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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October Potpourri: Ghosts, Gags, Galleries and More Unexpected Distractions

Lego de Triomphe

Throughout the month I come across a fair number of articles, blogs, images, exhibits, or videos that I’d like to share with readers, but they don’t necessarily work into my typical format. So, I’ve decided to create a monthly post that briefly highlights some of the Internet gems that have…

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The Battle Of Algiers, Cinematic Portrait Of The Algerian Revolution

Movie poster

This week I re-watched an unforgettable film that I discovered in 2013 while writing a paper on Algeria. La Bataille d’Alger, released in 1966 and banned in France for more than 5 years, is a remarkable movie, by Italian journalist and filmmaker Gillo Pontecorvo. The screenplay, written by Yacef Saâdi,…

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