Oscars 2021, 5 Acclaimed Films from the Francophone World

The Man Who Sold His Skin

One of the things I like best about the Academy Awards has nothing to do with discovering which blockbuster will win Best Picture. I find the actual award ceremony, where glamorous celebrities parade to center stage to deliver their well-rehearsed speeches, only mildly entertaining. Rather, the thing I appreciate most…

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Fiction that Enlightens: Learning Something Adds to the Enjoyment

Oleanders and Books, Van Gogh

For many years, I avoided reading fiction. The world is vast and there is so much to know that I just couldn’t justify reading a novel. In addition, there are so many talented journalists-turned-author that it’s easy to find nonfiction on almost any subject that grabs and holds your attention—history,…

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The Satirical Art of Claire Bretécher, Lampooning at its Finest

Nouvel Observateur, August 1997

Claire Bretécher was one of France’s most prominent socio-satirical comic strip authors for more than 4 decades. Bretécher is an icon in the world of bandes dessinées who has served as a role model to aspiring dessinatrices that dream of becoming successful cartoonists. Born in 1940, Bretécher broke into comics…

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February Potpourri: Spectacular Domains, Dali, Dirty Dancing, and More

Jardin au Musée Rodin

Below you’ll find a few cultural tidbits from France that I came across in February. I also review a bande dessinée, which I read last month, by one of my favorite political cartoonists, Patrick Chappatte. In many cases, I provide a link that you can follow to the original source…

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Contradictory Paths Out of a Casablanca Slum, Sidi Moumen

Casablanca at Night

Most Americans only know the city of Casablanca from the 1942 film of the same name, starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. It’s a vibrant and cosmopolitan city, located on Morocco’s Mediterranean coast and home to roughly 4 million people, numerous large international corporations, a bustling stock exchange, and thriving…

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Advice Given by a Famous Author to his Grandson

Today marks the 5-year anniversary of Umberto Eco’s death. In case you’re unfamiliar with this Italian author and philosopher, Eco was also a brilliant linguist who penned several international bestsellers such as The Name of the Rose and Foucault’s Pendulum. He also translated numerous works from English and French into…

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January Potpourri: Parks, Pipes, Pics, and Popular Portrayals

Eiffel Tower in Winter

Throughout the month I come across a fair number of francophile-related articles, blogs, images, books, or videos that I’d like to share with readers. I’ve combined this potpourri of news items into a single post. Here are some of the gems from January as well as a brief book review…

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The Paris Attacks of November 13 and One Psychiatrist’s Confession

Place de la République, January 2016

Today marks the fifth anniversary of the Paris attacks that took place across the city in 2015. That evening, suicide bombers and gunmen with automatic weapons carried out 6 separate attacks including one inside the Bataclan Theater where a rock concert was underway. 130 people were killed and 413 wounded.…

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