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Marcel Duchamp’s Urinal Celebrates its 100th Anniversary

A 29-year-old Frenchman shocked the New York art scene 100 years ago. Marcel Duchamp's Fountain, an icon of modern art, will be on display at the Philadelphia Museum of Art through December 3. Curator Matthew Affron talked to us about the exhibition. France-Amérique: What is your objective for the Marcel Duchamp and the Fountain Scandal exhibition? Matthew Affron: We wanted to showcase what may...

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Francophile Film Distributors Make Tracks for Los Angeles

The biggest French cinema festival outside of France will be taking place in Los Angeles from April 24 through May 2. Organized between the Oscars and Cannes, the COLCOA festival offers Francophone cinema a prestigious showcase in Hollywood. The COLCOA festival was founded 20 years ago by the Franco-American Culture Fund. Drawing its name from “City Of Lights City Of...

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“Heal the Living” by Katell Quillévéré Arrives in U.S. Theaters

Simon, 17, is in a brain-dead state following an accident. His initially reluctant parents finally decide to donate his organs, and the gift of his heart will save another’s life. The film is based on the successful novel, Mend the Living, by French writer Maylis de Kerangal, and was released in U.S. theaters on April 14, 2017. France-Amérique : Maylis...

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World War I Through Children’s Eyes

On April 6, 1917, the United States declared war against Germany, officially entering World War I. An exhibition of 30 drawings from 1917 depicting the American contingent arriving in France as seen by French children, will be running at the National World War I Museum in Kansas City, Missouri, until October 15. From 1914 to 1918, Georges Huppen, a teacher at the...

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When Posters Went to War

As the United States entered the war alongside the Allies in April 1917, admen and artists alike joined forces to “sell the war” to Americans. 20 million propaganda posters were made between spring 1917 and the Armistice of 1918. Sixty original illustrations will be on display at the Museum of the City of New York until October 9. On April...

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“Wings” Remembered

Winner of the Oscar for Best Picture in 1929, William Wellman’s Wings is a classic of the American silent film era. Upon the centennial of America entering the First World War, the film will be shown in New York, Chicago, Washington, St. Louis and Minneapolis from April 6 to 16. An epic tale with an air of tragedy, Wings is a story about...

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Jean-Jacques Audubon in America

Like Lafayette before him, Jean-Jacques Audubon (1785-1851) is one of several French people who are less known in France but who enjoy immense popularity in the United States. The French ornithologist and naturalized U.S. citizen wrote the reference work The Birds of America, and spent the early 19th century exploring the American wilderness of Louisiana, Missouri and Mississippi, where he...

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The Graphic Novel Unveiling the Underbelly of Silicon Valley

In 2013, along with her husband and daughter, French cartoonist Laureline Duermael left Metz and moved their video games developing business to San Francisco. The experience quickly became a living nightmare. She started to blog her misadventures as a comic strip, which was then published as a graphic novel called Comme convenu (As Agreed) in 2015. She recently launched an online crowd-funding campaign to help...

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“Zola Was a Humanist, Cézanne Was Hypersensitive”

Filmmaker, screenwriter and director Danièle Thompson is a leading figure of French cinema. We met with her as part of the release of her movie Cézanne and I in the United States on March 31. The film follows the turbulent friendship and rivalry between painter Paul Cézanne (played by Comédie Française actor Guillaume Gallienne) and writer Emile Zola (Guillaume Canet), who were both from Aix-en-Provence...

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Fiddles, French, and the Quest to Save a Forgotten Dialect

Dennis Stroughmatt didn’t like French at school. Despite this fact, the American musician and historian has become the sole guardian of a quickly-vanishing French dialect from Missouri, Illinois and Indiana. Today he is fighting to keep Illinois French alive by teaching seminars and playing concerts throughout the United States. France-Amérique: How did you come upon “Illinois French”? Dennis Stroughmatt: I...

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Focus on French Cinema: A Tribute to Quebec

This year’s Focus on French Cinema festival will be screening 20 Francophone films — including six from Quebec — in New York, Stamford and Greenwich (Connecticut) from March 27 to April 2, 2017. Festival president Renée Ketcham talked us through this year’s selection. France-Amérique: Can you tell us about your decision to showcase Quebecer cinema this year? Renée Ketcham: Focus on French Cinema is...

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In the U.S., Small Talk Is Not That Small

Imaginez… Vous êtes à Paris. Vous prenez place dans le bus. L’homme assis à vos côtés vous lance “Il fait beau aujourd’hui” avant de s’enquérir : “Où allez-vous ?" L’expérience risque d’être vécue comme dérangeante, plutôt qu’agréable. Partons maintenant de l’autre coté de l’Atlantique. Deux inconnus, Jack et Rachel, tous deux américains, prennent le bus pour se rendre à Downtown Miami. Jack: Nice...

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“Frantz” by François Ozon Arrives in U.S. Theaters

Calling all film buffs! François Ozon’s latest film, Frantz, is arriving in American movie theatres on Wednesday 15 March! Starring actors Pierre Niney and Paula Beer, this surprisingly classical film takes audiences back to Germany in 1919. Forewarned is forearmed: it should be noted that Frantz is a quite disconcerting work. Other than the occasional scene filmed in color, the...

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An Activist Film Festival in New York

The Socially Relevant Film Festival will be taking place in New York from March 13 to 19, 2017. Some 46 films will be screened over the event, including six French productions. In memory of her uncle and her cousin, both murdered by a Muslim fundamentalist, Egyptian actor and director Nora Armani created a film festival that isn’t afraid to open its mouth. The Socially...

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The Musical Revival of Cajun French

Cajun French was forbidden in Louisiana until 1964. This dialect is a blend of French, English, Spanish and Caribbean influences, and is now being revived through the music of the Lost Bayou Ramblers. The band’s singer and violinist, Louis Michot, talked to us about his commitment to save Louisiana’s Cajun culture. France-Amérique: How did Cajun French arrive in Louisiana? Louis...

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The Man Who Loved French Cinema

Charles Cohen is a renowned, wealthy real estate magnate, but also has a passion for cinéma d’auteur. He even went as far as making a second career out of it, and in just a few years has become one of the leading distributors of French films in the United States. Charles Cohen receives us on the top floor of his eponymous...

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French Dialects Fight for Survival in the United States

Integration and the law forced Francophones in the United States to abandon their language in the early 20th century, and language enthusiasts are now fighting for its survival. Paw Paw was a dialect spoken by the first French settlers to colonize the Midwest, and is being kept alive in classes taught by a young American linguist in Missouri. Other French...

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Iconic : Emmanuelle Khanh’s Extravagant Eyewear

Boasting oversized, cat’s eye and butterfly frames, and prints such as tortoiseshell, the avant-garde eyewear created by French designer Emmanuelle Khanh, who died at 79 on February 17, 2017, made a splash in fashion during the 1970’s. The products were handmade in the Jura region in France, and contributed to female emancipation. Despite disappearing in the early 1990’s, the brand...

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A Rendezvous with Young French Cinema

The Rendez-Vous With French Cinema festival is coming back to the Lincoln Center in New York from March 1 to 12, 2017. Adeline Monzier is the U.S. representative for UniFrance, the organization behind the festival. We talked with her about the event’s line-up, which showcases young women directors and the vitality of French cinema. France-Amérique: Some 10 of the 23 movies featured this...

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“My Life as a Zucchini,” the Story of a Quite Extraordinary Childhood

Lauded at Cannes and nominated at the Golden Globes, the Césars and the Oscars, My Life as a Zucchini proves that French animation can more than hold its own against Hollywood’s 3D blockbusters. Directed by Swiss film maker Claude Barras and written by French screenwriter Céline Sciamma, the movie was made using one of the oldest techniques in cinema, called...

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Madeline Fontaine, a French Costume Designer in Hollywood

Madeline Fontaine has dressed Audrey Tautou, Asterix, Yves Saint Laurent and Jacqueline Kennedy. The French costume designer, who originally entered the profession “almost by accident,” received the César Award for Best Costume Design for A Very Long Engagement (2005) and Séraphine (2009). This Sunday, she will be in the running to receive an Oscar for Best Costume Design for Jackie,...