Screenings of French films with English subtitles in January

With a new year comes new projects and resolutions. If improving your French is one of those, look no further. Here’s a round-up of the French movies with English subtitles to see in Paris this month.

Screenings of French films with English subtitles in January
Photo: Abdolmonam Essa/AFP

Lost in Frenchlation is a cinema club that offers monthly screenings of films with English subtitles. This January, they have once again put together a great programme featuring the best recent French film releases and Q&As for unique and instructive experiences. A very gentle way to improve your French without missing a beat. 

The traditional pre-screening drink will be unfortunately cancelled due to recent government restrictions unless the venue has a bar with seating options. If you like, you can also remain seated at the end of the screening and enjoy a conversation with the directors and actors of the films you’ve just watched.

Two new cinemas are joining the initiative: L’Arlequin (in Paris’ 6th arrondissement) and the Cinéma du Panthéon (in the 5th arrondissement).

Friday, January 7th 

La Fracture – Raf and Julie (Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi and Marina Foïs), a couple on the verge of breaking up, find themselves in an overloaded emergency room on the evening of a Paris Gilets Jaunes protest. Their encounter with Yann (Pio Marmai), an angry and injured protester, will overturn the certainties and prejudices of each of them. Outside, the tension mounts. The hospital, under pressure, has to close its doors. The staff are overwhelmed. It’s going to be a long night…

The screening will take place at the Club de l’Étoile cinema at 8pm, followed by a Q&A with the director, Catherine Corsini.

Tickets are €10 full price, €8 for students and all other concessions, and can be booked here.

Thursday, January 13th

Suprêmes – At the end of the 1980s, while the police and young people from the suburbs are in violent confrontation, some of them turn to rap music to express the anger that is growing in the suburbs. Among them, two young people from Seine-Saint-Denis, soon to be known as Joey Starr (Théo Christine) and Kool Shen (Sandor Funtek), created Suprême NTM and became, in spite of themselves, the spokespersons of a generation.

The screening will take place at L’Entrepôt at 8pm, followed by a Q&A with Sandor Funtek, one of the lead actors. You can come at 7pm for a pre-screening drink at the cinema’s bar. Tickets are available online here, and cost €8.70 full price, €7.17 for students and all other concessions.

Monday, January 17th

Tromperie – Adapted from Philip Roth’s novel Deception, Tromperie takes place in London in 1987. Philip is a famous American writer exiled in London. His mistress comes regularly to meet him in his office, the refuge of the two lovers. There they make love, argue, meet again and talk for hours on end; about the women in his life, about sex, anti-Semitism, literature and being true to oneself…

The screening will take place at the Cinéma du Panthéon at 8PM, followed by a Q&A with the director, Arnaud Desplechin. You may also come at 7pm for drinks at the cinema tea salon.

Tickets are €8.50 full price; €6.50 for students and all other concessions, only with pre-bookings here.

Thursday, January 20th 

Madres Paralelas – Two women, Janis and Ana, meet in a hospital room about to give birth. They are both single and have become pregnant by accident. Janis (Penelope Cruz), a middle-aged woman, has no regrets and in the hours leading up to the birth she is deliriously happy. Ana, on the other hand, is a frightened, remorseful and traumatised teenager. Janis tries to cheer her up as they wander down the hospital corridor. The few words they exchange during these hours will create a very close bond between them, which chance will complicate in a way that will change both their lives.

This screening is part of the Telerama Film Festival and will take place at the Luminor cinema at 8pm. Rendez-vous at 7pm for a pre-screening drink!

Tickets cost €10 or €8 for students and concessions, and can be found here.  Tickets are 3,50€ with the Telerama pass which you can find here or in the Telerama January, 12th and 19th issues.

Thursday, January 27th 

Une femme du monde – In Strasbourg, Marie (Laure Calamy from Call My Agent!) has been a prostitute for 20 years. She has her own pavement, her regulars, her freedom. And a son, Adrien, 17. To ensure his future, Marie wants to pay for his education. She needs money, fast.

The screening will take place at L’Arlequin at 8pm, followed by a Q&A with the director, Cécile Durocq. 

Tickets cost €10.30 or €8.10 for students and concessions, and can be found here

Full details of Lost in Frenchlation’s events can be found on their website or Facebook page. In France, a health pass is required in order to go to the cinema. Masks must be worn throughout the screening and eating and drinking during the film is not allowed. 

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Skulls, beer and a ‘cathedral’: Discover the secrets of underground Paris

You've certainly heard of the Metro, maybe the catacombs and perhaps even the Phantom of the Opera's underground lake - but there are some things lurking beneath Paris that might surprise you.

Skulls, beer and a 'cathedral': Discover the secrets of underground Paris

One of Europe’s most densely populated cities, Paris has over two million people living within its boundaries. As those inhabitants walk along the Champs-Elysées or Rue de Rivoli, they might be entirely unaware of the extensive underground world that exists below their feet. 

These are some of the hidden gems beneath the famous monuments in the City of Light:

Skulls, beer and police

The final resting place for over six million Parisians – the catacombs are the most well-known part of underground Paris, but did you know that the 1,700 metres of catacombs that are open to the public represent less than one percent of the whole of the catacombs in Paris? In fact, the underground network is thought to be around 300 km in size.

The catacombs are also known as the Ossuaire Municipal, and they are located at the site of former limestone quarries. The Ossuaire as we know it was created during the 18th century, because the city’s cemeteries could not withstand its population growth and public health concerns began to be raised. Gradually the remains of millions of Parisians were moved underground.

The bones of Parisians only comprise a small section of Paris’ ‘carrières‘ (or quarries), which can be seen in the above map.

These subterranean passages have fascinated cataphiles for many years – with stories of secret parties, illicit tunnel exploration and much more. During the Covid lockdowns, the catacombs infamously served as a location for clandestine parties. At one point, over 35 people were ticketed for participating in underground raves

The network even has its own police service, the Intervention and Protection Group, known colloquially as the cataflics, who are a specialised police brigade in charge of monitoring the old quarries in Paris.

Though these quarries might be a location to secretly throw back a few pints, they are also connected to beer for another reason, as they are the ideal environment to both store and make beer – with consistently cool temperatures and nearby access to underground water sources.

In 1880, the Dumesnil brewery, located in the 14th arrondissement, invested in the quarries underneath its premises, using them to store the thousands of barrels of beer that it produced each year. Over the years, the brewery simply turned its basement into a real underground factory. 

If you really want to visit the ancient underground quarries specifically, you don’t have to just go to the catacombs. You can also do so by visiting the “Carrières des Capucins.” Found just below the Cochin hospital, located in the 14th arrondissement, access to these tunnels is allowed to the public (with reservation) in small groups.

As for entering the rest of the old quarry system, that has been illegal to enter the old quarries since 1955, which has not stopped several curious visitors and explorers from trying to discover what secrets might be underground. 

Sewer Museum

Recently renovated, this museum might not be at the top of a tourist’s list in the same way the Louvre or Musée d’Orsay might, but the museum of sewers actually has a lot of fascinating history to share. It took almost a century to build Paris’ sewage system, and it is largely to thank for the city’s growth, protecting the public health of inhabitants by helping prevent disease outbreaks. 

Visiting the sewers is not a new activity either – according to the museum’s website, “as early as 1867, the year of the World’s Fair, visits were met with immense public success, the reason being that this underground space had always been hidden from the curious eyes of all those who dwell on the surface of Paris.”

Ghost stations

A total of 16 Metro stations go unused underground in Paris – some were built and never put into use, others were decommissioned after World War II.

The most famous is Porte des Lilas – a working Metro station that has an unused ‘ghost’ section which these days is used for filming scenes in movies and TV.

If you’ve ever watched a scene set in the Metro, chances are it was filmed at Porte des Lilas, which has a section of track that Metro cars can move along if needed for action sequences. 

The extra section was taken out of commission in 1939 due to under-use, and in the 1950s it served as a place to test new metro cars.

Beware if you find yourself in Haxo station – it does not have its own entrance or exit and is only accessible by following the Metro tunnels. It is one of the six that never opened, similar to Porte Molitor, Orly-Sud, La Défense-Michelet, or Élysée-La Défense.

Other stations were closed for being too close to other stations, such as the Saint-Martin station, which was closed after World War II as it was too close to Strasbourg-Saint Denis. 

These phantom stations are usually off-limits to the public, but sometimes access is allowed for special guided tours or events.

Reminders of World War II 

Paris’ underground played an important role during the Second World War.

First, there is the French resistance command bunker, which is now part of the Musée de la Libération at Place Denfert Rochereau.

It was from here that Resistance leaders co-ordinated the battle for the liberation of Paris in 1944.

There is also the anti-bombardment bunker near Gare de l’Est. Normally this is closed during the year, but it is opened on Heritage Day in September. (Journées de patrimoine). 

The bunker was originally commissioned in 1939 to keep trains running, even in the event of a gas attack, and it was completed by the Germans in November 1941. It is located between Metro tracks 3 and 4. The bunker itself – which can fit up to 50 people – has basically been frozen in time, featuring a control room and telephone. 

Another river

You’ve heard of the Seine, but what about the underground river that flows through the city of Paris? Prior to the 20th century, the Bièvre river flowed through the city as well, running through Paris’ 13th and 5th arrondisements. Once upon a time, tanners and dyers set up shop next to the Bievre, shown in the image below. 

The river eventually became quite polluted and concerns arose that it might be a health hazard, so in 1875, as part of his transformation of the city, Georges-Eugène Haussmann decided that the Bièvre had to go. It was mostly covered up, and now what remains of the river flows beneath the city, with some parts of it joining Paris’ sewage system.

The Phantom’s lake

If you are a fan of Phantom of the Opera, you would know that the Phantom’s lair is below the Palais Garnier (the Opera house), and that Christine and the Phantom must cross a subterranean lake to get there.

This body of water is not a figment the imagination of Gaston Leroux – though not an actual lake, a large water tank can be found below the grounds. It is even used to train firefighters to swim in the dark.

The Phantom’s not real, though (probably).


The Montsouris reservoir is one of Paris’ primary drinking water sources, along with L’Haÿ-les-Roses, Saint-Cloud, Ménilmontant and Les Lilas.

But while it’s undoubtedly very useful, it’s most famous for its looks.

The structure resembles a kind of underground water cathedral and is home to over 1,800 pillars, which support its numerous vaults and arches. It’s closed to the public, but its rare beauty means that it’s often photographed by urban explorers.

Mushroom farms

And last but not least – the ‘mushroom houses.’ Les champignons de Paris have been grown below the capital’s soil for centuries.

READ MORE: Inside Paris’ underground mushroom farms

“Paris mushrooms” have been grown since the 17th century. The rosé des près (meadow pink) mushrooms were a favourite of Louis XIV and were originally grown overground – their colour comes from the limestone that Paris is build on.

By the 19th century they went underground, which provided more space and allowed the fungi to be cultivated year-round, but eventually the construction of the Paris Metro pushed many growers out of the capital.

Today, there are just five traditional producers in operation – Shoua-moua Vang runs the largest underground mushroom cave in the Paris region, spread across one and a half hectares of tunnels in a hill overlooking the Seine river.