Monday, August 30, 2010

Photo Duet: Chaud

For this week's photo duet - en fait, for all future photo duets: a photo taken/chosen by theme that relates to a Francophone country.

Haut: Punaise arlequin à Rocamadour, France. Mai 2009.

A striped shield bug basking in the sun of Rocamadour. Rocamadour was a popular destination for medieval pilgrims, more recently it's been reported to attract more than 1 million visitors a year. It's located in south-western France, about 100 miles north of Toulouse. You can't miss it: the town is partly built into a cliff. And the shield bug? It's actually a popular bug as well, originally from the Mediterranean and now commonly found in Central Europe, Southern Europe, Asia Minor and the Middle East. (p_ff)

Bas: Tafraout, Le Maroc. Mars 2008.

Mud-plastered, mud-brick high rise dwellings bake in the afternoon sun south of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. The German tour group and I shoot snaps of crumbling windowns, peeling paint, black veil enschrouded women, and dozens of children. Teen boys chat us up and offer email addresses in the hope that one day they make the contact that gets them out into the modern world. Charmant, romantique, et triste... (kk)

chaud, adjectif (adj): Il fait chaud aujourd'hui.

It's a warm day today

chaleureux, adj: Ils ont réservé un accueil chaleureux à Lucky Luke.

They gave Lucky Luke a warm reception.

chauffer, verbe transitif (vt) : Il s'est mis près de la cheminée pour se chauffer les mains.

He stood by the fireplace to warm his hands.

(faire) réchauffer, vt: Je vais faire réchauffer la soupe.

I'll warm the soup up.

se réchauffer, verbe intransitif: La pièce a enfin commencé à se réchauffer.

The room began to warm up at last.

-This and more from: Dictionnaire de Lucky Luke illustré; Editeur Fleurus

Ailleurs, this week's theme at the Anu Garg's English Word a Day website: is terms from French!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Photo duet: La Rue

La Rue est le theme de cette semaine sur Photo Friday and it's the theme of my photo duet with "KK" with one other criteria: our photo must be related to France.

We dug into our archive and selected our photos independently et voilá:

gauche- a street in Saint Paul de Vence, June 2008

An exceptionally empty street in Saint Paul de Vence where painters like Marc Chagall and writers like Jacques Prévert once lived. It's not the captive chair that makes this street of the medieval, fortified town exceptional nor is it that artists and painters and international stars might have once walked upon it. For me, what makes it exceptional is that it's quiet and empty. Saint Paul de Vence reportedly attracts over 2.5 million tourists every year- and those streets are narrow! To me, Saint Paul de Vence is like one of the most charming outdoor malls you'll ever encounter- and it's "real". If I don't think of it that way, I am overwhelmed and a little saddened by the commercialism. (petit_foufou)

droite - a street in a wine village near Strasbourg (probably Riquewihr), late Spring 2007

I'm not a big fan of busy urban cityscapes. This is more my version of a pleasant street. I spent a pleasant hour or so noshing on flammkuchen and watching a stork in its nest atop one of the old timber-framed houses. Then I marched off the beer calories in the climb up to the local castle ruin. (kk)

The photographic vocabulary list goes on... (see tag photo friday) so here's an example phrase with the plural of today's photo theme:

"Courir les rues" means to run along the street. It's also the name of a French chanson swing band. Here's a visual and auditory introduction of "courir les rues", the band, with Parisian street scenes.

If you want to join the weekly photo-taking fun:

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Restarting at A

The theme of recommencer continues...

A is for ailleurs/elsewhere

"Mon père continue à conduire en regardant droit devant lui, ma mère est déjà ailleurs."

The mot of note from this week's French lesson is ailleurs and is from a children's book that I'm reading peu à peu with my French teacher. When I've finished the book, I'll divulge the the title, author and illustrator.

A is for Antonieta

Qui est-elle? Spanish director Carlos Saura (perhaps best known for his film Carmen, 1983) tells the story of Maria Antonieta Rivas Mercado through a French psychologist who is researching suicides of famous women. Antonieta is the story of a Mexican francophile, intellectual, writer, feminist and arts patron during the time of a bloody Mexican revolution.

Although I saw this film in French with German subtitles and indeed, Antonieta, is played by the French actress Isabelle Adjani and the other main character Anna is a French psychologist (played by German actress and chanson singer, Hanna Schygulla)– research for this post reveals that it is indeed a Spanish film (thanks for the info, IMDb). I cannot imagine Adjani or Schygulla speaking in Spanish, though. And it didn't seem to me that the film was dubbed. So, even though it's been verified by IMDb I wonder on.

For fans of Carlos Saura and this film: a link to an interview in 1982 by Valeria Ciompi

Antonieta, Carlos Saura Between the Past and the Present

(from a book of Interviews with Carlos Saura, edited by Linda M. Willem, 2003)

Le photo: Merci Monsieur Foufou. Rocamadour, France. Mai 2009.

Friday, August 06, 2010

I Do

I did take a break from French lessons, but as evidenced by the past posts- not from chocolat.

I'm back now and restarting my efforts to go beyond the level of debutante and reach intermédiare: j'ai recommencé à prendre des leçons de français et à regarder des films en français.

I'm back to weekly lessons albeit sans devoirs. I'd love to view French movies in lieu of the weekly homework so I made a start, or more aptly recommencer with Prête-moi ta main. The English title is I Do - How to Get Married and Stay Single.

It stars acteur/réalisateur Alain Chabat and actrice/chanteuse Charlotte Gainsbourg and was directed by Eric Lartigau. I found it to be an entertaining romantic comedy with a cute twist. Few of the romantic comedies I've watched have been able to balance realism and imagination and be funny.

There are a lot of comedies that I've seen that were funny because they were also incredibly unrealistic or not funny because they were too realistic. I think this comedy does a great job with "real" characters in an imaginative situation where the pressures are real enough though one might not try out the solution posed in this movie. What am I referring to exactly? A trailer or the three-minute review by ecran total podcast can best explain the charm of this comédie romantique and help you to decide whether you say "I do" to seeing the fillm.

Ecran total podcasts - radio reviews of films in French but not necessarily French films.

Review of Prêt-moi ta main (numéro 166) released July 10, 2010 - free download on Apple Itunes.

For francocinemaphiles: Francofille

Follow Londoner Rachel Malcolm as she documents her mission to watch 52 French Films in 2010

recommencer to begin again

Attention: recommencer à + verbe à l'infinitif

Les photos: Having a snack of foie Gras at the Galeries Lafayette Berlin. The French Boucher can advise you in German, English and bien sûr en français! Mai 2010.