Monthly Archives: September 2011

My Gay Paris: Chéries-Chéris, the gay and lesbian film festival, is coming


A great time is coming for movie lovers, and among them the gay and lesbian ones! The Paris gay and lesbian film festival, Chéries-Chéris, will take place at the Forum des Images from October 7th to 11th. For its 17th edition, the festival will encompass both feature films and short films, documentaries, and oldies. The opening film of the festival is Bye Bye Blondie by well-known French filmmaker and writer Virginie Despentes, who previsouly directed the breathtaking and provocative Baise-moi, adapted from her own novel. There will be a few American movies, such as Bumblefuck, USA by Aaron Douglas Jonhston or Cricumstances by Maryam Keshavarz. Unfortunately, movies in French and in other languages than English will have only French subtitles. We will subsequently recommend that you make your own careful selection of English-speaking movies if you don’t speak French.

Gay and lesbian film festivals have largely developed all over the world in the past two decades, and along with OutFest of LA, Image&Nation of Montreal, NewFest of New York, or the gay and lesbian film festivals of Torino of London, Paris is fully part of this phenomenon with Chéries-Chéris. A sign of the growing importance of gay and lesbian topics in film is the development of specific awards for those films in mainstream film festivals, such as Berlin (Teddy award of the Berlinale) and, more recently, Cannes (Queer Palm). Chéries-Chéris was non-competitive until 2006, but it now has awards in different categories.

Paris is the city in the world which has the greatest numbers cinema screens (more than NYC), and France is the country which hosts the most prominent film festivals (Cannes, of course, but also, Clermond-Ferrand for short films and Annecy for animation films). So every time there’s an interesting movie and an amazing event such as Chéries-Chéris, we will push you to go see a movie, even once, because we think it’s a great way to experience the lifestyle of Paris!
The Forum des images is located right inside the mall and transportation center of Les Halles, which is right next to the Marais. So before or after having a drink, why not attend a movie premiere? We will keep you posted about the outcome of the festival.

My Gay Paris: Gay parties in Paris

Gay people love to party and Paris is starting to meet the needs of hungry party animals. There is a “gay soirée” for everyone and the question is which is the best.

GAYS SCREAMING FOR MORE

The newest and biggest gay party in Paris is the Scream Club. What started out as a summer response to Barcelona’s gay summer tour was such a success that the organizers decided to convert this party into a Saturday night club. Scream Club found a formula that worked.

Gay clubbers can get a free pass either on the internet or in a local gay bar or sauna. The pass allows you to go in the club for free before 1:00 am. Most people arrive therefore before one and as you can imagine first come first served.

The Scream concept is three different ambiances to please everyone.

The main dance floor is for techno lovers, with gogo dancers and topless sexy gay men showing off their muscles. You can look and touch.

The second room is for those who prefer to lose their calories dancing to the latest Rihanna, Lady gaga, Beyonce and other commercial popular music.

The third room is where the temperature is at a maximum. A big room for cruising where pants are lowered, saliva is exchanged, some guys are on their knees and you might even see your boss. So be careful. A bowl of condoms is provided.

The scream club is every Saturdays at the Gibus.

CRAZYVORES AND FOLIVORES

The Crazyvore continues to be one of the most loved gay parties in Paris. In the popular Bataclan concert hall (metro Oberkampf), gays and lesbians meet to sound of this popular concept.

The concepts:

The Crazyvore is the biggest party with 100% international music. This is where the hottest parisien gays tend to be. Work on your muscles because you may need to show them off.

The Folivore is 100% French music. The best of Dalida, Mylene Farmer and Claude François among others.

Please note that the parties change each week so check your calendar to know which one is on.

HAPPY PULSE

The undisputed party for twinks and lovers of twinks is without a doubt the Happy Pulse. The popular party held once every two months by DJ Lucky originally from M6 tends to attract a large young following.

The concept is that you send a text message to a number displayed on the screen with the title of the song you would like the DJ to play so just be prepared for any and everything.

KLUB

Black is beautiful. The Klub is the only black gay club in Paris. Located on the rue st denis (metro Chatelet) , it is the best of African and West Indian music and the hottest black men dancing to the sound of Soca and Zouk. The Klub is open on Saturdays.

My Gay Paris: The Marais, history of our Home

The Marais Today

These days tourists flock to the Marais in central Paris for its picturesque streets, great shopping and, of course, the gay nightlife, but it hasn’t always been that way. The majority of our furnished apartments are in the heart of this central Paris neighbourhood—as are our own offices—so we thought we’d give you a flavour of the area’s history.

Swamp

If you dredge your memory for some schoolboy French, you might recall that the French word le marais actually means ‘swamp’, which is exactly what the area was until the twelfth century, when it was drained and chosen as a new base by the Knights Templar. Given the neighbourhood’s central location in modern-day Paris, it’s hard to believe that it was chosen at the time because it was just outside the city limits.

Hôtels Particuliers

The arrival of such a prestigious religious community soon was soon followed by others, and they were soon joined by the crème de la crème of the French nobility, who rushed to build hôtels particuliers, or private urban mansions in the area until the seventeenth century. Nowadays, many of the hôtels have been restored and are open to the public; others now house public buildings, museums and art galleries.

Hotel-de-Sens
The Hotel de Sens

The apogee of this building spree was the spectacular square place Royale, surrounded by covered arcades, completed by Henri IV in 1612. It was the first ever example of large-scale urban planning and was closely followed by the monarchs in other European capitals. After the revolution, the square was renamed place des Vosges.

Out of Fashion

In later years, however, the area fell out of favour, with the capital’s nobles flocking to the Faubourg-Saint-Germain area on the other side of the river. Local businesses soon took advantage of the abandoned space and soon the spacious courtyards of the hôtels particuliers were home to bustling workshops.

Jewish Immigration

By the nineteenth century, the area had become popular with the city’s Jewish population. Even today, the bustling rue des Rosiers is a busy centre of Jewish life, with restaurants, delis and synagogues vying for trade. Inevitably, one of the area’s darkest periods occurred during World War II when Nazi forces occupying the city saw the local population as a soft target.

Jewish bakery, rue des Rosiers, Paris
Jewish bakery on the rue des Rosiers.

The Marais Today

When authorities redesigned much of Paris in the late nineteenth century, installing the wide boulevards that are now the city’s hallmark, the Marais was largely exempt. The area saw very little official attention, in fact, until the 1960s when Culutre Minister André Malraux give the area protected status. Since then, many of the older buildings have been restored, Jewish community life has blossomed and a whole new set of inhabitants has come to call the Marais home: the neighbourhood has been the unofficial home to Paris’ gay village since the early 1980s.

My Gay Paris: Gay Icon, Jean-Baptiste Giabiconi

Nowadays, model Jean-Baptiste Giabiconi might be known as the face of Chanel, but the 21 year-old began his life in France—though not, as it happens, in gay Paris. Disappointingly for his many French fans, it was only when Corsican-born Giabiconi moved to the US that his career really took off …

Jean-Baptiste GiabiconiFrench Roots

Born in the small town of Marignane on the outskirts of Marseille, a few hours’ drive from Nice, Giabiconi moved to New York aged just 18.

A few months later, he was spotted by German designer, artist and photographer Karl Lagerfeld, who instantly took a shine to him and hired him to model for Chanel’s spring collection which went on show that October in Paris.

Lagerfeld’s Muse

Since then, the partnership between the two men has gone from strength to strength, with Giabiconi becoming a regular fixture on Chanel runways, as well as modelling for some of Lagerfeld’s personal projects like Karl Lagerfeld eyewear.

His role as a muse to the 78 year-old German designed goes behind merely modelling clothes and accessories, though: Giabiconi is frequently photographed wearing other peoples’ clothes (and none at all …) by Lagerfeld in publications as diverse as Japanese Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.

Helmut Newton

In one memorable project, Lagerfeld decided to pay hommage to Helmut Newton, whose photos of female nudes is world-famous. Who better to pose in nothing else but a pair of provocative high heels than the photographer’s favourite muse, Giabiconi? He does look pretty good in those shoes, after all …

In another, Lagerfeld put Giabiconi on the front of Wallpaper* magazine with a sticker representing his designer suit. Curious customers could easily peal it off to reveal a naked Giabiconi underneath …

Private Life

Rumours abound, finally, about Giabiconi’s personal life. He did get one of his first ever breaks in a photo shoot for French gay magazine Têtu (at the tender age of 18), but the model himself is tight-lipped about his own private life …

Still, his constant presence both on and off the catwalk and with and without a shirt are enough to make him a gay icon if you ask us …

My Gay Paris: Les bien-aimés (Beloved), a French movie worth seeing!


If you can understand a little French, then going to see the French movie of the month could be an interesting idea. Going to the movies is a good way to experience Paris, and for that matter, going to see this specific movie in one of the temple of Paris’ love for non-conventional, anti-Hollywood pieces of work, the MK2 Beaubourg, just right next to Centre Pompidou, well-known for its careful selection of movies.

Les bien-aimés (Beloved) was chosen to close the last Festival de Cannes. Its director, Christophe Honoré, is a true ambassador of current French cinema, especially since he made the successful movie Les Chansons d’Amour (LoveSongs), which is, as Les bien-aimés is, a musical. One interesting feature of les bien-aimés is that it deals with the subject of love through multiple relationships, in various times and in various places: Paris and Prague in the 60′, Paris and London in the 90′. It is the story of Madeleine (Ludivine Sagnier as the young Madeleine, film legend Catherine Deneuve as the ‘old’ but still good-looking Madeleine) and her daughter, which is indeed played by Chiara Mastroianni, Catherine Deneuve’s daughter in real life. It is the first time the two have been featured together in that configuration.

Honoré is able to speak about difficult topics, such as AIDS, in a subtle way; but the film also echoes, since it is a musical, the performance of the young Catherine Deneuve in the 60’s musical Les parapluies de Cherbourg. The memories evoked here are truly powerful.

As she works in a shoe store in Paris in 1964, Madeleine decides to become a prostitute. She then falls in love with a client, a young man from Czechoslovakia, Jaromil, and she decides to move there. Even if things don’t work perfectly for them, the love which Jaromil was able to give her will be important for her throughout her whole life, and is embodied by their daughter, Vera. The film then moves forward to the 1990s and the 2000s to look at Vera’s life, and the one of her mother.

The careful choice of actors (such as Ludivine Sagnier and Louis Garrel), the wonderful depiction of the relationship between a mother and her daughter, the musical choices and the travel through time and space all make this film worth seeing while you stay in Paris. And you might want to check out the other movies playing at MK2 Beaubourg. So to see the trailer in english click here.