It’s that time of year again, when the Tricolore gets to show its true colours on film. The Alliance Français French Film Festival is back for its 23rd year, with more than 40 films, ranging from drama to documentaries, showing at selected Palace Cinemas. Those in the know predict that La délicatesse, starring Audrey Tatou as a woman who discovers love again after the death of her husband, will the a favourite. The festival does close, however, with Truffaut’s 1980 classic Le dernier métro (The Last Metro) starring Catherine Deneuve and Gérard Depardieu.
Of course, when we think about France it’s hard not to imagine all the beautiful things we could eat. Treat yourself to a box of macarons from La Belle Miette, where the flavours include cherry blossom and sake and cucumber and mint. To impress someone special, take home some of Philippe Mouchel’s divine rotisserie chicken from PM24. (Well, if you really want to impress them you should probably make a booking and treat them to a night out.) Lovers of cheese from France, as well as terrine and rillettes, should go to The French Shop in Queen Victoria Market. To go with the chicken and cheese, pop into Armadale Cellars where you’ll find a huge variety of Champagne for sale in its own room.
Inspired by the interiors in those French films at the festival? Head to L’ete Provence for elegant Gallic homewares, table linen, cushions and the like. For larger pieces of reproduction furniture, whether your style is Provençal or Louis XV, try Maison Living. The finishing touch on any French-inspired room, however, has to be purchased at Galerie Montmartre, where you’ll find original vintage French posters from the early 1900s onwards.
For fragrance that will have you saying oui, oui, you can’t go past Kleins Perfumery. As well as stocking Robert Piguet, Fragonard and L’Artisan Parfumeur perfumes, it has French candle and home fragrances such Cire Trudon and Carrière Frères.
Alliance Français French Film Festival
For information and bookings, www.affrenchfilmfestival.org.
La Belle Miette
30 Hardware Lane, Melbourne
24 Russell Street, Melbourne
813–817 High Street, Armadale
The French Shop
Shop 1–2, Deli Hall, Queen Victoria Market
10 Claremont Avenue, Malvern
275 Swan Street, Richmond
Rear 197b Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
313 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy