Every month in France-Amérique, discover the best of French and Francophone culture in the United States.
In this issue of France-Amérique, travel to Mount Desert Island off the coast of Maine, where one of the greatest French writers of the 20th century, Marguerite Yourcenar, lived until her death in 1987. You can also read our interviews with sociologist Raphaël Liogier (“Roman Polanski in the Wake of #MeToo”) and with filmmaker Ladj Ly in anticipation of the U.S. release of his movie, Les Misérables.
Handbags as Works of Art
Bags shaped like mouths, hearts, alarm clocks, miters, and matchboxes combine with bright colors and ultra-discreet logos. The creations from Parisian leather craftsman Renaud Pellegrino, who previously worked with Yves Saint Laurent, are wearable works of art. Some of them are even part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris!
“I Am Pleased the Message Has Been Heard, But Now We Need Actions”
The first feature-length movie by Ladj Ly sounds the alarm on the explosive situation in the French projects and could represent France at the Oscars. The film follows a dramatic day in the life of three police officers patrolling Montfermeil (Seine-Saint- Denis) near Paris. In the movie, an act of police violence filmed by a local child sparks outrage. Les Misérables had a major impact in France and garnered generally positive reviews. It also won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival last year. Amazon has already acquired the rights to the film in the U.S., where it will be released in theaters on January 10, fifteen years after the 2005 riots in France.
MARGUERITE YOURCENAR IN AMERICA
Marguerite Yourcenar was one of the greatest French writers of the 20th century; she was the first woman to join the Académie Française, and wrote celebrated classics such as Memoirs of Hadrian and The Abyss. But few realize that these masterpieces were written in the United States, where Yourcenar moved after the war, became an American citizen, and lived until her death in 1987.
An Architectural Jaunt
In the late 1920s, Swiss-born architect Le Corbusier designed an astounding house supported by slender columns, or pilotis, some 20 miles west of Paris. Named Villa Savoye, the building was kept more or less secret by its original owners. But it stands as an icon of now-universal modern architecture.
Table of contents