Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Thérèse Desqueyroux -Must See French Film

Thérèse Desqueyroux is a 1962 French film directed by Georges Franju. Written by Franju and François Mauriac and Claude Mauriac, it stars Emmanuelle Riva and Philippe Noiret. Riva won the Volpi Cup for best actress at the Venice Film Festival for her performance. Thérèse is living in a provincial town, unhappily married to Bernard, a dull, pompous man whose only interest is preserving his family name and property. They live in an isolated country mansion surrounded by servants. Early in her marriage her only comforts are her fondness for Bernard's pine-tree forest, which was her primary reason for marrying him, and her love for her sister-in-law and Bernard's half-sister, Anne. On Thérèse's honeymoon, she slipped away from Bernard's bed to throw away a letter from Anne in which Anne expressed her love for Jean, a Jewish student. Later, when Jean leaves Anne, Thérèse feels a sense of satisfaction and relief. However, Anne soon leaves. Desperately lonely and trapped, Thérèse accidentally learns that an increase in Bernard's medication makes him ill. While Anne nurses Thérèse's unwanted baby, Thérèse begins to experiment, taking advantage of his hypochondria and forgetfulness. Eventually she tries to poison him with arsenic, but the dose isn't fatal. Thérèse's forged prescriptions are then discovered. Thérèse is arrested, but Bernard refuses to press charges. She is acquitted when Bernard perjures himself for her at the trial and her politically influential father bribes a court official. On the way back to the country estate, she tries to think of an explanation to offer to Bernard. Unable to give Bernard a proper explanation, she allows Bernard to place her in a prison of his own devising. He locks her in a bedroom and allows her only cigarettes and wine, as she slowly wastes away. Much later, he frees her for a party at which the family gathers to meet Anne's new husband, and their friends are shocked at her sickly appearance and deterioration. Bernard then moves her to Paris. Still hoping to learn the motives for her crime, he listens to further explanations, but he cannot understand.The movie recounts in flashback the circumstances that led to her being charged with poisoning her husband.

Children's Word of the Day -Dragon

Monday, March 29, 2010

Quick Phrase of the Day - Today I Saw...

Aujourd'hui, J'ai vu "Comment Dresser Votre Dragon. C’était fantastique! (oh zhoor dwee zhay vu koh moh dreh say voh truh drah gohn -say tay fahn tahce teek) -Today I saw "How To Train Your Dragon". It was fantastic!

J'ai vu ______________________ (fill in the Movie title you want to use) (zhay voo)) -I saw...
Nous avons vu ___________________ (nooz ah vohn voo) -we saw...

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

Vocabulary breakdown:
Aujourd'hui (oh zhoor dwee) -today
J'ai vu (zhay voo) -I saw, I had seen
comment (koh moh) -how
dresser (dreh say) -to train an animal
votre (voh truh) -your
dragon (drah gohn) -dragon
C’était (say tay) -it was
fantastique (fahn tah steek) -terrific, fantastic

Numbers 6 to 10

6 - six (seece) 7 - sept (seht) 8 - huit 9 -neuf (noof) 10 - dix (deece)

Children's Words of the Day -More Table Utensils

The other day we learn the words for Fork, Spoon & Knife (click here to see that post)


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Juliette Gréco -French Singer

Juliette Gréco (born February 7, 1927) is a French actress and popular chanson singer.

Gréco became a devotee of the bohemian fashion of some intellectuals of post-war France. She dressed generally in black and let her long, black hair hang free.

A famous description of Gréco is that her voice "encompasses millions of poems". She was known to many of the writers and artists working in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, such asJean-Paul Sartre and Boris Vian

Gréco spent the post liberation years frequenting the Saint Germain cafes, immersing herself in political and philosophical Bohemian culture. As a regular figure at legendary music and poetry venues like Le Tabou on Rue Dauphine, Greco became acquainted with Miles Davis and Jean Cocteau, even being given a role in Cocteau’s film ‘Orphee’ in 1949. During the same year, she began a new singing career with a number of well-known French writers writing lyrics – Raymond Queneau’s ‘Si Tu T’Imagines’ was one of her earliest songs to become popular.

American movie producer and studio head Darryl F. Zanuck, who was Gréco's paramour, cast her in several films from the late 1950s to early 1960s

Juliette Greco - Parlez-moi d`Amour


Children's Word of the Day -Ferris Wheel

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Numbers 1 to 5


1 - une (oon) 2 - deux (doo) 3 - trois (twah) 4 - quatre (kat ruh) 5 - cinq (sank)

Sylvie Vartan -French Singer

Sylvie Vartan (born on August 15, 1944 near Sofia, Bulgaria) is a French pop singer.

Sylvie Vartan was one of the first rock girls in France. She was the most productive and active artist of the yé-yé genre. Her performance often featured elaborate show-dance choreography. She made appearances on French and Italian TV, including the songs "Cette lettre-là" and "Irresistiblement". Giving shows with her husband Johnny Hallyday she yearly enjoyed full houses at the Olympia and the Palais de Congrés of Paris throughout the sixties and mid-seventies. After a break in performances until late 2004, she began recording and giving concerts of jazz ballads in the French speaking countries again.

Sylvie Vartan - La Plus Belle Pour Aller D

Friday, March 19, 2010

Important phrases to remember...

From time time I will repeat the most needed phrases you will need to learn (& for me to remember) from time to time:

Où est... (ooh ay) -Where is...?

Put that together with a lot of the nouns you've learned & that will be a big help if you're wandering around France:

Où est...

le téléphone (leh tay lay fohn) -the telephone
la toilette (lah twah leht) - the toilet
l'hotel (loh tell) -the hotel
l'arrêt de bus (lah reht deh booce) -the bus stop

Monday, March 15, 2010

Edith Piaf

Edith Piaf

(19 December 1915—10 October 1963) was a French singer and cultural icon who "is almost universally regarded as France's greatest popular singer". Her singing reflected her life, with her specialty being the ballads. Among her famous songs are"La Vie En Rose" (1946), "Hymne à l'amour" (1949), "Milord" (1959), "Non, je ne regrette rien" (1960), and Padam Padam.

"La Vie En Rose"

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Musical Moment from the Film "Ratatouille"

Okay a musical moment from the film "Ratatouille". If you haven't seen this film I urge you to do so, even if your not into animated films this was one of the great films set in France last year.

Les rêves des amoureux sont comm’(e) le bon vin, Ils donn(ent) de la joie ou bien du chagrin, Affaibli par la faim je suis malheureux, Volant en chemin tout ce que je peux, Car rien n’est gratuit dans la vie

L’espoir est un plat bien trop vite consommé, A sauter les repas je suis habitué,Un voleur solitaire est triste à nourrir, A un jeu si amer je n’peux réussir, Car rien n’est gratuit dans…

La vie… Jamais on ne me dira, Que la course aux étoiles; ça n’est pas pour moi, Laissez moi vous émerveiller et prendre mon en vol, Nous allons en fin nous régaler

La fêt(e) va enfin commencer, Sortez les bouteilles; finis les ennuis, Je dresse la table, de ma nouvell(e) vie, Je suis heureux à l’idée de ce nouveau destin, Une vie à me cacher et puis libre enfin, Le festin est sur mon chemin

Une vie à me cacher et puis libre enfin,Le festin est sur mon chemin

English lyrics:

Dreams are to lovers as wine is to friends,Carried through lifetimes, (and) spilled now and then,I am driven by hunger, so saddened to be, Thieving in darkness; I know you’re not pleased, But nothing worth eating is free

My hope is a banquet impatiently downed, Impossibly full, now I’ll probably drown, Many thieves’ lives are lonely with one mouth to feed, If giving means taking, I’ll never succeed, For nothing worth stealing is…

Free at last; won’t be undersold, Surviving isn’t living; won’t eat what I’m told, Let me free, I’ll astonish you; I’m planning to fly, I won’t let this party just pass me by

The banquet is now underway, so…,Bring out the bottles; a new tale has spun
In clearing this table, my new life’s begun, I am nervous, excited; (oh) just read the marquee!, A lifetime of hiding; I’m suddenly free!, My dinner is waiting for me

A lifetime of hiding; I’m suddenly free!, My dinner is waiting for me

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Quick Phrase of the Day - They Have An Electric Stove

Ils ont cuisinière électrique (eelz ohn kwee zin ehr ay lehk treek) -They have an electric stove

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

Avoir (ah vwah) to have

J'ai (zhay) - I have
tu as (too ah) - you have (referring to a friend or family member
il a (eel ah) -he has
elle a (ell ah) -she has
nous avons (nooz ah vohn) -we have
vous avez (vooz ah vay) -you have (referring to someone you don't know well)
ils ont (eel zohn) -they have (when speaking of an all male or mixed male & female group)
elles ont (ell zohn) they have ( (when speaking of an all female group)

Gérard Fromanger -French Artisit

Gérard Fromanger is a French artist born on 6 September 1939 in Jouars-Pontchartrain, Yvelines. A painter who has also used collage, sculpture, photography, cinema and lithography, he is associated with the French artistic movement of the 1960s and 1970s called Nouvelle Figuration (new figurative representation), somewhat like pop art.

Fromanger studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, where his first solo exhibition was held in 1966. Souffles, his large translucent "half-balloon" street sculptures, attracted attention in 1968.He also collaborated with Jean-Luc Godard to make the short "Film-tract 1968". Urban life and the consumer society are themes well-represented in his work.

The Nouvelle Figuration movement (sometimes called figuration narrative or représentation narrative) is considered to have been a reaction against abstract art, with a more political slant than American pop art. Fromanger has been described as a social critic who takes a political position without neglecting the poetic dimension.

Michel Foucault, a friend of Fromanger's, wrote about his work in Photogenic Painting.

In 2005 a retrospective exhibition, Gérard Fromanger: rétrospective 1962-2005, was shown at various galleries in France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland. Fromanger now lives and works in both Siena and Paris.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Must See French Film -The Blood of a Poet

The Blood of a Poet (French: Le Sang d'un Poete) (1930) is an avant-garde film directed by Jean Cocteau and financed by Charles, Vicomte de Noailles. Photographer Lee Miller made her only film appearance in this movie, and it also features an appearance by the famed aerialist Barbette.[1] It is the first part of the Orphic Trilogy, which is continued in Orphée (1950) and was concluded with Testament of Orpheus (1960).

The Blood of a Poet is divided into four sections. In section one, an artist sketches a face and is startled when its mouth starts moving. He rubs out the mouth, only to discover that it has transferred to the palm of his hand. After experimenting with the hand for a while and falling asleep, the artist awakens and places the mouth over the mouth of a female statue.

In section two, the statue speaks to the artist, cajoling him into passing through a mirror. The mirror links to a hotel and the artist peers through several keyholes, witnessing such people as an opium smoker and a hermaphrodite. The artist is handed a gun and a disembodied voice instructs him how to shoot himself in the head. He shoots himself but does not die. The artist cries out that he has seen enough and returns through the mirror. He smashes the statue with a mallet.

In the third section, some students are having a snowball fight. An older boy throws a snowball at a younger boy, but the snowball turns out to be a chunk of marble. The young boy dies from the impact.

In the final section, a card shark plays a game with a woman on a table set up over the body of the dead boy. A theatre party looks on. The card sharp extracts an Ace of Hearts from the dead boy's breast pocket. The boy's guardian angel appears and absorbs the dead boy. He also removes the Ace of Hearts from the card sharp's hand and retreats up a flight of stairs and through a door. Realizing he has lost, the card sharp commits suicide as the theatre party applauds. The woman player transforms into the formerly smashed statue and walks off through the snow, leaving no footprints. In the film's final moments the statue is shown with a lyre.

Intercut through the film, surrealist images appear, including spinning wire models of a human head and rotating double-sided masks.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Lesson # 147 -False Cognates

Many words that look the same in French & in English actually have very different meanings. These words are called False Cognates.

Some common false cognates:

sensible (sahn see bluh) - sensitive - sensible in french is raisonable (ray zahn ah bluh)

un librarie (uhn lee brehr ee) -a bookstore - a library in french is la bibliothèque (lah beeb lee oh tehk)

le hasard ( leh hah zahrd) -chance, luck - a hazard in french is un danger (uhn dahn zhay)

un enfant (uhn ahn fahnt) -a child- an infant in french is un nourisson (uhn noor ee sohn)

l’entrée (lahn tray) -main dish -main dish or entrée in french is la plat principal (lah plah preen see pahl)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Alors! French TV crew visits to film local life here in Hawaii

A French production company is combing the Islands, planning to film stories about people, places and communities to air on French television.

Match Point Production, which works with France's M6 television network, is here for 2 1/4 weeks and has made arrangements to film a Kahalu'u community group fighting drug use; Philippe Mettout, who came from Paris 25 years ago and started a business on the North Shore; and rangers at Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park.

Phillipe Mettout:

Mettout arrived in Hawai'i 25 years ago to surf and eventually opened a surf shop on the North Shore. This will be the third time Mettout will be interviewed for a television feature for French television, he said. But this feature also will include interviews with local lifeguards, a surf instructor and surfers young and old, male and female, Mettout said.

On the North Shore, the crew of four will film Mettout, who owns Planet Surf.

The film crew knows little about surfing, and Mettout said he will tell them about Island life, politics and schools.

But the main message he wants to get across is how surfing is engrained in Hawai'i culture, he said.

M6 is the second-largest television network in France, and Mettout said people there are eager to watch programs about the Islands because they love surfing and Hawai'i.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Piano Bars in Paris

Piano Bars in Paris

American Bar -- La Closerie des Lilas (171 Boulevard du Montparnasse; tel. 01/40- 51-34-50; www.closeriedeslilas.fr; 6th arrondissement, Metro: Montparnasse). In business since 1847, almost every famous 19th-and 20th-century French (and American) artist, poet, and writer has been here, so why not you? Maybe the next Hemingway will sit down next to you at the piano bar.

La Bélière Restaurant-Piano Bar (74 rue Daguerre; tel. 01/40-47-52-66; www.myspace.com/labeliere; 14th arrondissement, Metro: Denfert Rochereau) Devotees say that the food here is as good as the music.

Harry's New York Bar (5 rue Daunou; tel. 01/42-61-71-14; www.harrys-bar.fr; 2nd arrondissement, Metro: Opera) Legend has it that George Gershwin composed "An American in Paris" downstairs in the piano bar.

Le Sherwood Piano Bar (3 rue Daunou; tel. 01/42-61-70-94; 2nd arrondissement, Metro: Opera) A very friendly, laid-back piano lounge right next to Harry's.

Swan Bar (165 Bld du Montparnasse; tel. 01/44-27-05-84; www.swanbar.fr; 6th arrondissement, Metro: Raspail or Vavin) They take requests at this fun and informal jazz-and-cocktails piano lounge.

Aux Trois Mailletz (56 rue Galande; tel. 01/43-54-00-79; www.lestroismailletz.fr; 5th arrondissement, Metro: Saint-Michel) With a restaurant and piano bar on the main floor and a cabaret club downstairs, it's worth going just to pay homage to all the jazz greats who have played here since it opened in 1948: Sidney Bechet, Bud Powell, Bill Coleman, John Coltran, Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie, Louis Armstrong... and in the cabaret, Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

New Woody Allen Film To Be Set In France

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – Rachel McAdams is in negotiations to star opposite Owen Wilson and Marion Cotillard in Woody Allen's next movie.

As with most Allen movies, plot details are being kept under wraps, though the setting for the ensemble is France. The untitled project is scheduled to shoot during the summer.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Must See French Film - Bob le Flambeur

Bob le flambeur ("Bob the Gambler" or "Bob the High Roller") is a 1956 French gangster film directed by style and is considered a precursor to the Jean-Pierre Melville. The film stars Roger Duchesne as Bob. It is filmed in a film noirFrench New Wave movement.

Bob, a middle-aged gambler and thief living in the Montmartre district of Paris, experiences a run of bad luck that leaves him nearly broke. Bob is a gentleman with scruples, well-liked in the demi-monde community. He has unsuccessfully tried to rob a bank in the past, and has spent time in prison.

He hears through a croupier friend that the Deauville Casino holds undreamed-of quantities of cash, vulnerable in the early morning hours. Bob develops a complicated scheme to steal it, bringing in a tough but naive young protege and an ace safecracker into his scheme, along with a few other underworld characters.

Bob also becomes involved with a young woman, Anne, who does not have her own place and stays with any man who can take her off the streets. Later, Anne begins spending time with Bob's friend and partner-in-crime, Paolo.

Meanwhile, Inspector Ledru of the local police, whom Bob once saved from death, gets a hint that Bob is involved in something big - but the snitch is gunned down just as he is about to confirm the specifics. Paolo trusts Anne and tells her the plot in which he is involved with Bob. However, in the evening of the planned heist, Anne betrays the gang to Ledru without realizing that it was supposed to be a secret. Ledru searches Bob's Montmartre haunts to warn him off the plan - in vain. At the casino, Bob gambles while nominally casing the scene. A phenomenal winning streak ensues that lasts all night. This is the dance with Lady Luck he has waited for all his life. While gambling, he forgets all about the plan, rejoicing in his winnings. Suddenly, Bob is startled to realize it is the appointed hour of 5:00 AM, hurriedly cashes in his immense cache of chips, and exits the casino floor. Just as his gang arrives, Ledru and the police descend, and the shooting starts. Bob rushes out of the casino in time to cradle his dying protege, Paolo, for a brief moment, then is handcuffed and arrested as casino employees trundle out his pile of cash winnings. His cash is loaded into the boot of Inspector Ledru's car.

It is strongly implied that his lucky streak will hold, and he will get off with little or no jail time, perhaps even suing the police for damages--while the beautiful Anne, no longer off-limits to Bob because of his friendship with Paolo, waits for him at his apartment.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Lesson #145 -I Am Looking For...

One of the most important phrases to know is:

Je cherche... (zhuh shehsh) -I am looking for...

some examples to finish this sentence:
mon posseport (mohn pahce pohr) -my passport
mon portefeuille
(mohn pohrt foo ay) -my wallet
mes clés (may klay) -my keys
les toilettes (lay twah let) - the restrooms
une station d'essence (oon stah see yohn deh sahnce) - a gas station

Click here to see the verb ""chercher" (shehr shay) -to look for