Spy thriller set in Cold War Berlin to hit German theatres

Action film ‘Atomic Blonde’ featuring actress Charlize Theron set in 1989 during the fall of the Berlin Wall will be released in theatres on 24th August.

Spy thriller set in Cold War Berlin to hit German theatres
Charlize Theron and Sofia Boutella in 'Atomic Blonde.' Photo: DPA.

If there was ever an espionage film role that needed to be filled by a female James Bond, Charlize Theron could very well apply for it.

In ‘Atomic Blonde,’ Theron plays a British undercover spy named Lorraine Broughton who is sent to Berlin during the Cold War. Not only is she tasked with investigating the murder of a fellow agent, she also has to find a confidential list of double agents who are being smuggled into the west just before the fall of the wall.

And the native South African 42-year-old puts in a powerful performance. She kicks butt in her high heels yet remains ice-cold and elegant, all the while defeating her enemies while donning slick outfits and a platinum-blond wig.

In the opening scene, agent Broughton rises from a bathtub filled with ice cubes, displaying stark blue eyes and bloody cuts on her body. Then the scene cuts to London, where her bosses want to know what went wrong in Berlin.

Set in the middle of the Cold War, there’s unrest on the streets. Both the west and the east are on the hunt for a coveted list of the names of agents that each side wants for themselves.

Amidst the action, the audience catches glimpses of iconic buildings in Berlin such as Kaiser William Memorial Church along Kufürstendamm, one of Germany’s most famous avenues.

There’s also a hot chase through Kino International, a movie theatre in former East Germany which hosted premieres until the collapse of the wall. Tempelhof Airport, a now defunct iconic pre-WWII airport turned park, can also be seen in the film.

No stranger to physically demanding roles, Theron underwent ten gruelling weeks of training so she could perform her own stunts for the film. But in the process of being punched, kicked and flung into walls, she sustained a few injuries.

“I cracked two back teeth and I had to have dental surgery, they had to be removed. It wasn’t fun,” Theron told British daily the Mirror.

15 years ago when the actress was in her 20s, she famously put on a lot of weight for her role in ‘Monster,’ a film she eventually won an Oscar for.

Theron said she enjoyed playing an action icon in 'Atomic Blonde.' She also didn't mind the steamy sex scene she had with co-star Sofia Boutella. “Believe me, women are actively searching for other women to have hot sex with,” Theron told the Los Angeles Times before the film’s US launch.

Theron also said she would like more “courageous” producers and directors to create strong roles for women.

Directed by David Leitch as well as co-produced by Theron, the film also stars John Goodman, James McAvoy and Til Schweiger among others.


French films with English subtitles to watch in November

As days get shorter and temperatures drop, November is a great month to enjoy a warm and comforting moment at the cinema. Here’s a round up of the French movies with English subtitles to see in Paris this month.

Cinema in France
Photo: Loic Venance/AFP

The cinema group Lost in Frenchlation runs regular screenings of French films in the capital, with English subtitles to help non-native speakers follow the action. The club kicks off every screening with drinks at the cinema’s bar one hour before the movie, so it’s also a fun way to meet people if you’re new to Paris.

These are the events they have coming up in November.

Friday, November 5th

Boîte Noire – What happened on board the Dubai-Paris flight before it crashed in the Alps? In this thriller Matthieu, a young and talented black box analyst played by Pierre Niney (star of Yves Saint-Laurent among other movies) is determined to solve the reason behind this deadly crash, no matter the costs. 

The screening will take place at the Club de l’étoile cinema at 8pm. But you can arrive early for drinks at the bar from 7pm. 

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

Sunday, November 14th

Tralala – In the mood for music? This new delightful French musical brings you into the life of Tralala (played by Mathieu Amalric), a 48 years old, homeless and worn-out street singer, who one day gets mistaken for someone else. Tralala sees an opportunity to get a better life by taking on a new personality. He now has a brother, nephews, ex-girlfriends, and maybe even a daughter. But where is the lie? Where is the truth? And who is he, deep down?

The night will start with drinks from 6pm followed by the screening at 7pm at the Luminor Hôtel de Ville cinema. There is also a two-hour cinema-themed walk where you’ll be taken on a “musicals movie tour” in the heart of Paris, which begins at 4pm.

Tickets cost €10, or €8 for students and concessions, and can be found here. Tickets for the walking tour cost €20 and must be reserved online here.

Thursday, November 18th

Illusions Perdues – Based on the great novel series by Honoré de Balzac between 1837 and 1843, this historical drama captures the writer Lucien’s life and dilemmas who dreams about a great career of writing and moves to the city to get a job at a newspaper. As a young poet entering the field of journalism, he is constantly challenged by his desire to write dramatic and eye-catching stories for the press. But are they all true?

The evening will kick off with drinks at L’Entrepôt cinema bar at 7pm, followed by the movie screening at 8pm. Tickets are available online here, and cost €8.50 full price; €7 for students and all other concessions.

Sunday, November 21st

Eiffel – Having just finished working on the Statue of Liberty, Gustave Eiffel (played by Romain Duris) is tasked with creating a spectacular monument for the 1889 Universal Exposition in Paris. It’s ultimately his love story with Adrienne Bourgès (Emma Mackey) that will inspire him to come up with the idea for the Eiffel Tower.

After a first screening last month, Lost in Frenchlation is organising a new one at the Luminor Hôtel de Ville cinema, with pre-screening drinks at the cinema bar. 

Tickets cost €10, or €8 for students and concessions, and can be found here

Thursday, November 25th

Les Héroïques – Michel is a former junkie and overgrown child who only dreams of motorbikes and of hanging out with his 17-year-old son Léo and his friends. But at 50 years old, he now has to handle the baby he just had with his ex, and try not to make the same mistakes he has done in the past. 

The film will be followed by a Q&A with the director Maxime Roy who will discuss his very first feature. 

Tickets cost €10, or €8 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.