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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...

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Jean-Michel Othoniel, the Glass Always Half Full

Jean-Michel Othoniel is taking over the three floors of the Perrotin Gallery in Manhattan for his first solo exhibition in New York since 2012. Some 35 "monumental" works assembling pearls and expanses of translucent bricks will make up the installations on show until April 15, 2018. A giant pearl necklace hung in the stairwell leads up to the "tornado room."...

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French Painter Martial Raysse Returns to the U.S.

Fifty years after leaving the U.S. pop art scene, French painter Martial Raysse is showcasing his "Visages" exhibition at the Levy Gorvy Gallery in New York. "Coming back here is like visiting an old friend." At the age of 82, figurative painter Martial Raysse is back in the United States. In his role as one of the founding members of...

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A New Rendez-Vous With French Cinema in New York

The Rendez-Vous with French Cinema festival is back for its 26th year at the Lincoln Center in New York from March 8 through 18, 2018. This year’s line-up includes two movies starring Mathieu Amalric, a documentary by Raymond Depardon, and the return of Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano. The leading French film festival in North America will be opening to...

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“Souvenir” in U.S. Theaters

Isabelle Huppert is back on the American silver screens. She will appear in Souvenir, the second feature-length film by Belgian director Bavo Defurne, out in the U.S. on March 2. Liliane is an employee at a charcuterie factory, and one day she is recognized by Jean, one of her young colleagues. Liliane is in fact a former pop singer who enjoyed...

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The Great Cat Massacre: French History Revealed by the Americans

In 1730 in Paris, two apprentice printers staged a trial for their masters’ cats, condemned them to death by hanging, and carried out the sentence. This tragic event in the history of France continues to fascinate American historians and actors today. The Great Cat Massacre on the Rue Saint-Séverin was, in the words of the perpetrators, "the funniest thing that ever...

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Five Unusual Guides for Traveling in the United States

Major U.S. cities are attracting an increasing number of tourists and expats in search of new and original experiences. For those looking to make the most of New York, Miami, Los Angeles, or Chicago, here is a selection of guides written by French travelers. Destination New York, the very first Francophone guide created online [caption id="attachment_71497" align="aligncenter" width="670"] The third...

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The Gruesome Origins of Valentine’s Day

Let’s take a look at the origins of Valentine’s Day, which over the years has been a pagan festival, a Catholic celebration, a sordid medieval custom, a romantic tradition, and a commercial ritual marketed by U.S. postcard vendors. The United States has a taste for festivities, and far more so than France. Americans constantly move from one event to the...

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“Double Lover”, François Ozon’s Erotic Thriller

French director François Ozon, known for 8 Women, Swimming Pool, and Frantz, is back with Double Lover (L'Amant double), a tale of sex, neurosis, and identical twins, coming to U.S. theaters on February 14. Double Lover was freely adapted from the novel Lives of the Twins, published in 1987 by Joyce Carol Oates under the pen name Rosamond Smith. The...

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“Returning to Reims”: An Essay by Didier Eribon on Stage in New York

The Schaubühne theater company headed up by German director Thomas Ostermeier is presenting Returning to Reims at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn until February 25. The show was created by actress Nina Hoss (Homeland) in reaction to Donald Trump winning the U.S. presidential elections, and is inspired by an eponymous essay by French sociologist and philosopher Didier Eribon published in...

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Claude Monet on Broadway

A musical about the life of the French impressionist painter is currently in production. An extract was presented in New York on February 5, 2018, and the show is set to preview this fall. Claude Monet was 60 in 1901. The pioneer of Impressionism was living in Giverny, in the Eure département, where he continued his series of paintings of...

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Clint Eastwood’s “15:17 to Paris” Barges into Theaters

The latest Clint Eastwood blockbuster, a reconstitution of the 2015 attack on the Thalys train from Amsterdam to Paris, will be in U.S. theaters on February 9, 2018 (and on February 7 in France). On August 21, 2015, a 25-year-old Moroccan man named Ayoub El Khazzani opened fire with a Kalashnikov on the Thalys train N°9364 traveling from Amsterdam to...

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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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French Animation Gets a Festival in New York

Animated movies are not just for kids! In an effort to disprove the widely-held belief that they are, the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) will be organizing the first U.S. festival for French animated cinema in New York on February 2 through 4, 2018. As part of the upcoming event, the FIAF’s film curator, Delphine Selles-Alvarez, and the director of...