Some Good French Films

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It’s been a weird weekend. And it’s only Saturday. Hopefully grocery shopping is uneventful tomorrow.  One minute you’re sitting on the train and the next you’re disembarking and for some reason your right hip isn’t letting you walk?
Weird stuff.
Pretty sure I’m too young for hip replacement.

SO I was talking to some friends yesterday and said I would send along a list of recommended French films. And SO I figured I would post it since it’s a list.

That said, full disclosure: I haven’t seen every French film ever so this is a superbly and spectacularly incomplete list.

Let’s Start with animated:

  • Ernest and Celestine: Bears and mice and based on a lovely children’s book series that I want to buy for my potential offspring.
  • Nocturna: Amazing world building. So much imagination. Cats.
  • The Boy with the Cuckoo Clock Heart: I walked in on dad playing music from this. He’s never seen it.
  • A Monster in Paris: There’s a giant bug and it’s a beautiful heartwarming story. Also beautiful music.

Also kid-focused but not animated:

  • Le Petit Nicolas: This is what being a child is like. But kind of more so.

I’ struggling with categorizing all the rest so I’m just going to throw them at you in one big lump:

  • Belle de Jour: Catherine Deneuve is bored and fantasizes about BDSM so she decides to be a prostitute. Also her name is Severine, which is an excellent name.
  • La Vie en Rose: Marion Cotillard is Edith Piaf and it’s as amazing as it sounds.
  • Les Trois Couleurs: Three movies which you can kind of trace from the Nouvelle Vague style. Loosely connected, all individually perfect as stand-alones. I think Blue was my favorite.
  • La Double Vie de Veronique: For some reason this hangs out with Les Trois Couleurs in my mind. Some lovely music.
  • Huit Femmes: A Christmas musical murder mystery with a who’s who cast of great French actresses.
  • Les Choristes: A teacher positively affects students lives through music. But it’s actually a good film.
  • Bonjour, Tristesse: The book is better but this is nice and light and summery. Still not a huge Jean Seberg fan.
  • The Intouchables: I always confuse this with The Untouchables, a film about taking down Al Capone. This is great too.
  • Elle: Isabelle Huppert is bae and this Oscar nominee (did it win? I don’t remember) from last year is fantastic.
  • Tous Les Matins du Monde: Music again. But also period drama stuff and sex.
  • La Pianiste: Isabelle Huppert being sexy again. But this time even more mentally off-kilter.
  • La Piscine: Romy Schneider and Jane Birkin and Alain Delon are all fabulously attractive people.  And the film is suitably sexy.
  • Les Enfants du Paradis: A long film that flew by. It’s actually a work of art and quite possibly one of the best films I watched last year. It is inspiring me to fall in love with a mime.
  • Eyes Without a Face: French New Wave does Hitchcock. I am obviously a fan.
  • Diabolique: More Hitchcockian stuff. A wife and mistress conspire to kill the guy. Then come strange events.

Weird stuff that I’m not sure I can recommend:

  • Last Year at Marienbad: I will never forget the word ‘couloir’.
  • Triplets of Belleville: What…?
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The Most-Represented Bands on My iPod

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Yes, I still have my 3rd generation iPod nano. It has a name (iPooh) and it turned ten years old on my birthday this year. I got it in seventh grade. It’s a wee silver iPod nano and I still update it regularly with whatever music I’m listening to the most. Because it’s small, portable, and has remarkable battery powder. And I’m fond of it.

Thankfully I do do iPod culls. Because I do not still listen to the music I listened to in seventh grade (I don’t even want to think about it). There are only about 400 or 500 (or maybe 600) songs on it.

And some bands are much better represented than others. The fact that I keep it full of my most-listened to means that the majority of bands and musicians are represented only once or twice. The following are the most notable exceptions, with five or more tracks, each.

  • Creedence Clearwater Revival, 5
  • Edith Piaf, 5
  • Fleetwood Mac, 5
  • Glass Animals, 5: The problem here is all of the songs sound the same, so does this count as five songs or one? I’m not sure really.
  • Nouvelle Vague, 5
  • Daddy Yankee, 6: The sound of home, for me. I grew up to Gasolina. Whatever that says about my life.
  • Lana del Rey, 6
  • Sia, 6
  • The Beatles, 7
  • David Bowie, 8
  • Simon & Garfunkel, 11
  • The Rolling Stones, 12

Perhaps I’ll do a future post on my most-listened to songs. The problem is that I have a kind of OCD tendency to reset the number of listens. So it might take a little while.

Best!

Playlist: Long Sultry Summer

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The first of my anemone flowers started blooming yesterday, which means summer is drawing to a close. Or more accurately, that the end of summer is drawing to a beginning.

Summer isn’t really saying goodbye until the asters and goldenrod are in full swing.

My plane tickets have been bought- my ticket, really, because as of yet there is no return trip.  A one way trip to Charles de Gaulle.

And I may have watched the last film that I will watch that takes place in my city- the last one before I go. It was Gone Baby Gone.  I love it when films make detours to my hometown to find unsavory people, murder victims, and other desperate characters. My favorite movie trope.
And I’ve decided that Jared Leto and Casey Affleck share a category in my head- creepy and lanky white boy actors who seem to take themselves too artistically seriously and who I don’t want to meet.  Much as I admire Jared Leto’s ability to wear way too much Gucci at once. And much as I admire Casey Affleck’s… nothing really, never mind. Continue reading “Playlist: Long Sultry Summer”

French Covers of English Language Songs

In honor of the French election (cringe), I decided to create a list of French covers of English language songs.  Now, if the French election (another cringe) is the reason I’m scheduling this particular post for this particular day, there is a more general reason that explains why so much French music has been kicking around in my head.
Simple: spring. Warm weather and the promise of summer is always the season when I bust out the sixties French music, the ye ye songs, the music of Francoise Hardy, Sylvie Vartan, and France Gall.
And then I stumbled on a few amazing cover songs, and so this list was born.
(And aside on politics before we get into the clean fun of music: the rising tide of problematic anti-immigrant right-wing nationalism is frightening. There, I’m done. I refer you to John Oliver).

Ahem, what was that? Ah yes, music! Continue reading “French Covers of English Language Songs”

Sounds of Summer

 

Some songs strike me as being summery, even beyond the ice cream truck tune and the songs we learned at girl scout camp. Continue reading “Sounds of Summer”