Thanks to Charles Mayer’s Fancy Robot posts, we know that all the filming in Paris took place during the summer of 1985. It’s fun to look for such things as movie placards and magazines incidentally caught on film that definitively date the shot. Here we see the mysterious man-in-black (Jean-Claude Cotillard) in Leçon 40. He’s at a table at Fouquet’s near the one at which Mireille, Robert, Hubert and Jean-Pierre are sitting. Just earlier he had appeared to be a spy who alternately blinked his eyes so as to spell «zut» in Morse code. Now, as Prof. Capretz says: «Le drôle de type qui faisait du morse en clignant ses yeux a disparu et a été remplacé par une bonne soeur qui fait du morse avec sa cornette».
Note the newspaper he’s holding. It’s La Croix, a daily Catholic newspaper (le journal correct pour une soeur). The date on the masthead is far too small to read, but the headline is plain: «Jean-Paul II, du Kenya au Maroc».
In less than 30 seconds Google finds me the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops page with the dates of all of John Paul II’s trips outside of Italy. Le Pape traveled to Togo, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Zaire, Kenya, and Morocco from August 8-19, 1985. The headline indicates that John Paul was on the final leg of this trip, traveling between Kenya and Morocco. Thus it seems likely that the date of this newspaper, and hence the day of filming, is probably 18 August 1985, plus or minus a day.
I’d love to hear about details in other episodes that date them.
And oh, yes, I have a life, I swear!
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