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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...

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The Americans of the Cannes Film Festival

Homages, anniversaries, and women. Among all its themes, the 71st Cannes Film Festival beginning May 8, 2018, has certainly not forgotten the United States. Kristen Stewart and Spike Lee will be back on La Croisette, while Martin Scorsese is set to receive an award for his life’s work. With two movies in the official selection, and several feature-length films screened out...

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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...