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May ’68: All Power to the Slogans!

Whether scribbled on tables, put up on posters in the streets, or chanted during protests, the slogans from May ’68 have become a part of French popular culture. As part of the 50th anniversary of the “events,” a collection of the slogans has been translated into English and published by the MIT Press. The spirit of May ’68 may have...

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COLCOA: French Cinema Shines Bright in Hollywood

The COLCOA festival on the West Coast is a showcase for Francophone cinema and a major event for U.S. distributors. The leading event is back in Los Angeles from April 23 through 30, 2018. Launched by the Franco-American Cultural Fund in 1996, the COLCOA festival (City of Lights City of Angels) is a bridge between the movie industries of Paris...

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Focus on French Cinema: 18 French Movies to be Screened

The Focus on French Cinema festival is organized by the Greenwich Alliance Française in partnership with the Cinémania Francophone film festival in Montreal, and is set to return to Connecticut and Manhattan from April 27 through May 1, 2018. Some 18 Francophone movies are set to be screened for the festival’s 14th year, including seven for the first time in...

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“Cannes Can’t Refuse Netflix Movies Much Longer”

The 71st Cannes Film Festival will be opening on May 8, 2018, and has refused to include movies screened exclusively online. The origins of this heated debate are rooted in the differences in how cinema is financed in France and the United States, according to Nathalie Dupont, associate professor in American civilization at the Université du Littoral Côte d’Opale in...

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Godard, a Biographical Comedy

The latest film by Michel Hazanavicius, Godard Mon Amour, out in the U.S. this Friday, portrays Jean-Luc Godard in the midst of an existential crisis during the May 1968 events. Jean-Luc Godard, the star director of the Nouvelle Vague, a figure as loved as he was misunderstood, is now a living legend at the age of 87. And it was...

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“This Is Our Land” in U.S. Theaters

The tenth movie from Lucas Belvaux analyzes the message and methods used by a far-right, populist political party to gain a following in a village in France. Pauline is a visiting nurse in Northern France and well-liked by her patients. One day she is approached by high-ranking members of a far-right party called the Patriotic Block, and is asked to...

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A Stroll Through Versailles During the Time of Kings

During the 17th and 18th centuries, the Court of Versailles was open to the public and welcomed artists, ambassadors, and diplomats from all over the world. The "Visitors to Versailles (1682-1789)" exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum in New York until July 29 offers the chance to walk in these visitors’ shoes. In 1682, Louis XIV moved the seat of royal...

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David Serero: “I Want to Take the Americans to the French Opera”

In an effort to make opera more popular, French baritone David Serero is blending genres. From April 12 through 22, he will be presenting a "jazzy" version of Cyrano de Bergerac in New York. One foot in the classics, and the other in creative whimsy. The French singer, stage director, and producer has been living in New York for three...

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Cézanne’s Portraits Get a Show of their Own

Paul Cézanne is not usually thought of as a portrait painter, but while portraiture was a limited by-product of his total output, it was still an integral aspect of his work. Cézanne's portraits will be the subject of an exhibition at the National Gallery of Art through July 1. The son of a banker who gave him an allowance, Cézanne never...[Subscriber]

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Are French Waiters Rude?

Rude, or just French? A waiter in a Vancouver restaurant claims he was fired for having a “more direct and expressive” culture than his North-American coworkers. "The much-maligned and often misunderstood French waiter is an inscrutable breed unto himself,” wrote journalist Cristina Nehring in the Wall Street Journal in 2015. And it appears this view still rings true today. Guillaume...

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Iconic: The Escape Scarf

Before becoming a collector’s item, silk scarves adorned with map prints were actually distributed in World War II to allied pilots, who would hide them under their collars and use them to find their way through occupied territory. In 1939, the British secret service created a covert organization — MI9 — responsible for giving Royal Air Force pilots flying over...

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A Documentary on the French Giant of American Wrestling

Frenchman André René Roussimoff was worshipped in the United States as the greatest wrestler in living memory. He passed away in 1993, and remains a figure shrouded in mystery. In an HBO documentary beginning on April 10, American director Jason Hehir offers an intimate portrayal of the man everyone knew as "André the Giant." Twenty-five years following his death, André...

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A Tool to Protect the French Language in Quebec

The Office Québécois de la Langue Française (OQLF) has been fighting to maintain French as the "normal and usual language" in the province of Quebec since 1961. The organization strives to keep out English words and annually updates a dictionary containing three million French terms. France-Amérique talked with the OQLF spokesperson, Jean-Pierre Le Blanc, to find out more. France-Amérique: What...

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Does Francophone Music Have a Place in the United States?

While Aznavour and Brel enjoyed their 15 minutes of fame in the U.S.A., musicians who sing in French still struggle to make it big across the Atlantic — unlike those who opt for English. French DJ David Guetta and the Versailles-born rockers from the band Phoenix won their first Grammy Awards for songs with English lyrics in 2010. The number...

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“The Workshop” in U.S. Theaters

Staying true to his cherished themes, Laurent Cantet (Palme d’Or at Cannes for The Class in 2008) — has teamed up with co-writer Robin Campillo (César Award for Best Film for 120 Beats Per Minute in 2018) to offer another vision of youth and social ties. We asked the director three questions while he was in New York for the...

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“A Bag of Marbles” in U.S. Theaters

A Bag of Marbles (Un Sac de billes), in U.S. theaters on March 23, is a new adaptation of Joseph Joffo’s best-selling novel, and portrays two Jewish boys fleeing the war through Occupied France during the 1940s. Following on from Jappeloup and Belle & Sébastien, his two previous movies shot in France, Quebecer director Christian Duguay has chosen to bring Joseph...

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“Ismael’s Ghosts” in U.S. Theaters

A tale of love and death featuring Marion Cotillard and Mathieu Amalric, the latest film by Arnaud Desplechin is coming to U.S. theaters on March 23. Ismael Vuillard (Mathieu Amalric) is an alcoholic filmmaker haunted by his past. As he prepares to direct a new movie, his life is turned upside-down by the reappearance of Carlotta (Marion Cotillard), his ex-wife who disappeared...

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“Back to Burgundy” in U.S. Theaters

The latest movie by Cédric Klapisch (Family Resemblances, The Spanish Apartment) takes audiences to Meursault in the Burgundy wine country. In his portrayal of a group of winegrowing siblings, the director shows how wine is made and how heritage is passed down through the generations. Following on from Chinese Puzzle — his previous feature-length movie filmed in New York in...

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Gwenn ha Du, the Breton Cousin of the Stars and Stripes

At the Saint Patrick’s Day parade held every March 17 on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, it is common to see Bretons flying their black and white flag, which is in fact inspired by the Star-Spangled Banner of the United States. The French and American flags share the same colors, but the Stars and Stripes actually have more in common with...

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“12 Days”: Madness in the Face of Justice

Documentary filmmaker Raymond Depardon gives a voice to people in a psychiatric hospital interned without their consent. The movie shines a light on the line between sanity and madness, and the limits of the justice system. In the past in France, the decision to intern someone against their will was the sole responsibility of a psychiatrist, and was not subject...

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French on the Airwaves

Americans speaking to other Americans… but in French! From Brooklyn to San Francisco and from Boston to Minneapolis and Ville Platte (Louisiana), many radio stations and shows are now broadcast in French. It’s 7:30 pm (EST) on Radio Soleil. After the horoscope in Creole and a few bars of kompa blasted out on a trumpet, it’s time for the weekly...