Category Archives: The wor(l)d of Claude Duty

The wor(l)d of Claude Duty (6/6) : here we are!

The festival is on tracks and, if you have been following our advices, you should be fully prepared to face the week ahead. But, there are still some little things you need to know! So here’s a specific word-book with a few key words to memorize. This will avoid misunderstandings and disappointments:

Cabriolet
Nothing to do with a sport car, this is the obligatory way to go to Arc 2000 and if you’re brave enough, or a very good skier, up to the height og 3000 meters.

Cheese
On your way back, before taking the train, make sure you pass by the cooperative, located just in front of the train station at Bourg St Maurice, and bring back home delicious flavoured memories from your stay at les Arcs.

Funicular
It is the pride of all the resort, 1600, 1800, 1950 and 2000. You can take it from the platform at the train station of Bourg Saint Maurice… Once there, just use the shuttles (see Shuttles)

Luigi
This name, which fit perfectly the Italy Focus of this year’s festival, is also the sign of a restaurant, bar and night club, located in the center of the Village Arc 1950. Crossroads of the festival, you will inevitably come across festivalgoers, ready to give you the schedule for the screenings not to be missed, or to advise a local specialty or give you the name of a must-see, must-go place.

Shuttles
Required to roam around the different sites of Les Arcs. Make sure you quickly locate the stops and right down all the schedules to organize your time. Remember to stay calm at the rallying points of the shuttles.

Ochaud
Not to be mixed up with « warm ».
The must-go nightclub after midnight in Arc 1950! It is often very hot at Ochaud. Music, alcohol, and pretty girls surround delusional sound. Location not recommended for silence lovers.

Q and A – Shortcut Anglo-Saxon meaning: debates -
Not to be missed. After some screenings, you will have the chance to talk to actors, producers, directors and technicians of the films. But WARNING! Consider looking at your watch because the shuttle will not wait (see Shuttle)

Savoie
This is not the name of the region, but the name of the residence (Arc 1950) also known as the hotspot of the festival, where the festival staff stays, as well as the VIP, it is the main meeting place of the festival… It is kind of the holy of holies of the event. Don’t forget to bring your autograph book with you.

Savoy
Not to mixed up with the Savoie residence (located at Arc 1950). The Savoy is « THE » Theatre venue (280 seats) of Bourg Saint Maurice.

Taillefer
Taillefer is the name of the architect (Bernard Taillefer) who built the center of the same name, that is why you must say “La Salle Taillefer” or “center B. Taillefer”. Cannes has its bunker, Venice, its Lido, Berlin’s Berlinale Palast, Deauville, its CIC, Les Arcs have Taillefer. It is the heart of the festival, located in Arc 1800, which held all the official screenings of the films in competition, and of course, the opening and closing screenings of the event.

Here is the sum and substance of the festival. But for more information, do not hesitate, at Luigi, to talk to customers, holding a festival pass (See Luigi).

The wor(l)d of Claude Duty (4/6)

Packing time!

Enriched by the many advices our Blog provided you, it is now time to think about packing! And as any great reporter will tell you: this is a critical time!

Tip number 5 : do not forget anything and think about every detail!

Your bag must be a real survival kit, to face any situation you will live during those seven days of madness.

Of course, in order to compete with our Italian guests, you’ll have to think about a wardrobe worthy of the legendary elegance of our friends, but even so, do not neglected down jackets, scarves, moonboots, hats and good gloves, and just like James Bond wearing a tuxedo underneath his wetsuit, you will have to switch in a jiffy from 3000 meters – 20 °, to the depths of dark theatres, vibrating glitter and champagne.

In your toilet bag, slide the summary of our previous tips: eye drops, Oxiboldine, effervescent Upsa, ear plugs, not to mention what your family doctor will prescribe on a private basis, but let’s not be too intrusive.

No need to bring food along, the resort that will welcome you have great food shops! Just reread our tip dedicated to cocktails and culinary celebration that the festival offers. Any way, it’s not like if you were going to Adelie Land!

Don’t forget, of course, to bring along your universal image handbook. Fit in your suitcase a folding travel bag, you’ll fill, at the end of the festival, with DVD of rare and cutting edge films, that you can dig out at the festival shop, crozets packets, bottles of wine made in Savoy and the adorable little stuffed groundhog spotted in the window of one of the wonderful stores in 1950 … unless it is in 1800 … But I’ll stop there, people will start to think I’m in the advertising! Those gifts will delight your loved ones, who stayed at home, a little bit jealous of your tanned and radiant look. They will suddenly seem determined to accompany you to Les Arcs next year!

The wor(l)d of Claude Duty (4/6)

Tip number 4: The Babel Tower

Our previous advices to wonderfully cope with the crazyness of the Arcs European Film Festival were dedicated to Italy and we avoided to get onto Dante’s language. As you can imagine, this oversight was intentional because now it is the time to open the tricky chapter of the “Babel Tower” side of this international shaped festival.

During several days, you will tack between english, italian, polish, spanish and other languages, dialects and accents of all kinds. It is time to prepare yourself.

Some of you will be naturally gifted and will not have any problems to upgrade themselves by flicking through the international cable channels or delve into old french-english, english-portuguese, bantou-dutch textbooks and they will be all set.

However for the others (which I admit shamefully be part of) a solution must be found. Let’s forget about the esperantist path, I believe it is as hard as to pass by a universal language enthusiast in the snowy sloped of the Arcs than running by a rutting yeti. Then remains the solution of hanging on your tattered english escaped from your youth, as a mountaineer on a rock face.

Therefore, from tonight on, make the effort to watch the only movie in original version broadcasted on the TNT, don’t forget to hide the subtitles and until the 10th of December, skip all the movies, songs, radios in french language. Your eardum will little by little be accustomed to all these little “musics” coming from all over the world.

As you arrived in Bourg Saint Maurice train station, you will be completely comfortable with this multilingual environment, without catching all the meaning of it but still being smilly and serene. Behaviour that will reassure your work fellows, delighted to find an interlocutor that attentive, likely to drink their words. Nevertheless you still need to be fitted with a universal image handbook which can be found in all the good book shops!

The wor(l)d of Claude Duty (3/6)

Tip number 3: switch to Italian time!

Yes, Italy is this year the guest of honour country of Les Arcs European Film Festival, and again, you need to be prepared.

During a full week, we are going to live following the Italian pace of life, if only for the prestigious presence of Michele Placido, President of the jury 2011. But he won’t be the only celebrity from the Italian cinema presents in Les Arcs. As you might think, the programme will honour a cinematography French people have always loved. Not to mention food specialities, and marvellous Chianti that will flood the tables and restaurants’ buffets of Les Arcs.

So, to be fully at ease in Les Arcs from December 10th to 17th, start today to switch to Italian time: rummage through your video library to find Fellini’s, Visconti’s and Pasolini’s to refresh your cinephile memory. If the names Milya, Adriano Celentano or Bobby Solo don’t ring a bell, we’ve got a situation here! You need to rush on your iTunes to have your ears discover those must-hear voices of the Italian song. Go to the closest (good) trattoria you abandoned just because of a ridiculous weight problem! Inspect your wardrobe with a critical eye, because you’re aware that, as far as elegance is concerned, our Latin neighbour is hardly beatable.

All those booster shots, finally not that painful, will help you to face this new edition of the festival with serenity and smiling. You will then be worthy of meeting up with our guests, because, just like Jean Cocteau used to say: ”Italians are French with a good temper”.

The wor(l)d of Claude Duty (2/6)

Tip number 2: get an eyeful of that!

Let’s keep practice to be ready to face fighting fit, the great week ahead in Les Arcs from December 10th to 17th, 2011. Our first tip was meant to be “generalist” but now, it is time to move forward step by step. Let’s get started with a key element in a film festival: the eyes!

Indeed, in the heights of Bourg-Saint-Maurice, they are going to be strained! Everyone knows it; the transition from darkness to brightness is dreadful for your retina and that’s what your eyes will be subjected to in Les Arcs:

The dazzling whiteness of the Savoy snow, followed by the blackness of the darkened theatres, itself shattered by the electric lights of bright images, if you add to that the unrelenting aggression from the strobe light on the dance floors, here is a suicidal pace for your pupils, not to mention the temperatures below zero, the cigarettes smoke and the alcohol vapours!

That is why; it is time, starting today, to prepare your eyes by applying eye drops (advised by your general practitioner) and tea bags compresses, alternately with ice-cubes, on your eyelids. Start thinking of wearing an opaque sleeping mask and drinking without any restriction blueberry juice.

But be careful, all of this must be done along with going assiduously to the movie theatre, an extended view of computers and TV screens, especially late in the night, not  to forget long stays in smoking rooms.

Only this real roller-coaster ocular ride can, day after day, build a resistant rampart to protect you from the aggressions that will threaten your eyes from December 10th, without affected your visual acuity of course!

PS: Nevertheless, do not forget to slip a pair of sunglasses into your luggage!