Chanson Du Jour: Les Passants

Georges Brassens – Les Passants

Je veux dédier ce poème
A toutes les femmes qu’on aime
Pendant quelques instants secrets
A celles qu’on connait à peine
Qu’un destin différent entraîne
Et qu’on ne retrouve jamais

(English Translation)
I want to dedicate this poem
To all the women we love
During a few secret moments
To the ones we barely know
What a different fate carries away
And that we never meet again

A budget bottle of rosé has been voted one of the best wines in the world

Fans of rosé better get themselves down to Aldi this summer because a bottle of the budget supermarket chain’s wine has been voted one the of the best in the world.

Aldi’s Exquisite Collection Côtes de Provence Rosé was awarded a silver medal in the International Wine Challenge – and it will set you back just £5.99.

Source: A budget bottle of rosé has been voted one of the best wines in the world

Da Vinci contraptions brought to life in Bruges exhibition

Leonardo da Vinci’s bird-like flying machine and portable bridge have been brought to life in a new exhibition opening on Thursday in the Belgian city of Bruges.One hundred machines invented or enhanced by the Italian Renaissance mastermind have been realized, by using plans he drew himself. They will be on display in Bruges for six months, before embarking on a world tour over 10 years.

Full Story: Da Vinci contraptions brought to life in Bruges exhibition | Reuters

‘Things to Come’ Review: Hansen-Love’s Beautifully Heartbroken Drama

I watched Things to Come for a second time last night. It is one of those films that demands several viewings to fully appreciate, yet immediately I was touched by the tenderness and honestly of director Mia Hansen-Love’s story, and blow-away by actress Isabelle Huppert’s brilliance as an actress. Going back for a third.
– Mike Stevenson

Midway through “Things to Come,” Isabelle Huppert’s protagonist has a disconcerting encounter in a cinema, distracting her from Juliette Binoche’s own on-screen emotional uncertainty in Abbas Kiarostami’s 2010 jewel, “Certified Copy.” It’s a cheeky move to so fleetingly cameo that level of perfection in one’s own work, but Mia Hansen-Love’s fifth — and possibly best — feature pulls it off with warmth and grace to spare. At once disarmingly simple in form and riddled with rivulets of complex feeling, this story of a middle-aged Parisienne philosophy professor rethinking an already much-examined life in the wake of unforeseen divorce emulates the best academics in making outwardly familiar ideas feel newly alive and immediate — and has an ideal human conduit in a wry, heartsore Huppert, further staking her claim as our greatest living actress with nary a hint of showing off. Following widespread distribution for the dazzling but younger-skewing “Eden,” the arthouse future for Hansen-Love’s latest is surely a bright one [ . . . ]

Read Full Review: ‘Things to Come’ Review: Hansen-Love’s Beautifully Heartbroken Drama | Variety

Paris music festivals 2017

It might not quite have the international clout of London or Berlin, but Paris is no musical slouch: from the legendary jazz clubs to the thriving independent and underground music scenes, plus some seriously sharp record stores, there’s everything here for the connoisseur. In recent years, the number of music festivals has mushroomed too – both French outposts of international big hitters like Pitchfork, and cutting-edge homegrown treats like We Love Green and Weather Festival. Covering almost any genre you like, each one is well worth a look, and perhaps a trip if you’re coming from abroad. [ . . . ]

Read More: Paris music festivals 2017 | Music & nightlife | Time Out Paris

Gogoro e-scooter sharing is coming to Paris 

600 Gogoro Smartscooters are coming to Paris this summer as part of the Coup eScooter sharing service. Coup, a subsidiary of Bosch, first launched the scooter sharing service in Berlin with 200 Gogoro electric scooters in 2016. It expanded to 1,000 scooters less than a year later. It’ll be going up against the Cityscoot service which launched in Paris last summer with 150 electric scooters [ . . . ]

Read More: Gogoro e-scooter sharing is coming to Paris – The Verge

Jain interview: ‘Music is all about travelling’ 

French music is having what some would definitely call “a moment” – following the huge success of Christine and the Queens, a wealth of new pop, dance and electronic music has emerged from the country and British audiences seem more than willing to listen. One of the most prominent names to come out of this mix is Jain – 25-year-old Jeanne Galice – who released her debut album Zanaka in France in 2015 (it came out in the UK last year), and who The Independent tipped in December as “one to watch”. Jain makes upbeat dance pop fuelled by the African rhythms that she grew up on, after being moved from south-west France to Dubai, aged nine, and later to the Congo, where a rapper school friend introduced her to local producer Mister Flash [ . . . ]

Read Full Story: Jain interview: ‘Music is all about travelling’ | The Independent

The French Lifestyle Reviewed in the Wake of the Presidential Election

Catherine Deneuve
“A woman has to be intelligent, have charm, a sense of humor, and be kind. It’s the same qualities I require from a man.”

As I pen this week’s column, the result of the French election has just come over the wire. Emmanuel Macron’s victory, for the moment, has stemmed the tide of the populist party. But the influence of Marine Le Pen’s party in French politics has yet to unfold. What does the future hold for France as a nation and as an influential member of the European Union?

Of course, as a wine writer, my thoughts have now shifted beyond the political turmoil in France to the social changes that have been transforming the nation in recent years – especially the eating and drinking habits amongst the populace.It seems that the once enviable French lifestyle is beginning to unravel [ . . . ]

Read Full Story: The French Lifestyle Reviewed in the Wake of the Presidential Election | The Examiner News

Merci, France!

La Seine a rencontré Paris

A 1957 French short documentary film directed by Joris Ivens from a screenplay by Jacques Prévert. Told from the perspective of a boat trip through the city, it features scenes of daily life along the river. The film won the short film Palme d’Or at the 1958 Cannes Film Festival.

Proust Letter About Neighbor’s Sex Lives Up For Auction

Marcel Proust is famous for transforming an evocative sensory experience into literary brilliance: I am writing, of course, of the nibble of a madeleine that catalyzed his immortal stroll down memory lane in “Swann’s Way.”

The author also, apparently, could turn an unwanted sensory intrusion into fairly amusing epistolary material. Among an astonishing collection of French literary miscellanea that will shortly go up for auction in Paris — the archive, which currently belongs to prolific collector Jean Bonna, includes first editions of works by Samuel Beckett and Honoré de Balzac, as well as correspondence from Victor Hugo and Gustave Flaubert — is a letter from Proust to his landlord’s son in which he objects to a certain unwanted auditory phenomenon in his apartment [ . . . ]

More at Source: Proust Letter About Neighbor’s Sex Lives Up For Auction – The Forward

How Champs Elysees attack could swing the French presidential election

With the motives of the Champs-Elysées gunman considered terror-related, the timing just three days before the first round of the French presidential elections and during a prime time TV “debate” between all 11 official candidates clearly suggests that extremists are seeking to influence the tone of the debate – and perhaps its outcome [ . . . ]

More at source: How Champs Elysees attack could swing the French presidential election

France’s Bernie Sanders Started His Own Party and Is Surging in the Polls

JEAN-LUC MÉLENCHON, an insurgent left-wing candidate for France’s presidency, is surging. His candidacy, organized under the newly-established party La France Insoumise (“Unsubmissive France”) has gone from a quixotic bid to a viable challenge in just a few months. Railing against growing economic inequality, participation in foreign wars, and political corruption, Mélenchon has skyrocketed in the polls from distant fourth to within a hair’s breadth of the frontrunners. (This rise has been accompanied by the release of a web-based video game called “Fiscal Kombat” where Mélenchon fights corrupt politicians and bankers.)The Financial Times demonstrated his surge through an aggregation of French national opinion polls [ . .  . ]

Full Story: France’s Bernie Sanders Started His Own Party and Is Surging in the Polls

Charlotte Gainsbourg, Reluctant Icon Of French Chic

By Phoebe Maltz Bovy


Charlotte Gainsbourg — daughter of French-Jewish singer Serge Gainsbourg and English actress (and handbag namesake) Jane Birkin — continues the family tradition of combining artistic excellence with Parisian glamorousness. Gainsbourg plays an important role in Joseph Cedar’s new film, “Norman”, and is also (oh to be so chic and part-French!) promoting a makeup line with Nars. And like any self-respecting representative of Frenchwoman style, Gainsbourg shares some beauty rituals but pushes back against the whole French beauty thing.

I want to be immune to the breathless (heh) items about how to look like a Parisienne, but I click, I always click. Even if the answer — as per Gainsbourg, and as per all ten trillion articles of this type — is to wear less foundation if you wish to look more French. Well, not exactly — it’s that French ladies supposedly wear less foundation than their American equivalents. Which may well be, but I have it on good authority (the mirror) that an American woman can eschew foundation and not look even the least bit French.

Source: Charlotte Gainsbourg, Reluctant Icon Of French Chic – The Forward

Elle: Empowerment in the Darkness

Elle is the sensational new thriller from Paul Verhoeven, and his first major film in a decade. Starring an outstanding Isabelle Huppert, this French film is not an erotic thriller, like the Dutch director’s infamous Basic Instinct. Instead, it’s a gripping film about a businesswoman’s complex response to being raped. From the opening shot of her cat watching the horrific event unfold, you know you’re in for a typically audacious film from a vastly under-appreciated director.

Verhoeven is best known for directing bombastic sci-fi/action classics like Robocop, Total Recall and Starship Troopers. Rather like the work of Douglas Sirk in the Golden Age of Hollywood, Verhoeven’s films were written off as lowbrow trash in their day, only for their artful, cutting satire to be appreciated later. He creates discomfort in his audience by playing with cinematic elements many take for granted. His incredibly glossy films use deliberately gratuitous sex and violence to comment on the dark undercurrent of both American cinema and society.

Even Showgirls, a popular contender for the worst film ever made, has been re-evaluated by critics and is appreciated by arthouse favourites like Jim Jarmusch and Jacques Rivette.While his last American film, Hollow Man, proved to be a hit, Verhoeven felt his films were losing his personal touch, and that Hollow Man could just as easily have been made by some other director. He retreated to Europe to [ . . . ]

Read Full Story: Elle: empowerment in darkness | Arts & Culture | Film | spiked

How to make the perfect cheeseboard

Say cheese!

Is there any more perfect way to end an evening than with a cheeseboard?

When we are out at a restaurant, many of us want to skip the meal and go straight to the cheese course.

Whether you are hosting a dinner party or just want to treat yourself, you can make your very own cheeseboard at home.

Choose your cheese and friends wisely then host a cheese-filled evening. Why not go wild and ask your guests to BYOC – bring your own cheese?

You might be a cheese aficionado or this could be your very first try but here is all you need to know about putting together the perfect cheeseboard [ . . . ]

Source: How to make the perfect cheeseboard –

Outcry as Cannes Film Festival poster ‘thins’ Claudia Cardinale’s curves

The official poster for this year’s Cannes Film Festival sparked an outcry Wednesday over claims that Italian actress Claudia Cardinale’s thighs had been airbrushed to make them thinner.


French media poured scorn on the festival for seemingly tampering with a photograph of Cardinale swirling her skirt on a Rome roof in 1959.

“Claudia Cardinale dropped a dress size in one swirl,” said the left-leaning Liberation, while the culture magazine Telerama questioned why it was necessary to retouch the famously sexy star when she was in her heyday.

“While the poster is magnificent, the photograph has clearly and deplorably been airbrushed to thin the actress’s thighs. What a pity,” it said. [ . . . ]

Read Full Story: Outcry as Cannes Film Festival poster ‘thins’ Claudia Cardinale’s curves – France 24

Paris’s Hidden Treasure 

The Room Dufy

[ . . .] Despite having been regulated to second-class status, tourism-wise, the City of Paris Modern Art Museum contains what is arguably the single most interesting room in any museum in Paris: the Room Dufy.

The Room Dufy is a room large and triangular, with rounded points and about 600 square feet of floor space. The museum’s website, rather depressingly, says it can host dinner for 50. The walls are 30 feet high and made-up of 250 panels, all painted by Raoul Dufy. Dufy was perhaps the greatest colorist who ever lived, and the room is a shiver and silence-inducing explosion of color. [ . . . ]

Read Full Story: Paris’s Hidden Treasure | The Weekly Standard

French Film Release: Joachim Lafosse’s “L’économie du couple” (After Love)

Joachim Lafosse (Our Children) Discusses his latest drama L’économie du Couple (After Love). An intelligent and compassionate portrayal of a divorcing couple forced to share a home, it features poignant performances by Bérénice Bejo and Cédric Kahn who both display a stunning level of dramatic range and depth.


Politics in the heart – Saint-Merry

Sandra March

After the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States and his immediate signing of a decree ordering “the construction of a physical wall” along the border with Mexico, I felt dizzy. In France, the reception given to migrants (hundreds of people sleeping in the street downstairs, without any dignified and perennial lodging solution proposed to them) has completely revolted me.

In this context, I felt the need to recharge myself and seek allies to think and build a world that would do us good to all.

And I found pearls. Words, or acts that have restored my faith in our ability to work together to put ourselves at the service of justice and love, as Cardinal André Vingt-Trois proposed in his homily on February 5 Inviting to become “a sign of God’s salvation”.

For example: Facebook CEO Marc Zuckerberg, declaring that “the world does not need walls but rather bridges”, or my neighbors are organized in turn to cook and offer meals to people living in the Street, or the reflection of Marion Muler-Colard – in The Complex of Elijah – inviting us to rediscover the heart of politics in this keen consciousness of “we” … And I remembered these words written by Carl Jaspers at Hannah Arendt in December 1945: “Those who seek together new ways must not be too few, but a few are enough to give confidence. ”

Source: Politics in the heart – Saint-Merry

Chanson Du Jour: Berceuse pour Jean

Henriette and Elie Zmirou “Berceuse pour Jean”

While on assignment at the UN in New York in 1954, French couple Henriette and Elie Zmirou remembered their homeland by singing folk songs. Henriette learned all of hers from her mother, grandmother, and people among whom she lived in Normandy. The lyrics of these unaccompanied solos and duos are translated into English. (Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage)

Chanson Du Jour: Il était une Bergère

Henriette and Elie Zmirou “Il était une Bergère” (She was a Shepherd)

While on assignment at the UN in New York in 1954, French couple Henriette and Elie Zmirou remembered their homeland by singing folk songs. Henriette learned all of hers from her mother, grandmother, and people among whom she lived in Normandy. The lyrics of these unaccompanied solos and duos are translated into English. (Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage)

Verlaine’s Chanson d’automne

“Chanson d’automne” (“Autumn Song”) is a poem by Paul Verlaine, one of the best known in the French language. It is included in Verlaine’s first collection, Poèmes saturniens, published in 1866 (see 1866 in poetry). The poem forms part of the “Paysages tristes” (“Sad landscapes”) section of the collection

Poem: “Chanson d’Automne” by Paul Verlaine

Charles Trenet “Verlaine”
The legendary French crooner Charles Trenet added music to Verlaine’s poem and recorded the song twice, first in the early 1940’s and again in the 1950s with a slower arrangement adding a string section. Here’s the original jazz version.

Word War II Resistance Code
The song’s lyrics include the line “les sanglots longues des violons de l’automne blessent mon coeur d’un langueur monotone” which translates as “the long sobs of the violins of autumn wound my heart with a monotonous languor”.
These words were used in 1944 to form the code phrases that alerted the Resistance to the Allied invasion of France, and were depicted in the earlier epic World War II movie The Longest Day (1962).

Chanson Du Jour: Plantons la Vigne

Henriette and Elie Zmirou “Plantons la Vigne” (Planting the Vine)

While on assignment at the UN in New York in 1954, French couple Henriette and Elie Zmirou remembered their homeland by singing folk songs. Henriette learned all of hers from her mother, grandmother, and people among whom she lived in Normandy. The lyrics of these unaccompanied solos and duos are translated into English. (Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage)

Best croissants in Paris

While Londoners are losing their minds over Dominique Ansel’s cronut, the Parisian love affair with the croissant endures. These famously flaky pastries have been fuelling the city for hundreds of years – long enough to know there is nothing more tragic than a pale, soggy croissant to start the day. So after working our way through the finest jambon-beurre, we’ve scoured pâtisseries far and wide for the crème-de-la-crème of the capital’s croissants au beurre.Ranked on appearance (golden all over and brown on the bottom), pastry quality and taste, these buttery beauties are well worth crossing Paris for. Your breakfast may never be the same again.

Read the Top 5: Best croissants in Paris: Time Out Paris

One Wine Glass to Rule Them All

At some point along every wine drinker’s arc of discovery, the time comes to invest in a set of glasses.

Choosing the right one may seem complicated, confusing and occasionally overwhelming. The process can be fraught with anxiety, as many different glass styles are available, and points of view clash on what is proper and necessary.

Corkscrew aside, a stemmed glass is the only indispensable piece of equipment needed to enjoy the best a bottle has to offer, and the least expensive, easiest way to invest in better drinking is to buy a good set. Not that wine can’t be consumed without them. [ . . .  ] Fully story

A Map of Every Amelie Filming Location in Real Life (in Paris)

Amelie (Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain in French), directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, became a French classic with worldwide fame. The romantic comedy shows the history of Amélie Poulain (Audrey Tautou), a waitress in Montmartre who keeps watching the people around her. She aspires to do some good around her and finds a small toy box and decides to find its owner. On her way, she will meet many characters, always with Yann Tiersen music as the original soundtrack, and she will go through many places in Paris you must visit.

If you already know this movie, get ready to follow Amélie Poulain’s steps. If you don’t, watch it before you even read this article, and you shall see a difference in these mythical places.

Read Full Story: A Map of Every Amelie Filming Location in Real Life (in Paris)

Ash Wednesday

“All are from dust, and to dust all return”
– Ecclesiastes 3:20
“We are stardust, we are golden”
– Saint Joni
“Now don’t hang on, nothing last forever but the earth and sky”
– Rev. Kansas
“That was long ago, and now my inspiration is in the stardust of a song”
– Archbishop Carmichael
– The Devil

Chanson Du Jour: Ima

I am listening to a lot of Yael Naim of late, and I was excited to find this video of Yael performing with New Orleans-based cellist (playing the banjo here)  Leyla McCalla, formerly of the Carolina Chocolate Drops. I love this tune – the only song on Naim’s album “Older” where she sings in Hebrew. Naim was born in Paris in 1978. When she was 4, her family immigrated to Israel and settled in Ramat Hasharon. In May 2004, she decided to settle permanently in Paris.

Chanson Du Jour: Yael Naim with Leyla McCalla – “Ima” 

A Warm and Fuzzy Day in Paris | Rick Steves’ Travel Blog

On my last day in Paris, I was met by my partner Trish (The Travelphile) — who took all the photos in this post — and we had a delightful afternoon simply enjoying the city’s hottest new spot: the pedestrianized embankment of the Seine. [ . . . ]

Read More: A Warm and Fuzzy Day in Paris | Rick Steves’ Travel Blog

How to Make Cassoulet – NYT Cooking

Cassoulet is one of the most magnificent examples of French home cooking. The sumptuous meat and bean casserole is not as refined as some of the fussier dishes of haute cuisine, but what it lacks in opulence it makes up for in rustic charm. This guide is part of The New Essentials of French Cooking, the 10 definitive dishes every modern cook should master. See them all [ . . . ]

More: How to Make Cassoulet – NYT Cooking

Teenagers rescued from Paris catacombs after three-day ordeal

Two teenagers were rescued from the catacombs beneath Paris on Wednesday after being lost for three days in the pitch-black tunnels of the underground burial ground.The two, aged 16 and 17, were taken to hospital and were treated for hypothermia after being found by search teams and rescue dogs in the early hours of Wednesday morning.“It was thanks to the dogs that we found them,” a spokesman for the Paris fire service said [ . . . ]

Read More: Teenagers rescued from Paris catacombs after three-day ordeal | World news | The Guardian