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1918, the Beginnings of Jazz in France

During World War I, Afro-American musicians posted to France popularized a new form of music. This “syncopated ragtime” was the beginning of jazz. An exhibition organized at the New Orleans Jazz Museum through November 15, 2018, takes a look back over this period. “Here, on February 12, 1918, the first jazz concert was played on European soil.” This declaration is...

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French-American Commercial Feuds (1/5): The Chicken War

Franco-American history features a number of commercial and diplomatic disputes, from the “chicken war” in the 1960s to Donald Trump’s recent declarations about taxing steel and aluminum imported from Europe. With its boycotts and protectionist policies, we explore these conflicts through five episodes looking at the history of certain controversial products. Episode 1: The Chicken War In the middle of...

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From New York to Paris… by Car!

As part of the 110th anniversary of the legendary New York-Paris automobile race, six vintage vehicles will be leaving Rhinebeck, New York on June 20. The first stop is in Oakland, California, before they make their way to France! The roaring of the eight-cylinder engine drowns out any conversation at the start of the phone interview. On the other end of...

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Iconic: The Espadrilles

Once a working-class shoe, then the footwear of choice of Spain’s Franquistas, this rope-and-canvas sandal has attracted eccentrics such as Salvador Dalí, fashion designers such as Yves Saint Laurent, and in recent years, luxury and ready-to-wear brands. Basic and affordable, the espadrille has long been labeled the poor man’s shoe. The Basque country and Catalonia each claim to have invented...

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How France’s Obsession with Gardens Shaped the Country’s Artistic Movements

If you can’t make it to France this summer, take a tour of the French gardens in the Public Parks, Private Gardens: Paris to Provence exhibition featured in the Metropolitan Museum of Art through July 29. More than 150 works by painters like Matisse, Rousseau, Monet, and Cassatt outline the beginning of French gardening prestige at the turn of the...

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Images: French-American Friendship in the 19th Century

A major collection of rare objects exhibited at the Château de Chantilly in France through June 30 retraces a century of Franco-American relations. Franco-American friendship is far more than just the War of Independence! The exhibition America ! La Maison d’Orléans et les Etats-Unis looks back over the transatlantic exchanges of the 19th century, a lesser-known period of Franco-American history but...

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Building Roads Through French-Speaking New England

A tourist route linking French-speaking cities in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island will be inaugurated at the end of the summer in 2019. What do Lewiston and Biddeford in Maine, Manchester in New Hampshire, and Woonsocket in Rhode Island all have in common? More than half of the populations of these American cities spoke French just a century...

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French Movie Nights Makes Way in Westchester and NYC

French Movie Nights is ending their year with The Return of the Hero, starring Jean Dujardin and Mélanie Laurent, on June 7 at the Emelin Theater in Mamaroneck, NY. The monthly rendezvous will begin again on September 20, bringing a fresh look on French cinema and its place in American society. Created in 2016 by Carina de Naurois, the monthly...

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Medical Marijuana: Can France Learn From the American Model?

The French Health Minister has announced that France is lagging behind the United States and that medical marijuana could soon be legalized in France. Journalist Michel Henry, author of Drogues, pourquoi la légalisation est inévitable sees it as a necessary change. France-Amérique: You wrote in 2011 that “legalization is inevitable.” How did you reach this conclusion? Michel Henry: Neither prohibition...

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“Rodin” in U.S. Theater

A century after his death, Auguste Rodin is the world’s most famous sculptor after Michelangelo. A film coming out in the U.S. on June 1 explores the most inventive yet tormented period of the artist’s life. It is hard to imagine that this tremendous artist was still unknown at the age of 40 in 1880. However, that year he was...

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Outdoor French Movies Are Back in New York for the Summer

June 1 through September 6, the Films on the Green festival returns to New York City for its 11th year with 12 classic and contemporary films surrounding the topic of gastronomy in French culture, thanks to the productions of the French Embassy, FACE Foundation, and NYC Parks. The free outdoor screenings begin at sunset, just in time to make you salivate about...

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The Hundred-Year Anniversary of the Battle of Cantigny

This weekend will see France and the United States commemorate the hundred-year anniversary of the Battle of Cantigny, named after a little village in the Somme. This particular event was one of many during World War 1, but marked the first U.S. military offensive in Europe. Some 199 American soldiers were killed during the Battle of Cantigny between May 28...

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Make-Believe Paris in America (3/3): Las Vegas

Americans can now visit Paris without having to leave the United States! At the EPCOT theme park in Florida, at Universal Studios in California, and at the Paris hotel and casino in Las Vegas, tourists rub shoulders with waistcoat-wearing garçons de café and take selfies in front of the Eiffel Tower. Follow France-Amérique through those picture-postards version of Paris in the...

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The Last Cajun

Norbert LeBlanc doesn’t hunt alligators anymore. Instead, he has spent the last 15 years taking Francophone tourists on tours of the swamps east of Lafayette in his role as a guardian of Cajun culture in Louisiana. The engine purrs slowly as the boat slips between the cypress trees. The stem of the vessel cuts gently through the duckweed covering the...

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Make-Believe Paris in America (2/3): Hollywood

Americans can now visit Paris without having to leave the United States! At the EPCOT theme park in Florida, at Universal Studios in California, and at the Paris hotel and casino in Las Vegas, tourists rub shoulders with waistcoat-wearing garçons de café and take selfies in front of the Eiffel Tower. Follow France-Amérique through those picture-postards version of Paris in the...

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What Jean Renoir’s Films Owe to his Father

An exhibition at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia explores the influence of Pierre-Auguste Renoir, the painter, on his son Jean Renoir, the filmmaker. When American filmmaker Martin Scorsese was nine he was taken to see Jean Renoir’s film The River. About the same time — as he later recalled — he came across a postcard of Pierre-August Renoir’s painting of...

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French Movies on the Bill at the New York African Film Festival

The 25th edition of the African Film Festival is taking place in New York from May 16 through 22. The program includes homages to the pioneers of African cinema along with a selection of Francophone works broaching subjects such as the suburban banlieue areas, adolescence, and the relationship with one’s origins. The short film Gagarine filmed in 2015 by Fanny...

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Make-Believe Paris in America (1/3): Orlando

Americans can now visit Paris without having to leave the United States! At the EPCOT theme park in Florida, at Universal Studios in California, and at the Paris hotel and casino in Las Vegas, tourists rub shoulders with waistcoat-wearing garçons de café and take selfies in front of the Eiffel Tower. Follow France-Amérique through those picture-postards version of Paris in the...

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“Revenge” in U.S. Theaters

The first feature-length film from French director Coralie Fargeat, out in the U.S. on May 11, combines the revenge-movie and western genres. Three 40-something CEOs say goodbye to their wives and families, and set off for a secluded house in a desert strewn with canyons for their annual hunting weekend. The yearly firearm-fest is a way to relieve stress and assert...

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“Racer and the Jailbird” in U.S. Theaters

Adèle Exarchopoulos (Blue is the Warmest Color) and Matthias Schoenaerts (Of Rust and Bone) star in this combination of an American film noir and a French crime movie, out in the U.S. on May 4. After a stint in Hollywood with The Drop, a 2014 thriller adapted from a short story by Dennis Lehane, young director Michaël Roskam has returned...

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“The Guardians”: The Great War Through the Eyes of Women

Seven years after his acclaimed Of Gods and Men, director Xavier Beauvois is back to pay homage to the women of rural France who were obliged to work in the fields when the men left to fight in World War I. His latest movie, The Guardians, will be out in the U.S. this Friday. France, 1915. The country is at...