100 Years Since Her Execution, Was Mata Hari a Sexy Spy or a Sexy Scapegoat?At nearly every turn, Margaretha Zelle MacLeod made the wrong choices. Yet she managed to create a persona that continues to dance on the crowded stage of popular culture.
ELLEN HAMPTON10.08.17 12:00 AM ET PARIS—
Her name lives on a century after they stood her in front of a firing squad on Oct. 15, 1917, and watched her die: Mata Hari, treacherous spy, devious liar, a wicked woman to the core. Or was she something else entirely? [ . . . ]
Legendary French comic singer Gaston Ouvard performs “Je ne suis pas bien portant” (I Am Not In Good Health)
Donald Trump avoided military service to his country thanks to a “minor” malady. He said he had visited a doctor who provided him a letter for draft officials, who granted him the medical exemption. He could not remember the doctor’s name. (New York Times August 1, 2016)
The French New Wave movement in cinema (Nouvelle Vague en francaise) began in the late 1950’s and the tenets of Nouvelle Vague continue to be seen in French films today.
Notable features of this movement include:
slow, subtle and ambiguous plots
strong character development
few happy endings, or even conclusive endings
an emphasis on Art over profits
While I have a genuine appreciation for Nouvelle Vague, I also appreciate a film like Pixar’s “Ratatouille” (2007), which not only sold beaucoup movie theater tickets, but also beaucoup toys. (I doubt the Jean-Paul Belmondo action figure ever made more than few francs – even with the optional toy cigarette that produces real smoke!)