by Phantazein Studio
Cinema is a huge part of the social culture in France. Membership cards to various theaters are common, allowing unlimited access to films monthly. I had such a card myself, and I spent many nights alone in a darkened theatre taking in every type of movie from the hilarious to the obscene in order to improve my French. Needless to say I developed a new appreciation for American films (yep I said it).
I profited from this membership especially in the first several months, while I was a new expat with a less than bumping social agenda. Admittedly, I’d start off more than a few nights feeling bummed and wandering the city until ultimately settling into a movie theatre, haphazardly choosing whichever French film I hadn’t already hit up. The two hour ritual of sitting alone in a dark room and slumping into the velvet cushions as I’d let my overstimulated mind go numb was equally as important as the film itself. I miss these nights sometimes. The overpowering anonymity of being truly alone in a foreign country, facing a foreign culture, taking in spoken words in a language not quite my own, as lovely foreign images pass before me.