dancing. Hilarious.

On Guard

At Château-Queyras

This time we’re off to the Southern Alps and Château Ville-Vieille at the heart of the gorgeous Queyras Regional Nature Reserve. Fort Queyras provides the impressive backdrop to “On Guard”, a cape and dagger adventure directed by Philippe de Broca (1997). We all need some relaxation right now and Fabrice Luchini is priceless in the role of the evil Count of Gonzague. Daniel Auteuil is the hunchback – or rather Lagardère posing as a hunchback! This delightful remake of Jean Marais’ 1960 film The Hunchback is a must. And watch out Gonzague: “If you don’t come to Lagardère, Lagardère will come to you!”.

Marius and Jeannette

Our beloved Marseille

The Estaque quarter in Marseille. Marius is a factory caretaker, while Jeannette is a single mother who struggles to make ends meet. Despite everything, their everyday life is lit up with laughter and typical Marseille verbal jousting with neighbours and friends. When Marius meets Jeannette, new beginnings and possibilities are born under the sunny skies of Marseille. A very touching film full of life and hope, signed by Robert Guédiguian (1997).

Largo Winch 2

Skydiving at Gap Tallard airfield

Ready to skydive off your sofa? Welcome to “Largo Winch 2”! Played by Tomer Sisley, Largo Winch is appointed as CEO of a major group after the death of his father. But on the very day he announces his intention to sell the corporation and use the proceeds to create a humanitarian foundation, a mysterious witness accuses him of crimes against humanity. To unveil the truth, he has to plunge back into his past. “Largo Winch 2” (Jérôme Salle, 2011) leads us on a thrilling voyage to Thailand, Honk Kong and Gap Tallard airfield in the Southern Alps, the location for the skydiving scene. Heart-stopping.

The Horseman on the Roof

A tour of Manosque, Avignon and Briançon

Inspired by Provencal author Jean Giono‘s novel of the same name, Jean-Paul Rappeneau’s film “The Horseman on the Roof” (1995) offers us a grand tour of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur. First stop: Manosque, where Angelo Pardi, a Colonel in the Piedmont Hussars, sought refuge in 1830 at the peak of the cholera outbreak. Accused by locals of poisoning their fountains, Angelo seeks shelter on the town’s rooftops and meets Pauline de Théus (Juliette Binoche). They roam Aix-en-Provence, Avignon and Briançon together to escape quarantine…

And God Created Woman

A Saint-Tropez icon

Music, Mediterranean waters, blue skies and the bewitching backdrop of Saint-Tropez, when it was still a little fishermen’s village. Roger Vadim‘s 1956 film And God Created Woman” is the perfect way to lighten up and start focusing on the pleasures of summer just around the corner. This legendary film made Saint-Tropez into a legend and propelled Brigitte Bardot, in the role of Juliette, to iconic status. Telling the story of a magnificent, extravagant and free woman against a backdrop of romantic jealousy and family quarrels, “And God Created Woman” is a much-needed breath of fresh air.

Jean de Florette and Manon des Sources

Pagnol’s Provence

A voyage into Provence in the 1920s… A little village lost in the garrigue near Aubagne sees the arrival of Jean de Florette (Gérard Depardieu), accompanied by his wife and their little girl, Manon. “Town people”, as they’re nicknamed here with a bit of a snigger. It has to be said, their arrival on this arid, sun-drenched land blessed with a natural spring isn’t to the likes of everyone. The hunchback falls foul to a wicked plot. But the truth always comes out in the end – even years later. With Jean de Florette and Manon des Sources (1986), Claude Berri pays a magnificent tribute to Pagnol and the landscapes of Provence. We can’t wait to rediscover them for real.

The Brice Man

Surfing in Nice

As far as films go, you won’t find anything better to clear your head during the lockdown. A wannabe surfing genius and party animal who loves to blow his own trumpet, Brice de Nice – the film’s original name – lives in Nice. His life goal: awaiting the perfect wave so he can finally prove his unsung talents to the world. But as life would have it, his lofty ambitions soon turn to dust. Directed by James Huth, this family comedy was released in 2005. And 15 years later, nobody has forgotten Brice’s cult comebacks. Catch the wave – French style!

 

Family Hero

Family feuds on the Riviera

We’re staying in Nice, in a cabaret club atmosphere this time! The survival of the “Blue Parrot” nightclub is threatened by the untimely death of its owner, forcing together family members (played by Gérard Lanvin, Catherine Deneuve and Emmanuelle Béart) who would rather have nothing to do with each other… Confusion and pain gives way to secrets revealed and lives turned upside down. Directed by Thierry Klifa in 2006, “Family Hero” lifts the veil with brio…

Four Seasons in Espigoule

Provence in a nutshell

Have you ever been to Espigoule? We doubt it, because the Provencal village depicted in “Four Seasons in Espigoule” simply doesn’t exist – although we secretly wish it did! In 1999, Christian Philibert spent a year filming everyday life in this fictional hamlet perched in the hills of the Haut-Var, resulting in a gleeful feature film in which “everything isn’t quite true, but nothing is quite untrue”. The locals are colourful, outspoken, eccentric, endearing – and resolutely happy: “Isn’t it great out here in the early morning? Not a pain in the butt in sight”.

 

Seray-(1)

LA ROUTE DU CINÉMA EN PROVENCE-ALPES-CÔTE D'AZUR

Du soleil marseillais aux étoiles cannoises, la route du cinéma en PACA est faite de lumière. Amoureux des tournages ou amateur de belles images, découvrez un itinéraire aussi passionnant qu’original en cinq grandes étapes. Suivez le script !

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