French films at the international box office: February 2018

Monsieur Pas De Merde is very much anticipating the US release of Two Is Family, the new French film starring Clémence Poésy and Omar Sy.
Also, the February release of  Cest La Vie, directed by Eric Toledano, Olivier Nakache, is also on my short list to see this Spring! Read more in this piece fro UNIFRANCE

In February, a comedy dominated the European markets and an adventure film appealed to Italian spectators, while a second comedy got off to a strong start in Belgium.

During the first two months of 2017, French productions generated 14.7 million in admissions abroad, in the same period in 2018, they totaled only 6.75 million.

This can be explained by the huge success of Leap (7.96 million and 14 million in total) and of Two is a Family (1.94 million and 5.12 million in total), which by themselves alone sustained the greatest proportion of the 2017 results, a score that the performances of new titles cannot manage to equal, despite the fine careers of Call Me by Your Name (3.14 million) and C’est la vie! (1.55 million) [. . . ]

More at UNIFRANCE: French films at the international box office: February 2018 – uniFrance Films

Cheap Wine Prices in Paris Are the Final Push You Need to Book a Trip 

Enjoying a bottle of wine in Paris will do less credit card damage than drinking in other expensive cities. 

Ordering a bottle of wine for the table is a great way to share and connect with dinner companions — especially in Paris, where the average cost of table wine is significantly lower than the world’s other expensive cities.

The average cost of a bottle of table wine in Paris is $11.90, according to the Worldwide Cost of Living index, a survey released by the Economist Intelligence Unit which looks at the average costs of wine and cigarettes in the top 10 cities with the highest cost of living. The low cost of Paris’s table wine is beaten only by Geneva, which ranks an average of $8.37 for its bottles [ . . . ]

Read More at: TRAVEL-LEISURE Cheap Wine Prices in Paris Are the Final Push You Need to Book a Trip | Travel + Leisure

Robert Haas, Tablas Creek co-founder and wine pioneer, dies in California 

Robert Haas died peacefully at his California home last weekend, said Tablas Creek, the wine estate that he co-founded.Many would agree with the winery’s assertion that Haas was a ‘seminal figure in American wine for 65 years’ [ . . . ]

More at: DECANTER Robert Haas, Tablas Creek co-founder and wine pioneer, dies in California – Decanter

Massive Rhône Valley Wine Fraud Reported by French Authorities

French anti-fraud authorities allege that a Rhône Valley wine merchant mislabeled more than 5 million cases of table wine as more expensive appellations like Côtes du Rhône and Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

Between October 2013 and June 2016, Raphaël Michel, a bulk-wine merchant in France’s Rhône Valley, allegedly sold the equivalent of 13 Olympic-size swimming pools of cheap French table wine while claiming it was some of the best wine of the Southern Rhône Valley.

Those details and more emerged with the release of the annual report of the DGCCRF (Directorate General for Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control), France’s powerful anti-fraud agency. While the report does not name Raphaël Michel, the details match precisely with the investigation first reported last July by Wine Spectator. Independent sources confirm that Raphaël Michel is the unnamed company in the report.

According to the DGCCRF report, between 2013 and 2016, the merchant sold around 20 million liters of table wine—the equivalent of 2.23 million cases—as more lucratively priced appellation-level wines including Côtes du Rhône, Côtes du Rhône-Villages and even 108,000 cases of Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

When investigators dug deeper, the scam grew even larger, encompassing even more kinds of wine. “In total, the fraud touched more than 48 million liters of wine,” reads the report. That is the equivalent of 5.33 million cases of fake wine, 15 percent of the Côtes du Rhône production during those years [ . . . ]

Read full story at: WINE SPECTATOR Massive Rhône Valley Wine Fraud Reported by French Authorities | News | News & Features | Wine Spectator

The French Writer Who Started The Realism Movement

Realism in literature has its origins in 19th century Europe. The French writer who is credited as having created the Realist movement is Honoré de Balzac. But, what is realism in literature and how did Balzac help to start it? In this article, we will go deeply into answering these two interrelated questions.

The best way to begin to understand realism in literature is by defining the term realism. As its most simple and broad, realism is a representation of reality.

Before the 19th century, writers were not interested in representing everyday life in their works. It is important to note, before we go any further that, realism is not the same as plausibility. Realism is the representation of everyday experiences and activities of the characters whereas plausibility means created a plot that has internal coherence.

So, when we say that before the 1800s writers did not depict everyday life in their work, it does not mean that everything produced before then was in the realm of fantasy. It is simply, that writers did not often write about ordinary people leading ordinary lives, at least not in the level of detail as some did from the 19th century.

But depicting everyday life is not enough for realism, this depiction must lack any romanticizing

Although Realism began in painting and literature (prose and plays) and then, in the twentieth century, to cinema.

Continue reading “The French Writer Who Started The Realism Movement”

Meet the man who couldn’t stop eating

With more than 5.5 million articles, Wikipedia is an invaluable resource, whether you’re throwing a term paper together at the last minute, or idly wondering about the expected lifespan of someone who eats nothing but KFC and overcooked steak with ketchup. We explore some of Wikipedia’s oddities in our 5,591,330-week series, Wiki Wormhole.

This week’s entry: Tarrare

What it’s about: The French have long been known for their cuisine, but in the late 1700s, one particular Frenchman went for quantity over quality. Tarrare (it’s not known what his full name was, or even if Tarrare was his real name) gained infamy from a young age as a remorseless eating machine, who could consume his own weight worth of food in a day, yet somehow always stayed thin. Doctors were baffled, but he was eventually able to turn his strange ability into a career as a performer, eating large quantities of food and other things for rapt audiences.

Strangest fact: Tarrare was decidedly not a picky eater. While performing, he would eat corks, stones, and live animals. When his act led to an intestinal blockage, he thanked the doctor who treated him by offering to eat his watch. The doctor said he’d cut Tarrare open to get it back if necessary. When not performing, he was known to eat garbage and pick food scraps from dung heaps, and once while hospitalized, he allegedly drank the blood of patients undergoing bloodletting and was caught attempting to eat bodies in the morgue [ . . . ]

Read more at source: AV CLUB Meet the man who couldn’t stop eating