July 7, 2011

Séance à Minuit

I just finished rereading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in order to prepare for the midnight showing of the last film.

The thing about being an expat is that you miss out on a lot of things back home. While you do get to experience things you would never have experienced otherwise, sometimes missing out hurts.

I am homesick for midnight showings of Harry Potter movies with my friends. I am homesick for everybody dressing up and getting in line in the morning in order to play Harry Potter themed games all day while listening to all the soundtracks.

I love these books, and I love the experience of watching them turned into movies at midnight with all my friends who are equally excited about it (even if I'm not always happy with the actual film itself).

I would give anything to be able to go home and see it with my friends at midnight. I really feel like I’m missing out on something bigger than just a movie opening. I’m missing out on an essential experience for my generation, and one that the French don’t seem to give a rat’s ass about.

The only people I know who are around my age and are going to see it at midnight are doing so in the company of younger brothers and sisters, as if it is unacceptable to enjoy this experience at our age.

I hate how old the French make me feel on a regular basis. Why have they already given up on their jeunesse at 23 years old?

I feel so apart from everybody here.

I’m not sure there’s an equivalent experience that I’ve had thus far while living over here to make up for the fact that I’m going to be missing this.


  1. I miss midnight showings, too, but that's because I have kids.

    I have to ask: everything all right over there? Just a feeling coming through.

  2. I'm not sure this is an age-related matter. My feeling is that we, French, are not that much into this kind of big events for movie premiere screenings. As far as I can remember, the really big buzz we experienced were for the Star Wars movies, Titanic and Harry Potter (at least in Paris), but this phenomenon is rare here. Besides, I also think that the entertainment industry is not as financially powerful in France as it is in other countries like the US and the UK, and films are not promoted the same way either. I grew up in Paris and also lived in London for 2 years, and one thing I noticed is that movie premieres were more covered by the media in the UK than they were in France!

    And beyond financial considerations, I guess it's mainly a cultural thing. There are many examples, other than films, that make me think that French people do not like to "stage" events. As a fan of TV shows and as a relatively geeky person, I'd love to attend events such as comic-con, or dragon-con, or any other type of convention that people attend in the US just to have good fun and put on their costumes! But we don't have that in France. That kind of sucks, really... :-) In the UK, I worked as a teacher and the school had officially two days during which kids were allowed to come to class wearing costumes: dress-up day and world book day. And believe me, *every* single one of them participated, the highshcool kids being as crazy about it as the young ones from the elementary school. What do we have in France? Le carnaval. And it's just for kids. Even teenagers don't dress up. Halloween is not part of the French culture (although it was a bit "trendy" to go to a Halloween party a few years ago), we do not have TV/movie conventions and I even feel that adults are almost ashamed to confess they are fans of something or someone.

    I'm about 10 years older than you are, and although the Harry Potter mania does not necessarily appeal to my generation, some of my friends are *huge* fans of the books and the movies. They just don't feel the need to show their attachment to the characters by dressing up and attending midnight screenings. Yesterday evening, I spent time on Tumblr, a social website, and people were posting pics from the Harry Potter London Premiere. Apparently, a UK TV channel was broadcasting the red carpet arrivals and the actors' speeches live. I'm not a big fan but I thought that was very very cool! And there were so many people attending, young and old! The people who were there are going to remember it for the rest of their lives.

    As for me, I'm a (crazy) fan of the TV show Firefly, and if one day a Firefly-related event takes place in France, I'll be the first to pitch a tent and camp out for a whole week in a Firefly costume before the opening (which, sadly, is never gonna happen).

    That's a pity you couldn't get the chance to live the "HP Midnight experience". Apparently, this is something that was important to you. The hell, French people don't know how to have fun! :-/

  3. http://www.life.com/gallery/62511/last-harry-potter-premiere-photos#index/0

  4. Joshua: I've been feeling homesick lately and missing out on this is just increasing the feeling. I am making the best of it and am going to go to a midnight showing here, in full costume, even if I'm just buy myself!

    Emilie: Thank you so much for your comment. It really cheered me up! I do agree with you about the cultural differences of being exciting/into things between our two countries. I think it's a shame. It's something I really miss about back home, and especially for Harry Potter. I also know that many people of all ages have come to love the books, but I've sort of grown up with them. I was just feeling down in the dumps about it. I know some people might think it's silly, but it's the cultural aspect I miss most about America - people not caring about looking ridiculous and just wanting to have a good time. I love dressing up.

    Also thank you so much for that link! I loved looking at the photos. I'm really glad you found my blog :)

  5. So sorry I can't be a part of this :( Trust me.. I miss things like this too, and it makes it that much harder to deal with that I have to choose between "being a good mom" and "being a fan".

  6. Well at least you get to see it first. I think you need a good old american veggie hot dog!

  7. I love how loyal you are to Harry Potter! I hope your experience exceeds your expectations!

  8. I was living in France when the last Harry Potter book came out... I trekked to an English/American bookstore and queued for an hour to get a copy!

  9. Amber: It's okay. I understand. I'm sure you made the right choice for you and the baby! Plus who says we can't go dressed up and see it NOT at midnight?

    Mike: That's true! Thanks for the silver lining :)

    Marianne: It was actually pretty cool! Not at all the same as it would have been back home, but that's part of the adventure, right?

    Betsy: I would have done the same! It really bothered me about Harry Potter because it's so near and dear to my heart, but in most of the things in life I get downhearted by the lack of excitement in my French counterparts. Life should be fun! Dress up and have a laugh! Who cares if you look cool or not?


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