Disney has cast one of France’s most in-demand young stars, Astrid Berges-Frisbey, in the key role of Syrena for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Syrena, according to Pirates’ press notes, is a “beautiful and alluring young mermaid” who will play opposite Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow.
I can just imagine how tickled I would have been at 13 or 14, in full francophile and feminine bloom, to have received a series of biographies of great women in French — and in graphic novel format.
Naïve is a small independent French publisher of books and music, and they’ve come out with this series called “Grands Destins de Femmes.” Subjects include Angela Davis, Dian Fossey, Frida Kahlo, Agatha Christie, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Aung San Suu Kyi and Virginia Woolf.
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…
Now I know what I’ll be doing for the rest of my life… As soon as I get an iPad, that is. Which may now be sooner than I had thought because the Bibliothèque nationale de France has just released Gallica for iPad. And it’s free. The app contains 240,000 books, 880,000 magazines and 470,000 images. Also original musical scores, manuscripts and other goodies. Watch the video, and download the app (French store link).
“C’est beau d’être agriculteur” was the slogan for the 2012 Calendrier des jeunes agriculteurs, created by the French agricultural union “Jeunes Agriculteurs” to promote the métier of farming. We tipped you off to the young farmers’ calendar back in 2009, but didn’t have a picture. Looks like the 2012 version is sold out, but you can still make yourself a note to get one next year, and you can see more pics from the Calendrier Jeunes Agriculteurs 2012 here, though the slideshow doesn’t include all months.
Other calendars we’ve brought you in the past: The From’Girls, promoting French cheese with sexy pinups, the Aubade calendar, featuring those lingerie ads you see in the bus stops in Paris, and the Stade Paris rugby team beefcake calendar. You can get the current versions of them all at these links!
In a city with a worldwide association to cinema, the Champs-Élysées Film Festival will be an annual celebration of film. Open to every kind of cinematic format, the Champs-Elysées Film Festival will allow French audiences to become acquainted with the best in American cinema from the newest trends to the latest film phenomena while showcasing films by both internationally renowned filmmakers as well as industry newcomers.
A couple years after his album Préliminaires, featuring some French classics (which we covered here), Iggy Pop is about to release Après, a collection of classic torch songs, ballads and French variété. We just love the way he wraps his destroyed voice around those French songs. Seems somehow appropriate.
Perry Taylor captures the spirit of South West France in his humorous drawings of the locals, their lifestyle, culture, heritage, animals and sports.
If you’re lucky enough to be going to the Jazz in Marciac festival, he’ll have a gallery there (Galerie rue des cinq parts), and he’ll be at other events in the region as well. Visit Perry Taylor Art for all event dates and his online gallery and shop, where you can order original ink drawings or giclée prints on A4 and A3 art paper, signed by the artist!
An 18th-century portrait sold in New York to a British gallery as a “woman in a feathered hat” turns out to actually portray a man dressed as a woman, becoming the earliest known painting of a transvestite. (Read how they figured it out…)
We had the pleasure to meet Ms. Kawamura when she was showing her lovely watercolors of Parisin our neighborhood, and thought we’d share her work with you. She lives in Paris and you can reach her through her Contact page.
When confined to his bed, Matisse would sketch on the ceiling by attaching brushes and charcoal to a long pole. As painting became more difficult, he focused intently on the sleek, stylized paper cutouts he had first started experimenting with in the 1930s, using scissors to create the sinewy shapes and swaths of color that he could no longer render directly on canvas.
The Criterion Collection, a video-distribution company selling “important classic and contemporary films” to film aficionados, just released Belle de Jour on BluRay and enlisted fashion illustrator David Downton to provide art for the cover and interior booklet.
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.