Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Maurice Jarre (13 September 1924 – 29 March 2009) was a French composer and conductor. Although he composed several concert works, he is best known for his film scores for motion pictures, particularly those of David Lean: Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Doctor Zhivago(1965), and A Passage to India (1984). All three of these scores won Academy Awards. Other notable scores of his include The Message (1976), Dead Poets Society (1989) and Ghost (1990). Jarre was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Monday, March 30, 2009
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Almira Skripchenko (born 17 February 1976) is a French chess player who has achieved the FIDE Woman Grandmaster title. She won the second European Open Women's Chess Championship in 2001.
She was born in Chişinău, Moldova. The daughter of a Russian father and an Armenian mother, both pedagogues and chess coaches, Skripchenko started playing chess when she was 6 years old.
In 1991, Moldova became independent from the Soviet Union. This meant that Skripchenko could take part for the first time in the World Youth Chess Championships. She was soon crowned champion at Under -16 level (1992, Duisburg, Germany) and in 1993,took the bronze at Under-18. She married French Grandmaster Joel Lautier in 1997 and consequently moved to live in France. Despite separating from Lautier in 2003, she became a French citizen in 2001 and continued to make France her home. Skripchenko then married French Grandmaster Laurent Fressinet and in January 2007, gave birth to a daughter.
In 2001, at 25 years old, she celebrated her biggest success ever, winning the individual ladies Europea championship. She was at this time chosen "best sportsperson in 2001 in Moldova" and decorated with the Order of National Merit in her native country.
Living in Paris and representing France in tournaments since 2002, Skripchenko has become a noted ambassador for the game in Europe. She was the first woman to have competed in the Men's French Individual Championship (2002, 2003). In 2004, 2005 and 2006, she also won the Ladies' French Chess Championship. In team play, she won the French Nationale Chess League with celebrated club side NAO Chess Club (2003, 2004) and the German Chess Bundesliga with Werder Bremen (2005). Her career victories also include three Nationale ladies titles which she earned with Baden-Oos in 2003, 2004, and 2005.
Here's winning position from her game against Eva Repkova in the 2008 European Championships. Almira played Black.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Monday, March 23, 2009
Pierre Étienne Théodore Rousseau (April 15, 1812 - December 22, 1867), French painter of the Barbizon school, was born in Paris, of abourgeois family which included one or two artists.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Pierre Richard (born Pierre Richard Maurice Charles Léopold Defays (originally de Fays, his grandfather changed the spelling for unknown reasons, 16 August 1934 in Valenciennes, France) is a French actor best known for the roles of a clumsy daydreamer in comedy films. Richard is also a film director and occasional singer.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
L'Estaque is a small French fishing village just west of Marseille. Administratively, it belongs to the commune of Marseille.
Many artists of the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist periods visited or resided there or in the surrounding area. Many of them painted scenes of the village, the road leading to the village, and the view of the Bay from the village. Notably, Paul Cézanne painted many views of the water from his room in L'Estaque, showing the changing seasons, the shifting light of day, and the changes in the village itself over time.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Picard is a language closely related to French, and as such is one of the larger group ofRomance languages. It is spoken in two regions in the far north of France – Nord-Pas-de-Calaisand Picardy – and in parts of the Belgian region Wallonia (but is clearly distinct from the Walloon language).
Picard is known by several different names. Residents of Picardie call it picard; but in Nord-Pas-de-Calais its dialects are more commonly known as chti or chtimi, in and around the towns ofValenciennes and Lille as rouchi; or simply as patois by Northerners in general. Linguists group all of these under the name Picard. In general the variety spoken in Picardy is understood by speakers in Nord-Pas-de-Calais, and vice versa.
Picard is not taught in French schools (apart from a few one-off and isolated courses) and is generally only spoken among friends or family members. It has nevertheless been the object of university research in Lille and Amiens. Since people are nowadays able to move around France more easily than in past centuries, the different varieties of Picard are converging and becoming more similar. In its daily use, Picard is tending to lose its distinctive features and may be confused with regional French. At the same time, even though most Northerners can understand Picard today, fewer and fewer are able to speak it, and people who speak Picard as their first language are increasingly rare, particularly under age 50.
However, Picard is far from dead and constitutes a lively and large part of the daily life andfolklore of the region
The 2008 film "Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis", starring comedian Dany Boon deals with Ch'ti language and culture and the perceptions of the region by outsiders.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Georges Brassens (22 October 1921 - 29 October 1981) was a French singer-songwriter.
Georges Brassens was born in Sète (then called Cette), a town in southern France nearMontpellier. Now an iconic figure in France, he achieved fame through his simple, elegant songs and articulate, diverse lyrics; indeed, he is considered one of France's most accomplished postwar poets. He has also set to music poems by both well-known and relatively obscure poets, including Louis Aragon (Il n'y a pas d'amour heureux), Victor Hugo, Jean Richepin,François Villon, and Guillaume Apollinaire.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Jeanne Louise Calment (21 February 1875 – 4 August 1997) was a French woman with the longest confirmed lifespan in history at age 122 years 164 days (122.449 years in total). She lived in Arles, France, for her entire life, and outlived both her daughter and grandson. Because her husband was a bourgeois, she never worked, instead living a comfortable lifestyle. She became well-known from the age of 113, when the centenary of Vincent van Gogh brought reporters to Arles, as she was the last person living to have met the artist. She entered the Guinness Book of Records in 1988, and in 1995 was declared the oldest person who had ever lived, having surpassed Shigechiyo Izumi of Japan. Her lifespan has been thoroughly documented by scientific study, with more records having been produced to verify her age than for any other case.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Alice Guy-Blaché (July 1, 1873 – March 24, 1968) was a French pioneer filmmaker who was the first female director in the motion picture industry and is considered to be one of the first directors of a fiction film.
In 1894 Alice Guy was hired by Léon Gaumont to work for a still-photography company as a secretary. The company soon went out of business but Gaumont bought the defunct operations inventory and began his own company that soon became a major force in the fledgling motion picture industry in France. Alice Guy decided to join the new Gaumont Film Company, a decision that led to a pioneering career in filmmaking spanning more than twenty-five years and involving her directing, producing, writing and/or overseeing more than 700 films.
From 1896 to 1906, Alice Guy was Gaumont's head of production and is generally considered to be the first filmmaker to systematically develop narrative filmmaking. In 1906, she made The Life of Christ, a big budget production for the time, which included 300 extras. As well, she was one of the pioneers in the use of recordings in conjunction with the images on screen in Gaumont's "Chronophone" system, which used a vertical-cut disc synchronized to the film. An innovator, she employed special effects, using double exposure masking techniques and even running a film backwards.
Monday, March 16, 2009
The Musée de la Publicité is a museum of advertising history located in the Louvre's Rohan and Marsan wings, Ier arrondissement, at 107, rue de Rivoli, Paris, France. It is open daily except Monday; an admission fee is charged.
The museum first opened in 1978 as the Musée de l’Affiche, and is now a branch of Les Arts Décoratifs focusing on advertisements. It contains about 50,000 posters dating between the 18th century and World War II, with a further 50,000 posters dating from the 1950s to the present, over 20,000 film advertisements, more than 30,000 newspaper and magazine advertisements, as well as radio advertisements and promotional items. The museum presents both temporary exhibits and rotations from its permanent collection.
Place Palais du Louvre Access M� Palais-Royal (lignes 1 et 7), M� Tuileries (ligne 1) Address 107, rue de Rivoli City Paris (France) Phone 33(0)1 44 55 57 50
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Jacques Joseph Victor Higelin (born 18 October 1940 in Brou-sur-Chantereine, Seine-et-Marne, France) is a French pop singer who rose to prominence in the early 1970s. Early in his career, many of Higelin's songs were effectively blacklisted from French radio because of his controversial left wing political beliefs, and his association with socialist groups. He and his wife, Kuelan, are the parents of three children, including musician Arthur H and actor Ken Higelin.
Higelin's entertainment career began at age 14, when he left school to work as a stunt double. While playing a number of small roles in various motion pictures, Higelin was taught to play theguitar by Henri Crolla, an French-Italian jazz guitarist and film composer. By the early sixties, Higelin was attending the René Simon drama school, where he won the François Perier award.
For two years starting in 1961, Higelin served in the French military. Upon returning to France, he resumed his cinematic career, but increasingly began to focus on music over film. By the end of the decade, he was also very active in the artistic underground in Paris, and he began to channel his music towards radical militancy. He began attracting popular attention through his live concerts, typically held in smaller venues, and released his first solo album, in 1971. By the middle of the 1970s, Higelin had become one of France's most successful musicians, and he remains influential to this day.