What’s In My Bag? (Paris Edition)

Papiro & Mint is based in Paris! I can’t believe it has happened! While I prepare some articles about moving here and amazing places to check out in case you decide to come to the French capital, I decided to do something that I thought was more than necessary, which is writing a special edition of What’s In My Bag?, featuring the first things I bought on my first month in Paris. Thankfully, most of this stuff was given to me as a present for my birthday, because all the money I had planned for three months has already run out. But more about that in the upcoming posts.

01. “Cinema Français” by Vincent Pinel: I’ve always wanted to buy a book that was some kind of definitive French Film guide, and even though there are plenty of those in France and in the U.S, I’ve just discovered this marvelous treat by Vincent Pinel, who created a book in the same style of Cinema: The Whole Story by Phillip Kemp. More exciting than that is the fact that most of the book talks about the first part of the 20th century, focusing a lot on the 20s, 30s and 40s of French cinema history. Which is something amazing considering most books about such theme are mostly about the nouvelle vague. Containing 320 pages, Cinema Français by Vincent Pinel is a fantastic book for those who are not only curious to know more about French cinema but also for those who like me, absolutely love le cinema français.

02. “La Piscine” by Luc Larriba: I haven’t bought this book yet but it’s definitely in my bag, waiting for my payment to arrive so I can buy this 208-page illustrated book about the shooting of La Piscine by Jacques Deray. Being one of the most important films featuring Alain Delon and Romy Schneider, this is one of those books that you simply must-have if you are, like me, simply in love with this film.

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03. Alain Delon by Baptiste Vignol: and speaking of Alain Delon, the first thing I’ve tried to find once I arrived here was a photography book of Delon’s career. There were three major ones, but Baptiste Vignol’s illustrated book seemed to be the most interesting one for focusing a lot of his glory days. The book hasn’t arrived yet, but I was able to have a sneak peek at a sealed edition at Fnac, and I can say the book is huge and it looks sublime. More details on Instagram when it arrives!

04. “Les Silencieux” by Claude Pinoteau: one of the things I was most excited about in moving to Paris was the fact that I would be able to buy all the french films I wanted in blu ray. Les Silencieux is one of them, a rare and exquisite french noir film that could be classified as a mixture between Jean-Pierre Melville’s movies with Fred Zinnemann’s The Day of the Jackal.

05. Inflorescent by Friendly Fires: even though I’m dying to buy La Femme’s Paradigmes on vinyl, I could not resist Friendly Fire’s latest album for only 11 euros on Amazon. I didn’t bring my vinyl player with me but the fact this is already in my house and all Fnacs in Paris have an absolutely massive session of vinyls, I must admit I’m considering getting one in the near future.

06. “La Belle Équipe” by Julian Duvivier: being a massive French classic and one of the most important films of Jean Gabin’s career, La Belle Équipe is so good that is a shame that it hasn’t received better editions in other countries. I actually imported this film from Brazil once but it never arrived, so I had to buy it again.

07. “Je t’attendrais” by Leonide Moguy: another incredible film that no one seems to know but it has a blu ray edition in France with English subtitles is this war melodrama by Leonide Moguy, that tells the story of a soldier who visits his village in the middle of the war and discovers that her wife has abandoned him. A must-watch for those who like French poetic realism and Ballad of a Soldier.

08. “À nos amours” by Maurice Pialat: it’s been a really long time since I’ve watched this, just like it’s been a really long time since I’ve been wanting to buy it. I never had the courage to buy Criterion’s DVD because it was so expensive but now I was finally able to buy the blu ray with English subtitles. Ready to revisit this beautiful coming of age in the quality that it truly deserves.

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09. “Blondey 15-21” by Alasdair McLellan: I’ve been a huge fan of Alasdair McLellan since I discovered his first photography book, Ultimate Clothing Company, back in Santa Fe. I’ve been following his work through magazines and ended up buying his second book, Ceremony, in London when I did my backpack trip through Europe. Now that I’m living in Paris, nothing more fitting than buying his third book, Blondey, which came out a while ago.

10. Hero Magazine Spring 2022: and speaking of magazines, this was one of my first purchases here in Paris and one that I’m not going to repeat so soon because magazines are extremely expensive here. That was pretty surprising for me because I thought they were going to be way cheaper than Brazil, but even gaining in euros, they are pretty out of my budget.

11. “Death in a French Garden” by Michel Deville: first mentioned in the List of Psychotic Romances on Film, Death in a French Garden was a movie that I simply had to have for its crazy, twisted, and sexy Hitchcockian thriller about a teacher, a woman, and a peeping neighbor. Another film that is extremely hard to find that you can buy in a restored version with English subtitles in France.

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12. “Fevrier” by Kamen Kalev: being the first movie I bought when I arrived in Paris, Fevrier is a beautiful movie about loneliness and one’s connection to nature. Watched at the São Paulo International Film Festival in the middle of quarantine, I was astonished by its beauty and simplicity. For some reason, France was the only country that had released the film on physical media, and I was able to find it in an amazing store that I will talk about it in the upcoming article, which contains my favorite film and book stores in Paris.

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