Sunday, August 30, 2009

Girl Gorillas Go Ape For French Pinup Hunk

LONDON, England (CNN) -- You don't want to monkey around on a blind date -- especially if your friends are also taking an interest in the same dark handsome stranger.

Jookie, as she is known, studies a poster of French gorilla Yeboah, who is heading for London Zoo.

Jookie, as she is known, studies a poster of French gorilla Yeboah, who is heading for London Zoo.

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So when three female gorillas at London Zoo heard that they would soon be visited by a brooding French hunk -- well, they went a bit bananas

The latest development in Anglo-French relations sees Yeboah, a 20-stone 12-year-old leave his current home at La Boissiere Du Dore Zoo, Pays de la Loire, northwest France and head for the British capital by the end of the year.

There he will be greeted by gorilla trio Zaire, Effie and Mjukuu, who were given posters of their prospective boyfriend for the first time Thursday.

One female gorilla shrieked in delight, while another wedged the poster in a tree to stare at it.

A third, clearly overcome by emotion, held the photo close to her chest -- then ate it.

My girlfriend says she understands completely, she says French guys are sexy.

The French visitor will stay in London Zoo's Gorilla Kingdom enclosure during his visit.

The French visitor will stay in London Zoo's Gorilla Kingdom enclosure during his visit.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Woman throws mug at 'Mona Lisa'

PARIS, France (CNN)
The "Mona Lisa" sits behind bulletproof glass in the Louvre gallery.

The "Mona Lisa" sits behind bulletproof glass in the Louvre gallery.

French police say a woman "not in her senses" lobbed the mug at the 500-year-old painting, which hangs in the Louvre gallery in Paris.

The woman, a tourist, was later transferred from police custody to a psychiatric unit, a police spokesman told CNN. The spokesman declined to be identified, and did not say where the woman was from.

The "Mona Lisa," considered one of the world's most valuable paintings, sits behind bulletproof glass in a special wing of the Louvre, attracting visitors in their millions.

The Italian Renaissance m

Jacques Prévert - French Poet

Jacques Prévert (February 4, 1900 - April 11, 1977) was a French poet and screenwriter.

Prevert was born at Neuilly-sur-Seine and grew up in Paris, where he was bored by school. He often went to theatre with his father, a drama critic, and acquired a love of reading from his mother. After receiving his Certificat d'études attesting to his having completed his primary education, he quit school and went to work in Le Bon Marché department store in Paris. Then, he was called up for military service in 1918 and after the war was sent to the Near East.

He died in Omonville-la-Petite, on April 11, 1977.


Prévert participated actively in the surrealist movement and was a member of the Rue du Château group along with Raymond Queneau andMarcel Duchamp.

Prévert's poems were published in his books Paroles (Words) (1946), Histoires (Stories) (1963), Spectacle (1951),La Pluie et le beau temps (Rain and Good Weather) (1955), Fatras (1971) and Choses et autres (Things and Others) (1973).

His poems are often about life in Paris and life after the Second World War. They are widely taught in schools in France and frequently appear in French language textbooks throughout the world.

Some of Prévert's poems, such as "Les Feuilles mortes" (Autumn Leaves), were set to music by Joseph Kosma,Germaine Tailleferre of Les Six, Christiane Verger and Hanns Eisler, and were also sung by prominent 20th century French vocalists including Yves Montand and Édith Piaf as well as by the American singer Joan Baez.

Prévert wrote a number of screenplays for the film director Marcel Carné. Among the films were Drôle de drame(Bizarre, Bizarre, 1937), Quai des brumes (Port of Shadows, 1938), Le Jour se lève (Daybreak, 1939), Les Visiteurs du soir (The Night Visitors, 1942) and Les Enfants du paradis (The Children of Paradise, 1945), often considered one of the greatest films of all time.

Below is Serge Gainsbourg's song "La Chanson de Prévert " it is filled with references to the poem "Fallen Leaves" by Prévert

Notre Dame de Paris - Musical Play

Notre Dame de Paris is a French-Canadian musical which debuted on 16 September 1998 in Paris. It is based upon the novel Notre Dame de Paris by the French novelist Victor Hugo. The music was composed by Riccardo Cocciante (also known as Richard Cocciante) and the lyrics are by Luc Plamondon.

Since its debut, it has played throughout France, South Korea, Belgium, Switzerland and Canada. A shorter version in English was performed in 2000 in Las Vegas, Nevada (USA) and a full-length London production, also in English, ran for seventeen months. Popular songs from the show, such as Belle and Le temps des cathédrales have also been translated into Belarusian, Catalan, Czech, German, Lithuanian, Polish,Russian and English.

“Notre Dame de Paris”, according to the Guinness Book of Records, had the most successful first year of any musical ever. The score has been recorded at least seven times to date (2007): the original French concept album, which featured Israeli singer Achinoam Nini (aka Noa) as Esméralda was followed by a live, complete recording of the original Paris cast. A complete recording of the score in Italian was made, along with a single disc of excerpts in Spanish from the Madrid production. The original London cast album featured several of the original Paris stars, but only preserved a fraction of the score in English. The orchestral group I Fiamminghi recorded a CD of melodies from the score. A complete set of instrumental backing tracks has also been released.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Non French French Film -Julie & Julia

Aujourd'hui, nous sommes allés au cinéma. Nous avon vu le film "Julie & Julia". Il était un excellent film.
(au zhoor doo wee, noo sohmz ah lay oh see nay mah. Nooz ah vohn voo leh feelm "Julie & Julia". Eel ay tay uhn ehk sell lehn feelm) -Today, we went to the movies. We saw the film "Julie & Julia" It was an excellent movie.

This was a choice by my girlfriend to see, & I'm glad she picked it. A very good film, with a good story (and incredibly for an American film, no blowups, no shootings, no sex scenes- My God! how will this film make it!). It is the story of a writer played by Amy Adams who get it into her head to make all of Julia Child's 500+ recipes from her French cookbook in one year & blog everyday about the experience. The coinciding story is how back before she was famous Julia Child was iving in Paris with her husband & decided to learn how to cook French food. Meryl Streep is absolutely fantastic as Julia Child. The part I loved about this part of the movie was how she sort of learned how to speak French, but not really well, but still managed to speak with all the locals, even though her pronounciations were not correct. That is what I am trying to achieve with this blog. I want to be able to speak french, maybe not perfectly, but at least to be able to communicate somewhat. No one says you have to be able to have a perfect french accent to speak the language. It's nice to try, but don't stress over it.

Petite Madeleine - French Cake

The madeleine or petite madeleine is a traditional small cake from Commercy, a commune of the Meuse département in northeastern France.

Madeleines were made famous by Marcel Proust in his novel 'Remembrance of Things Past' in which he wrote: "She sent out for one of those short, plump little cakes called 'petites madeleines', which look as though they had been moulded in the fluted scallop of a pilgrim's shell....... An exquisite pleasure had invaded my senses....".

Madeleines are very small sponge gâteaux with a distinctive shell-like forme acquired from being baked in pans with shell-shaped depressions. Their goût is similar to, but somewhat lighter than, pound cake, with a pronounced beurre et citron lemon taste.

Aside from the traditional moulded pan, commonly found in magasins specialising in kitchen equipment and even hardware stores, few tools are required to make madeleines. Traditional recettes include very finely ground nuts (usually almonds) as well as common cake ingredients such as flour, œufs, beurre, sucre and vanilla.

gâteaux (gah toh) -cakes

forme (form) -flavor

goût (goot) -flavor

beurre et citron (burr ay see trohn) -butter and lemon

magasins (mah gah zahn) -stores

recettes (reh seht) -recipes

œufs, beurre, sucre (oof burr soo kruh) -eggs, butter, sugar

Click here to take you to a recipe for this treat.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Quick Phrase of the Day - I Can't Go

Je ne peux pas y aller (zhuh neh puh pah zee ah lay) -I can't go

Repeat this phrase all day long rill you know it by heart.

Vocabulary word of the day:
l'autre côté (loh truh koh tay) -the other side
c'est sur l'autre côté du magasin

Children's Word of the Day -Candy Store

Kids, when you go to the candy store, say "la confiserie"

Friday, August 7, 2009

Francis Picabia -French Artist

Francis Picabia (born François Marie Martinez Picabia,
22 January 1879 – 30 November 1953) was a French painter and poet.

Francis Picabia was born in Paris of a French mère and a Spanish-Cuban père who was an attaché at the Cuban legation in Paris. His mother died of tuberculosis when he was sept. His father was of aristocratic Spanish descent. Financially independent, Picabia studied under Fernand Cormon and others at the École des Arts Decoratifs in the late 1890s. In 1894, Picabia financed his timbre collection by copying a collection of Spanish paintings that belonged to his father, switching the originals for the copies, without his father's knowledge, and selling the originals. Fernand Cormon took him into his academy at 104 boulevard de Clichy, where Van Gogh and Toulouse-Lautrec had aussi studied. From the age of 20, he lived by painting; he subsequently inherited argent from his mother.

In the beginning of his career, from 1903

to 1908, he was influenced by the Impressionist paintings of Alfred Sisley. Little churches, lanes, roofs of Paris, riverbanks, wash maisons, lanes, barges—these were his subject matter. Some however, began to question his sincerity and said he copied Sisley, or that his cathedrals looked like Monet, or that he painted like Signac. From 1909, he came under the influence of the cubists and the Golden Section (Section d'Or). The same year, he married Gabrielle Buffet.

Around 1911 he joined the Puteaux Group, which met at the studio of Jacques Villon in the village of Puteaux. There he became friends with artist Marcel Duchamp and close friends with Guillaume Apollinaire. Other group members included Albert Gleizes, Roger de La Fresnaye,Fernand Léger and Jean Metzinger.

In 1913 Picabia was the only member of the Cubist group to personally attend the Armory Show, and Alfred Stieglitz gave him a solo exhibition at his gallery 291. From 1913 to 1915 Picabia traveled to New York City several times and took active part in the avant-garde movements, introducing modern art to America. When he landed in New York in the June of 1915, though it was meant to be a simple port of call en route to Cuba to buy molasses for a friend of his—the director of a sugar refinery—the city snapped him up and the stay became prolonged. The magazine '291' devoted an entire issue to him, he met Man Ray, Gabrielle joined him, Duchamp joined him, drugs and alcohol became a problem and his health suffered. He suffered from dropsy and tachycardia. New York ate him up.] These years can be characterized as Picabia's proto-Dada period, consisting mainly of his portraits mécaniques.

Later, in 1916, while in Barcelona and within a small circle of refugee artists that included Marie Laurencin and Robert and Sonia Delaunay, he started his well-known Dada periodical 391, modeled on Stieglitz's own periodical. He continued the periodical with the help of Duchamp in America. In Zurich, seeking treatment for depression and suicidal impulses, he had met Tristan Tzara, whose radical ideas thrilled Picabia. Back in Paris, and now with his mistress Germaine Everling, he was in the city of "les assises dada" where Andre Breton, Paul Eluard, Philippe Soupault and Louis Aragon met at Certa, a basque bar in the passage de l'Opera. Picabia, the provocateur, was back home.

Picabia continued his involvement in the Dada movement through 1919 in Zürich and Paris, before breaking away from it after developing an interest in Surrealist art. (See Cannibale, 1921.) He denounced Dada in 1921, and issued a personal attack against Breton in the final issue of391, in 1924.

The same year, he put in an appearance in the René Clair surrealist film Entr'acte, firing a cannon from a rooftop. The film served as an intermission piece for Picabia's avant-garde ballet, Relâche, premiered at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, with music by Erik Satie.

In 1925, he returned to figurative painting, and during the 1930s became a close friend of Gertrude Stein. In the early 1940s he moved to the south of France, where his work took a surprising turn: he produced a series of paintings based on the nude glamour photos in French "girlie" magazines like Paris Sex-Appeal, in a garish style which appears to subvert traditional, academic nude painting. Some of these went to an Algerian merchant who sold them on, and so Picabia came to decorate brothels across North Africa under the Occupation.

Before the end of World War II, he returned to Paris where he resumed abstract painting and writing poetry. A large retrospective of his work was held at the Galerie René Drouin in Paris in the spring of 1949. Francis Picabia died in Paris in 1953 and was interred in the Cimetière de Montmartre.

In 2003 a single Picabia painting once owned by Andre Breton sold for $1.6 million

mère (mehr) -mother

père (pehr) -father

sept (seht) -seven

timbre (tim bruh) -stamp

aussi (awe see) -also

argent (ahr zhahn) -money

maisons (may zhahn) -houses

Children's Word of the Day - Winter

Kids, when it is winter, say "l'hiver"