Nothing has tickled our francophile fancy like this since Ratatouille ! A brand new Micky Mouse cartoon commissioned by Disney from Paul Rudish, the director of Dexter’s Laboratory and Powerpuff Girls.
Oh so retro and yet so modern (there’s the subtlest hint of a video game vibe in there).
Mickey and pals will be showing up in other cities, but of course, they picked Paris first…
If your Valentine happens to be both a Francophile and a cineaste, I think s/he might be quite pleased with Universal-France’s three-disc compilation, Nouvelle Vague: Chansons et Musiques de Films. The set includes selections from soundtracks composed by Michel Legrand, Georges Delerue, Miles Davis, Maurice Jarre, Serge Gainsbourg, Bernard Herrmann, and on and on, for films by such directors as François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Louis Malle, Claude Chabrol, Phillippe De Broca, Jacques Demy, and on and on.
We could wander these virtual stacks for days! So far, the Bibliothèque nationale de France has digitized more than one million works, including books, maps, manuscripts, images, periodicals, scores and sound recordings, and made them available for free to the public at the Gallica digital library. This is France’s answer to Google Books, and the result of the big fight from a couple of years ago.
In 2009, the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF) had an exhibit on the history of French games called Jeux de princes, jeux de vilains. Fortunately, the site is still up, offering great images, games (ludothèque), teaching aids (action pédagogique) and lots more.
Marcel Marlier illustrated the stories of Martine, an icon of 20th-century French pop culture. Written by Gilbert Delahaye, there were 60 titles published with more than 65 million copies sold in French and 35 million sold in other languages.
Know a little francophile? You can buy Martine titles (in French!) at the Francophilia Amazon store.
She’s one of those institutions who’s everywhere, and long before I had any idea what the hell she’d done I’d learned that her mime-white face was one to be respected and feared, and that she was ubiquitous. What she did is run French beauty pageants for years.
As you probably know, Barbie, the most popular doll around the world, is turning 50 next year. A grand show dedicated to this golden anniversary is to be staged during the New York Fashion Week in February.
Every year French lingerie company Aubade puts out a sexy calendar using some of the year’s ads. And you can download the calendar from the Aubade site! On this page, under Téléchargements, click Calendrier (couverture + les 12 mois).
You have the video-game stars les lapins crétins (known as the Raving Rabbids in the US and elsewhere in the anglophone world). What you don’t have in the US is Renault (they haven’t sold cars in the US since the 80s), so you probably haven’t seen this hilarious commercial!
In France mention of the Duralex brand prompts nostalgia. Many primary school canteens still use Duralex glasses with a serial number (from 1 to 48) on the base, giving each child a fictitious age and making the “eldest” at each table responsible for filling the water jug.
Meet Adèle Blanc-Sec, an adventurous bande-dessinée heroine created by Jacques Tardi in the 70s. The stories are set between 1911 and 1922, and several of them are being made into a movie directed by Luc Besson (The Fifth Element). Les Aventures extraordinaires d’Adèle Blanc-Sec is due out in April. We can’t wait!