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Images of Power From Both Sides of the Pond

Did you know that Emmanuel Macron's presidential portrait is almost identical to Barack Obama's? On Presidents' Day, let's take a look at two official portraits that broke with tradition. In June 2017, a few weeks after he was elected, French president Emmanuel Macron was photographed with a 3/4 shot in the American style by Soazig de la Moissonnière, his official photographer...

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On va continuer ! : A Cajun “Rockumentary”

Just a few miles from Lafayette, Louisiana, six musicians are putting their all into passing down the heritage of the French language and Cajun music. Their band, the Lost Bayou Ramblers, was formed in 1990 by brothers Louis and Andre Michot, and received a 2018 Grammy Award for Best Regional Roots Music Album. Director Bruno Doria has made a "rockumentary"...

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Monet, the Late Years

An exhibition opening on February 16 at San Francisco's De Young Museum focuses on the last years, and the last works, of French painter Claude Monet, an icon of Impressionism and a pioneer of abstractionism. Monet has been called “the great anti-depressant,” and it would be hard to dispute the uplifting qual- ity of those luminous scenes so exquisitely rendered...

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Sorry Angel in U.S. Theaters

The latest film by Christophe Honoré, inspired by his own youth, will be released in U.S. theaters on Friday, February 15. Arthur, 20 is a student in the city of Rennes in Brittany during the early 1990s. His life changes when he meets Jacques, a writer who lives in Paris with his son. Over a summer, Arthur and Jacques develop a...

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Iconic: Christofle Silverware

Christofle has specialized in tableware, flatware, and home accessories since 1830, and has successfully reinvigorated the world of silverware long associated with a bourgeois lifestyle. This new image has seduced American clients and the United States has overtaken France as the brand's first market. Anyone who has stepped into a Christofle boutique has surely had quite a surprise, as grandma’s silverware...

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Bessie Coleman: Black Wings Over France

On June 15, 1921, Bessie Coleman became the world’s first Afro-American woman pilot. At a time when no school in America was ready to admit a colored student, she earned her license from Le Crotoy in Northern France. Seen today as a pioneer of emancipation of women and Blacks, Bessie Coleman is a legend in the United States. In 1915,...

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Objectif Monde: The World As Seen by French Speakers

The French television show Objectif Monde focuses on a different societal theme once a month by calling on specialists and Francophone journalists from RTBF (Belgium), Radio Canada, RTS (Switzerland), France Télévisions, and TV5MONDE. This investigative news show selects the best reports across a wide range of subjects from American politics to food and from climate change to the #MeToo movement,...

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The Merci Train, a Locomotive Built on French-American Goodwill

The cane used by the Marquis de La Fayette, 49 Sèvres porcelain vases, a silk wedding dress, and toy soldiers belonging to a ten-year-old boy. These were just a few of the objects gifted to the United States in a convoy of transatlantic solidarity organized after World War II: the French Gratitude Train. Seventy years ago on February 3, 1949,...

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Robert Doisneau, of Music and America

He “captured the Gallic spirit” like no other. As part of the release of the book Robert Doisneau, Music and an exhibition about the photographer at the Paris Philharmonic, France-Amérique takes a closer look at Robert Doisneau’s photo reports in the United States. Le baiser de l’hôtel de ville symbolizes the romanticism of Paris during the 1950s. This photo taken...

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Jihadists, a Divisive Movie in American Theaters

A documentary aiming to shed light on the Salafist ideology while showing the daily horrors of living under Sharia law in the Sahel region of Africa has caused controversy in France. It was initially banned for anyone under 18, before the age-limit was dropped to under 16s. The polemical movie will be shown in certain cinemas in New York and...

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Godard’s Image Book in U.S. Theaters

Jean-Luc Godard’s experimental movie, this Friday in U.S. theaters, picked up a special Palme d’Or at the last Cannes Film Festival and is as cryptic as it is fascinating. This is not a documentary. At the age of 87, the Nouvelle Vague icon is back with a puzzling take on cinema. The director focuses on the way in which we create...

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Un si grand soleil, a Modern TV Show à la Française

With 236 episodes each lasting 26 minutes, Un si grand soleil is becoming the new French TV everyone is talking about. Produced by France Télévisions and broadcast on TV5MONDE, the series set in Southern France is watched by 4 million viewers every day. After a 17-year absence, Claire Estrela is back in her native city of Montpellier. But a grisly event involving...

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Iconic: The Guy Cotten Oilskin Jacket

A small, yellow figure with its arms outstretched is the logo of Guy Cotten, the specialist of “all- weather clothing.” In 50 years, the brand’s reputation has gone far beyond its native Brittany, making it the world leader in professional oilskins. The yellow waterproof jacket featuring Velcro fasteners and a zipper has also established itself on the U.S. market, where...

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Ninety Years On, Tintin Is Still Struggling to Conquer America

The little Belgian reporter invented by illustrator Hergé is undeniably a 20th-century hero in France and Belgium. But even with Tintin in America, which saw the journalist travel to Chicago and the Wild West, the character has always struggled to carve out a niche in the U.S.A. where Marvel reigns supreme. As General de Gaulle liked to say, “In actual...

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Gallipolis, a French Utopia on the Banks of the Ohio River

One thousand French people fled to the United States after the Revolution, aghast at being stripped of their privileges and sensing the imminent arrival of the Reign of Terror. Championing the philosophy of the Lumières and its idyllic vision of the New World, they founded the Gallipolis colony on the banks of the Ohio River — a Garden of Eden,...

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The French Comedies That Inspired Hollywood

The American remake of the hit French comedy Intouchables, out in U.S. theaters on January 11, is not a first. American filmmakers have long drawn inspiration from French comedies. And while the results are not always a success, sometimes the remakes work wonders. Here are four that won over audiences. Trois hommes un couffin (1985) / Three Men and a...

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The Upside, Remake of Hit French Comedy, in U.S. Theaters

The hit movie Intouchables was seen by 20 million people in French theaters in 2012, and a U.S. remake is set to be released in January 2019. American critics are waiting to pounce, having already denounced the racial prejudices in the original film. The question is, will this comedy drama on the theme of disability win over American audiences? Do...

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Alexander Calder: The Mobilization of Art

American artist Alexander Calder is renowned for his aerial creations and spent a large part of his life in France. A coffee-table book published by Abrams and a retrospective at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts both look at the origins of the medium that Calder christened “mobile” on the advice of his friend Marcel Duchamp. Calder grew up between...

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The Invention of Santa Claus: From Thomas Nast to Coca-Cola

Père Janvier, Father Christmas, Christkindl, Santa Claus… Whatever name you happen to give him, Father Christmas and his origins still spur controversy. Coca-Cola may have claimed ownership of the symbol and widely circulated the image of a bearded and smiling Father Christmas, yet the brand didn’t actually invent anything. Much earlier, the American cartoonist Thomas Nast (1840-1902) fashioned Father Christmas’s...

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The Photographer: Jacques Perrin’s Road Trip Across the American West

The French director and producer behind nature documentaries Microcosmos and Winged Migration (nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary in 2003) is preparing a new film on the national parks of the great American West. Research has begun in the field and at Stanford University in California. The scouting mission was given to co-director Thierry Machado and Antoine de Cazotte,...