Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Bonne Année!!!

Camille Pissaro - French Artist

Camille Pissarro (July 10, 1830 – November 13, 1903) was a French Impressionist painter. His importance resides not only in his visual contributions to Impressionism and Post-Impressionism, but also in his patriarchal standing among his colleagues, particularly Paul Cézanne and Paul Gauguin.
His finest early works are characterized by a broadly painted (sometimes with palette knife), but with an incipient Impressionist palette.

Pissarro married Julie Vellay, a maid in his mother's household. Of their eight children, one died at birth and one daughter died aged nine. The surviving children all painted.

Known as the "Father of Impressionism", Pissarro painted rural and urban French life, particularly landscapes in and around Pontoise, as well as scenes from Montmartre. His mature work displays an empathy for peasants and laborers, and sometimes evidences his radical political leanings. He was a mentor to Paul Cézanne and Paul Gauguin and his example inspired many younger artists, including Californian Impressionist Lucy Bacon.

Pissarro's influence on his fellow Impressionists is probably still underestimated; not only did he offer substantial contributions to Impressionist theory, but he also managed to remain on friendly, mutually respectful terms with such difficult personalities as Edgar Degas, Cézanne and Gauguin. Pissarro exhibited at all eight of the Impressionist exhibitions. Moreover, whereasMonet was the most prolific and emblematic practitioner of the Impressionist style, Pissarro was nonetheless a primary developer of Impressionist technique. 

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Lesson # 45 -Occupations

Lesson # 45   I am a...

For a man:  Je suis un... (zhuh sweeze uhn...) -I am a...
For a woman: Je suis une... (zhuh sweeze oon...) -I am a...

homme d'affaires (ohm dah fehr) businessman
femme d'affaires (fehm dah fehr) businesswoman

enseignant (ahn sahn yahn) teacher (male)
enseignante (ahn sahn yahnt) teacher (female)

artisite (ahr teest) artist (un artist for male, une artiste for female)

serveur (soor vuhr) waiter
serveuse (soor vooz) waitress

medécin (meh day sin) doctor (male or female)

avocat (ah voh kah) -lawyer (male)
avocate (ah voh kaht) lawyer (female)

Lesson #46 on dimanche 1/4/09

Mystery Of The Hope Diamond

A lump of lead from a dusty drawer in a Paris museum has enabled French experts to solve a long-standing mystery. 

The size of a pigeon's egg, the piece turned out to be a casting of the legendary Blue Diamond, the centre-piece of the crown jewels of pre-revolutionary France. The diamond, bought by Louis XIV in the 17th century, vanished when looters stole King Louis XVI's treasures in the heat of the revolution in 1792. The find in the Paris Museum of Natural History has in turn enabled researchers to prove that the long-lost blue diamond is one and the same as the Hope Diamond, a star exhibit of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC.

It had long been suspected that the Hope, which was given to the Smithsonian in 1958 by the jeweller Harry Winston and which is said to carry a fatal curse, came from the Diamant Bleu that was looted in Paris in 1792. This has now been confirmed by François Farges, the chief mineralogist with the Paris museum. He has concluded that the Hope is the cut-down heart of the 69-carat Indian diamond that the Sun King bought in the mid-17th century.

The Hope diamond changed hands many times. It came to Paris and was owned for a time by Pierre Cartier, the jeweller, before reaching the United States in 1911. The tale of a curse arose from the real or imagined sticky ends of some of its owners, including Louis XVI and Tavernier. The king ended up of course on the guillotine. The adventurer who brought it to France was said to have stolen it from a statue of the goddess Sita. He was later torn to pieces by wolves in Russia, according to the legend.

(excerpts from an article by Charles Bremmer-Times Online)

Children's Word of the Day -Apple

Kids, everytime you see an apple, point to it and say, "une pomme" (oon pahm).

Monday, December 29, 2008

Children's Word Review of the Week

Ok kids, click on the video below to go over all the words from last week. The adults out there, help the kids out with all the words. Make it fun.

bonbons (bahn bahn) -candy            un bain (uhn ban) - a bath        
 bicyclette (bee see kleht) -bicycle             la porte (lah port) -the door
un sourire (uhn soor reer) -a smile         la table (lah tah bluh) -the table

Toi & Moi by Grégoire

Toi plus moi, plus eux plus tous ceux qui le veulent,
Plus lui plus elle et tout ceux qui sont seuls
allez venez et entrez dans la danse
allez venez, laissez faire l'insouciance

A deux a mille je sais qu'on est capable
tout est possible tout est réalisable
on peut s'enfuir bien plus haut que nos rêves
on peut partir bien plus loin que la grève

oh Toi plus moi, plus tous ceux qui le veulent,
Plus lui plus elle plus tout ceux qui sont seuls
allez venez et entrez dans la danse
allez venez c'est notre jour de chance

avec l'envie la force et le courage
le froid la peur ne sont que des mirages
laissez tomber les malheurs pour une fois
allez venez , reprenez avec moi.

Ho, toi plus moi, plus tous ceux qui le veulent,
Plus lui plus elle et tout ceux qui sont seuls
allez venez et entrez dans la danse
allez venez laissez faire l'insouciance

je sais c'est vrai ma chanson est naïve
même un peu bête , mais bien inoffensive
et même si elle ne change pas le monde
elle vous invite a entrer dans la ronde

Oh toi plus moi plus tous ceux qui le veulent
plus lui plus elle et tous ceux qui sont seuls
allez venez et entrez dans la danse
allez venez c'est notre jour de chance

l'espoir l'ardeur font tous ceux qu'il te faut
mes bras mon coeur mes epaules et mon dos
je veux te voir des étoiles dans les yeux
je veux nous voir insoumis et heureux

oh toi plus moi plus tous ceux qui le veulent
plus lui plus elle et tous ceux qui sont seuls
allez venez et entrez dans la danse
allez venez, laissez faire l'insouciance

Oh toi plus moi plus tous ceux qui le veulent
plus lui plus elle et tous ceux qui sont seuls
allez venez et entrez dans la danse
allez venez c'est notre jour de chance

Oh toi plus moi plus tous ceux qui le veulent
plus lui plus elle et tous ceux qui sont seuls
allez venez et entrez dans la danse
allez venez et entrez dans la danse

The "Buried Voices" of the Palais Garnier

In the Palais Garnier -- the Opéra -- historians were enjoying an eery trip back in time.
They were playing for the first time a trove of recordings that had been sealed for posterity a century ago, extracted from the exact spot deep in the Opera vaults where, in the novel, they found the remains of the dead Phantom.
They listened tp Nellie Melba, the Australian soprano and Enrico Caruso, the tenor, and other long-dead stars crackling from 36 pristine Gramophone records that had been locked away for posterity.
The tale of the Opera's "buried voices", as they are known, began on Christmas Eve 1907 with a strange and solemn ceremony. In the deep labyrinth below the Garnier, Aristide Briand, a statesman of the era, dedicated two leaden urns in which 24 records were packed in glass and asbestos.
"This will teach men (100 years from now) about the state of our talking machines and the voices of the principal singers of our times," said the message with the urns. The idea of leaving voices in a time capsule came from Alfred Clark, the American head of the French branch of Gramophone, the British company that became His Master's Voice and later EMI.
The voices, with their rather fruity period renditions of Wagner, Beethoven, Verdi, Bizet and lesser known composers, were kept under seal for the prescribed century. They were transferred to the Bibliothèque Nationale for safe-keeping in 1989 but only opened last Christmas. Also opened were two more urns which were deposited in 1912. One of these was damaged beyond repair. Technicians of the National Library spent the year extracting the fragile records from the glass plates and asbestos inside which they had been packed.
Vintage recording experts marvelled not only at the sound, but at the colourful, perfectly preserved labels of the discs from what are known as Gramphone's "pre-dog" period -- before the logo of the listening dog. EMI is bringing out a CD from the contents of the urns in January. The Opera also plans to install a new time capsule with the best early 21st century music. That choice should prove interesting.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Disney Moment - La Belle et la Bête

French Word Origins - Séance

séance (say yohnse) is an attempt to communicate with spirits. The word "séance" comes from the French word for "seat," "session" or "sitting," from the Old French "seoir," "to sit." In French, the word's meaning is quite general: one may, for example, speak of "une séance de cinéma" ("a movie session"). In English, however, the word came to be used specifically for a meeting of people who are gathered to receive messages from ghosts or spirits or to listen to a spirit medium discourse with or relay messages from spirits.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Answer to Yesterday's Guess Who - Louis Jourdan

Louis Jourdan (born June 19, 1919) is a French film actor. He is known for his roles in severalHollywood films, including The Paradine Case (1947), Gigi (1958), The Best of Everything (1959), and Octopussy (1983).

Jourdan was born as Louis Gendre in Marseille, France, the son of Yvonne (née Jourdan) and Henry Gendre, a hotel owner. He was educated in France, Turkey and England, and trained as an actor at the École Dramatique, making his film debut in 1939.

Following the German occupation of France during World War II, he continued to make films but after refusing to participate in Nazi propagandafilms, he joined the French Resistance.

In 1947, Jourdan accepted an offer from a Hollywood studio to appear in The Paradine Case, an Alfred Hitchcock drama starring Gregory Peck. There he became friends with several stars who shared his love of croquet. After a number of American films, most notably the 1954 romantic drama Three Coins in the Fountain, he made his Broadway debut in the lead role in Billy Rose' drama, The Immoralist. He returned to Broadway for a short run in 1955 and that year made his U.S. television debut as Inspector Beaumont in the series Paris Precinct.

During the 1950s Jourdan made several international films, including playing the male lead in The Bride is Too Beautiful opposite Brigitte Bardot. However, he may be best remembered as the romantic lead opposite Leslie Caron and Maurice Chevalier in the 1958 film version of theColette novel, Gigi. The film earned nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Guess Who

Guess who this famous Frenchman is.

Answer will be posted this time tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

French Film - Les Chansons d'amour

Love Songs (French: Les Chansons d'amour) is a French 2007 film by Christophe Honoré. It was one of the 20 films running for the Featured Films competition at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival. A musical about love, life and death starring Louis Garrel, Ludivine Sagnier and Chiara Mastroianni. It was presented on Official Selection, thus it was nominated to the Golden Palm. The film's style is vaguely inspired by Jacques Demy film The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, which starred Catherine Deneuve, who is Chiara Mastroianni's mother.

Children's Word of the Day - Bicycle

Kids, when you see a bicycle, point to it and say "la bicyclette" (lah bee see kleht)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Last Minute Holiday Gift For Small Children

Ok it is getting very late to get this but on you can order this book. One of the all-time favorite children's book. 

Here's the link below if you want to buy this.

Weekly Vocabulary Word Review

Click on the video below for a review of all the words from last week, both children & adult words.

Words from last week:
la poupée (lah poo pay) -doll le livre (leh livre) -book le chat (leh shaht) -cat la maison (lah may zone) -house la salle à manger (lah sahl ah mahn zhay) -dining room verre (vehr) -glass le concert (kahn sehr) -concert la table (lah tah bluh) -table

Note: Remember learning French can be fun! Adults should help out & practice with the kids. Make it a fun family thing to do.

Soumia - French Singer

Soumia, born Soumia Bahri on 27th August 1977 in Saint Mandé in Paris area, is a francophone Zouk and RnB musician, especially famous in the French West Indies. She is of Moroccan origin.
Soumia : "Ton Silence"

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Romeo & Juliet - the French Musical

Roméo et Juliette: de la Haine à l'Amour is a French musical based on William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet, with music and lyrics by Gérard Presgurvic. It premiered in Paris on January 19, 2001. The production was directed and choreographed by Redha, with costumes by Dominique Borg and settings by Petrika Ionesco. The producers were Gérard Louvin, GLEM, and Universal Music.Since then, the musical has been performed in Canada, Antwerp, London, Amsterdam, Budapest, Szeged, Moscow, Vienna, Seoul, Pusan(South Korea), Taipei and Monterrey and has been translated into several languages, including Flemish, Hungarian, Russian, English, Germanand Spanish.

Suzuki Ad

Cute French poster

From what I can translate, it means something like "for the sport, you must start young"

Children's Word of the Day - Doll

Kids, when you see a doll, point to it and say "La poupée" (lah poo pay)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Disney Moment - Sous l'océan

La Petite Sirène "Sous l'océan" (lah peh teet see rehn "soo loh say ah) -The Little Mermaid "Under The Sea"

Jean Cocteau

Jean Maurice Eugène Clément Cocteau 
(5 July 1889 – 11 October 1963) was a French poète, novelist, surrealist, dramatist, designer, boxing manager, playwright and réalisateur.
Cocteau's films, most of which he both wrote and directed, were particularly important in introducing Surrealism into French cinéma and influenced to a certain degree the upcoming French New Wave genre.Cocteau is best known for his 1929 play Les enfants terribles, the 1948 film Les parents terribles, and the films Beauty and the Beast, (1946) and Orpheus (1949).

poète (poh eht) -poet               réalisateur (ray ahl ee sah toor) -filmmaker
important / importante (ahn pore tahnt) -important    
cinéma (see nay mah) -cinema / movie house       Les enfants (lay zahn fahnt) -the children

Trailer for "Beauty & The Beast"

Friday, December 19, 2008

Kaysha - French Singer

Kaysha, born Edward Mokolo Jr. on January 22, 1974 in Kinshasa, is one of the most eclectic singers/rappers and producers to work on places like the West indies, South America and Africa. He was born in Democratic Republic of Congo but immigrated to France with his parents at the age of seven. Kaysha is very well known for his first hit single which uses a sample from West Indian band Kassav's Oulé in a song called "Bounce Baby", which introduced him to fans all over the world.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Seashell & The Clergyman -First Surrealist Film

The Seashell and the Clergyman (French: La Coquille et le clergyman) is considered by many to be the first surrealist film. It was directed by Germaine Dulac, from an original scenario by Antonin Artaud, and premiered in Paris on 9 February 1928. The film follows the erotic hallucinations of a priest lusting after the wife of a general.

Although accounts differ, it seems that Artaud disapproved of Dulac's treatment of his scenario. The film was overshadowed by An Andalusian Dog (1929), written and directed by Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí. To this day, An Andalusian Dog is considered the first surrealist film, and its foundations in The Seashell and Clergyman have been all but overlooked. However, the iconic techniques associated with surrealist cinema are all borrowed from this early film. The film is only 28 minutes long. Part 1 is below and the other 2 parts can be found on YouTube for anyone who wants to watch it.

Part 1

Charles Perrault- French Writer

Charles Perrault (12 January 1628 – 16 May 1703) was a French author who laid foundations for a new literary genre, the fairy tale, and whose best known tales include Le Petit Chaperon rouge(Little Red Riding Hood), La Belle au bois dormant (Sleeping Beauty), Le Maître chat ou le Chat botté (Puss in Boots), Cendrillon ou la petite pantoufle de verre (Cinderella), La Barbe bleue(Bluebeard), Le Petit Poucet (Hop o' My Thumb), Les Fées (Diamonds and Toads), La Marquise de Salusses ou la Patience de Griselidis (Patient Griselda), Les Souhaits ridicules (The Ridiculous Wishes), Peau d'Âne (Donkeyskin) and Riquet à la houppe (Ricky of the Tuft). Perrault's most famous stories are still in print today and have been made into operas, ballets (e.g., Tchaikovsky's Sleeping Beauty), plays, musicals, and films, both live-action and animation.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Answer To Yesterday's Guess Who


 Amalric (born 25

 October 1965) is a three-time César Award winning French actor andfilm director, perhaps best known in America for his lead role in the four-time Academy Awardnominated 2007 film The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. He also has won the Étoile d'or and theLumiere Award. He is widely seen as one of France's greatest living actors.

Amalric was born in Neuilly-sur-Seine, a suburb of Paris, France, the son of journalists Nicole Zand, a literary critic for Le Monde, and Jacques Amalric, who has worked as a foreign affairs editor for Le Monde and Libération. Mathieu Amalric's mother was born in Poland to Jewish parents, and moved to France before World War II; she originates from the same village as director Roman Polanski's family. Amalric first gained fame in the film Ma Vie Sexuelle (My Sex Life...or How I Got Into an Argument), for which he won a César Award.

Amalric was selected to play the newest Bond villain Dominic Greene, and stars alongside Daniel Craig in the 2008 film Quantum of Solace, the sequel to the 2006 film Casino Royale. The villain Greene is plotting to take control of Bolivia's water supply through the Quantum Organization, and intending to stage a fake coup d'etat. Amalric and Craig also appear in Steven Spielberg's 2005 film, Munich, though they do not share any scenes.

Angelo Debarre - French Gypsy Guitarist

Angelo Debarre, born in St-Denis, France, started playing guitar at the age of 8. In the manush (gipsy) community, tradition is transmitted orally in family parties and gatherings, where music always occupies a prominent place. Angelo recently confirmed this to Michel Bedin of Jazz Hot magazine1: “In any gathering of three to four hundred caravans there is no shortage of music”.The gipsy jazz musical tradition launched by Django Reinhardt is the heart of this culture and Angelo Debarre quickly became one of its jazz masters. He founded his first group “The Angelo Debarre Quintet” in 1984, and the following year, he began touring the world with gipsy musicians. This is music that he knows inside and out, and at concerts and festivals his enthousiasm and passion prove it. For Angelo Debarre, Django Reinhardt”s music never loses the dynamism and richness of the past : it is everlasting, a living music .
La Gitane - Angelo Debarre

Monday, December 15, 2008

Guess Who

Guess who this famous French Person is:

Answer will be posted this time tomorrow.

Vocabulary Review of the Week

Un Gars, Une Fille - French Sitcom

Un gars, une fille ("a guy, a girl") is the title of a Quebec comedy television series created by Guy A. Lepage and broadcast on Radio-Canada, as well as the title of its French adaptation on France 2. It is one of the most successful Quebec television shows, with a concept exported to more than thirty markets around the world
A typical episode features several vignettes of the daily everyday life of a couple with the camera mostly centered upon them, often cropping out other characters, giving it its unique visual style. The duo receive friends for supper, go to the convenience store or leave on a trip and sometimes get on each other's nerves. Their quirks and loving bickering provide therefore much of the humor of the program. The graphic design style associated to the original Un gars, une fille, which consists of a palette of pastel blue and pink and rough lines and scribblings (seen in the transition graphics, see Original section), as well as a logo with simulated printing mistakes and smears, have been imitated for much of the other versions, with the notable exception of the American version. The character names are often those of the actors, as in the first version.