Sacré bleu! When did the French get better than us at TV?

There once seemed to be an unspoken agreement that telly was one of Britain’s great cultural exports, writes Ed Cumming. Yet the likes of ‘Call My Agent!’, ‘Lupin’ and ‘Le Bureau’ have put that old chestnut to bed. What happened?

By Ed Cumming

The most upsetting development in TV this year has not been the BBC’s Olympic coverage, hard as it has been to be deprived of 24-hour kayaking. Nor was it the ending of Line of Duty, with its ominous implication that the series might run forever without ever finding the last of the bent coppers. Or Emily in Paris being nominated for the “Best Comedy” Emmy.

No, the only truly blood-curdling realisation has been that the French are making better TV than us. Probably the best comedy of the past few years is Call My Agent, which stars Camille Cottin as a talent agent forced to dig her stars, played by real-life actors, out of increasingly ridiculous scrapes while managing their own chaotic personal lives. It is French.

Definitely the best thriller of the past few years is The Bureau – in its home nation Le Bureau des Legendes – a gripping spy drama in which characters roam around the world protecting national interests while managing their own chaotic personal lives. In its depiction of technology, double-crossing and harsh realpolitik of modern espionage, it is closer to the spirit of Le Carré than anything we have managed lately, including adaptations of Le Carré. It is also French.

Best French Shows on Netflix — ‘Lupin’ & ‘Call My Agent!’ Review

Francophilia finally comes to Netflix.

By Leena Kim

Until very recently, French content on Netflix left un petit peu to be desired. It hasn’t been a barren landscape, exactly, but the genre hadn’t quite reached the level of American success as shows and films from some other foreign nations (see: Korean dramas and the Spanish hit Money Heist). And no, Emily in Paris does not count.

Now, the Breton tides have turned. Take the critical and commercial successes of Lupin and Call My Agent! The former, which premiered on Netflix earlier this month, is projected to hit 70 million views in its first 28 days, surpassing The Queen’s Gambit, and the latter, whose fourth and final season dropped on the streaming platform last week, has been around since 2015 but is finally getting the international attention it deserves.

The acclaim is warranted; these two shows are excellent. But there’s also the perpetual American obsession with all things French and especially anything with Paris as a backdrop, which is even more wanderlust-inducing during this era of quarantine and border lockdowns. This truth undoubtedly explains Emily in Paris‘s outsize, if polarizing, popularity last fall. Refreshingly, these shows are free of tired clichés about Parisian life, and hopefully indicative of what’s to come. Netflix has made a clear commitment to investing in France: last year the streaming behemoth opened sprawling new headquarters in Paris and pledged to double its investment in French productions and partnerships.

But until then, put these two gems in your queue ASAP.

Arsène Lupin is as indelible to the cultural canon of France as Sherlock and Bond are to England. For those unfamiliar with this gentleman chief and master of disguise, created by novelist Maurice Leblanc in 1905, think of him as an early 20th-century Danny Ocean, except that Lupin works alone and only robs those who really deserve it—usually severely ethically challenged one percenters. There have been countless adaptations of the character, in TV, film, theatre, video games, literature, even a Japanese manga series.

Continue reading “Best French Shows on Netflix — ‘Lupin’ & ‘Call My Agent!’ Review”

Comme une Française: Practice Your French with the Netflix Series “Lupin”

Comme une Française

Have you heard about this one? Lupin is a brand new French series that’s been streaming on Netflix since January 8th. I really enjoyed it — so much that I binge-watched it in just three sittings! In today’s video, we’ll learn more about this well-known French character, Lupin, how he influenced the Netflix series, and why this is such a great option if you’re interested in practicing and improving your French oral comprehension. (There are MANY different dialects in this show!) Let’s dive in.

Take care and stay safe. 😘 from Grenoble, France.

Géraldine

The one French film you need to see this month

If there’s one film you have to see in France this month then “Le Chant du Loup”, starring some of France’s most famous actors is the one. French movie experts Lost in Frenchlation explain why.

Submarine films are a subgenre of war films that are able to heighten intensity due to their unique setting.They are able to go beyond the normal tensions of the average action film by highlighting the close quarters and removal from civilization.In addition to the claustrophobia and isolation, there’s a number of things that can go wrong that far down, from machinery fires to decompression sickness.

Over 150 submarine films have been made in the past 100 years.This genre is popular with French and Americans alike, leading to successful films such as The Hunt for Red October in America and now Le Chant du Loup (The Wolf’s Call) in France, and even a cultural overlap in the English-language French-Belgian film Kursk.

Le Chant du Loup stars César Award winning actor, Omar Sy, who became one of France’s most popular actors after his role in Les Intouchables.

Mathieu Kassovitz of Amelie fame also stars in this film.He is popular in France and abroad, earning him numerous awards from Cannes to Chicago.

Le Chant du Loup is “the wolf’s call” the sound of a sonar that can be detected by the main character of the film, an acoustic analyst known as “the golden ear”.This film provides insight into French politics and warfare, fueled by director Antonin Baudry’s personal experiences from his time as a diplomat and advisor to the prime minister.

Source: The one French film you need to see this month – The Local