NEW for 2015 – GallicFever French culture rendez-vous calendar! Now — click February.
Thankfully for us New York francofolles and francofous, this city has more French culture resources than even the most France-crazed of us can manage to explore. But give me credit for trying. For making the tough choices. . . .
Alors, for the New Year, we’ve created the agenda you see on the right (and on every GallicFever page) where you’ll find my selection of French culture NYC sorties. And even some dates in Paris that I really wish I could keep. CLICK calendar dates to see times and venues. . . .
If you’re in New York — check the calendar and we may find ourselves crossing paths in one of my French culture haunts. And, I’ll post about my experiences on GallicFever. If you’re in Paris — well, you’ll have our recommendations. We’ll expect your report, merci beaucoup. In person or online, I look forward so much to the pleasure of a French culture rendez-vous with you, my sister francofolles and fellow francofous.
Want to share a French culture event in either NYC or Paris? . . . Just comment and we’ll add your rendez-vous recommendation!
7 Jan. Inside the News (Les gens du Monde) is a backstage close-up of the legendary French daily, Le Monde by Yves Jeuland. Filmmaker Jeuland, who says he grew up reading the paper over his papa’s shoulder, follows Le Monde journos on the candidates’ campaign trail for three months of the prelude to the 2012 French election. Afterward: Q & A with Le Monde New York correspondent, Stéphane Lauer. Admission is to the film (shown at Cannes 2014) is free.
10 Jan. Je suis Charlie. I’m Charlie. In Washington Square, NYC, we support the Paris journalists, support staff and police officers lost at Charlie Hebdo on 7/1/15, silenced by radical Islam assassins. Free expression must be universal. See Beryl Goldberg’s photos of the NYC event here.
15 Jan. In the good company of my FIAF classmates, I go inside Balzac’s 19th century Paris salons and dining rooms, share his obsessions with love and corrosive ambition amid the frozen social strata. Finally catching up with Honoré B. and Le Père Goriot. All kinds of French culture largesse comes with FIAF membership. Click 15 January for FIAF address!
16 Jan. Native French tutor, Luc Georges, has been teaching in New York since 1986. He leads an advanced French conversation group on the upper east side once a month (or more!) on Friday afternoon for 75 minutes. One or two places remain! Plus d’infos? S‘il vous plaît, contactez Luc ici!
21 Jan. Ever over-reacted to a screwed up job interview? In Lulu Naked (2014) heroine Lulu abandons mate and offspring and takes off on a road story itinerary. But more than a change of scene, it’s her new, up close encounters that bring Lulu to self-insight. A last-minute plot twist leads to a happier ending than we’ve become accustomed to, so may not quite believe — but will forgive. At least, I did. Like Oscar nominated Two Days, One Night, currently in NYC theaters, Lulu is a Belgian film. Another woman-at-crossroads French film will be screened (free to all!) on 4 Feb. at La Maison Française, Columbia University, where, fyi, membership is a super value.
24 Jan. Blacklisted in Hollywood, Jules Dassin went to France, where he eventually directed the crime classic Rififi – so much for the rather slight French culture connection that put The Naked City on my agenda. But then I learned that the Oscar awarded 1948 Dassin film is about a murder investigation on Manhattan’s upper west side. As it happens, I went to school through third grade a couple of blocks from the murder scene, and wrote a historical detective novel about 1980s murders on nearby turf. How could I resist this archival screening! I couldn’t. Dassin knew his vintage NYPD cops and made a New York true detective story around them and their procedure.
28 Jan.-10 Feb. Telling yourself it’s only a movie doesn’t work, even as you watch the improbable scenic beauty of Timbuctu in Mali. Abderrahmane Sissako’s second feature dramatically brings home the easily fatal reality of living under religious fundamentalism as imposed by a band of hellbent jihadists. Ironically, you want to be transported to the magnificent natural and architectural settings that fill the screen. Go to Film Forum and see for yourself. Timbuctu won a 2014 Cannes Festival Jury Prize.
28 Jan. Once the head of historic Pathé Studios, Bernard Natan died forgotten in the Holocaust. David Cairns and Paul Duane’s 2013 documentary, Natan, investigates why and how the man and his innovative work were all but erased from French film history. Q & A with writer/director David Cairns. A model of historical inquiry, deservedly well-received in Paris film circles and at 2015 Jewish Film Festival in NYC.
SHOWing in Paris — for a few weeks more! “My true nourishment, my substance, always will be art,” says my friend Nathalie, a sort of Paris-life mentor to me since we met as neighbors in 2012. Her hangout on recent days off is the (truly) Grand Palais. “Superb” is the only word for Niki de Saint Phalle’s monumental “Nanas” contends Nathalie. Catch them if you can, at the Grand Palais, but only until 2 February. NB: A “jules’ is a boyfriend, a “nana” is a girlfriend. Born in Poitiers, Nathalie works in Paris high schools as a psychiatric nurse. A devotee of the Impressionists, she just signed up for a course in Impressionism, so she’ll be even more knowledgeable when she visits the GP exhibition about Paul Durand-Ruell. He was the gallerist who “gambled on the Impressionists,” as the GP describes their show: on view till 8 February. Now — click February.