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How to understand France through culture?


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How to understand France through culture?


France remains a very attractive country for both tourists and immigrants. However, many still perceive it as a fairy-tale world from the novels of Dumas and Victor Hugo, they understand French music only as a chance, and in the kitchen they see only croissants and smelly cheeses. Let's try together to figure out how you can better understand France? Let's touch on a few cultural areas to understand what the secret of France is.

The motherland of cinema continues to nurture its child

The French adore cinema - of course: it was they who invented the cinematography, and the famous cinematics still introduce intellectuals around the world into a pre-infarction state. What is interesting about the "new new wave":

  • "Young Godard" (directed by Michel Hazanavicius). This melodrama will tell about the times of the true "new wave" when Godard (played by Louis Garrel talentedly) made a revolution in the art of cinema. The film will show Godard's relationship with Anna Vyazemsky, about the filming process of the famous "Chinese Woman" - it is saturated with the bohemian Paris of those years, full of student excitement and hopes.
  • Les Miserables (Laj Lee) is a contemporary, contemporary take on the great classics based on real events in 2018. The FIFA World Cup is over, and police brutality erupts in the Parisian suburb of Montfermay: petty teenage theft is rife with protests against social inequality and racial segregation. 
  • "Night Convoy" (Anne Fontaine) raises a similar theme: a black migrant is sent to the airport under a police escort, who are eager to return him to his homeland. Omar Si (you could not help but remember him in the sensational "1 + 1") talentedly reveals both racial and romantic lines.
  • "By the will of God" (Francois Ozon). Sometimes it seems that if we talk about French cinema and do not mention the provocateur of all France François Ozon, then lightning will strike you. "By the will of God" caused an unprecedented scandal: still, in the center of attention is a Catholic priest, whose lust fell victim to several dozen boys, who were revealed to society only many years later. Alas, based on a true story.
  • If you love comedy, you should like the already famous tape "Welcome!" (Dani Boone) - workshops revealing the history of stereotypes about the northern regions (they say, it's always cold there and only savages live), full of cultural and linguistic contradictions. Cherry on the cake recommendation: In France, this is the second highest grossing film after Titanic.

Music in France: the kingdom of synth-pop and electronics

Gone are the days when France was famous exclusively for its chansonniers! Today, the French scene is full of experimenters, and electronic instruments are increasingly being used as instruments.

  • BB Brunes - "new French scene" in the style of pop-rock, work in Paris and have known each other since childhood. Popular and well-known musicians: they managed to work with many stars (for example, Vanessa Paradis) and became part of the soundtracks of famous films (remember the second part of "Twilight"). Critics find in their music the responses of Ray Charles and The Clash, Amy Winehouse and even Serge Gainsbourg.
  • Daft Pank is an internationally renowned electronic duo that has long been a trio (drummer Laurent Brancovitz opted for alternative rock and indie pop, leaving for Phoenix). It is noteworthy that until now no one knows what the members of Daft Pank look like: they always perform in costumes and masks (now they are illuminated urban helmets), including heavy gloves with metal details. This is a bunch of experimenters who are adept at playing synthesizers, programs like autotune, pad panels and more - and as their Grammy and other awards show, the world loves it.
  • Justice are contemporary French stars who quickly came to punk and electronica through remixes of popular pop songs. Their tracks are used by major companies (Adidas, single Civilization; Dior, 17-minute composition Planisphere).

French theater online and offline

The pandemic and quarantine led to the fact that many French theaters actively broadcast both modern premieres and archival performances that have already become classics. Perhaps this experience will be included in the permanent program.

  • Figaro is getting divorced, directed by Christophe Rock. On account of Christophe - many performances based on classical sources, but in "Figaro is getting divorced" he decided to fantasize a little: the revolution is over, Figaro married Suzanne, but is it a happy ending?
  • "How much love!" - an original performance based on the play by Marivaux "The Game of Love and Chance": in the center of the narrative are comedy stories from the life of servants and masters who secretly switched places to find out the feelings and opinions of each other.
  • “Nothing from Me” (directed by Stefan Braunschweig) is a triumph of minimalism: the very minimum of scenery, video projection, white walls and modern clothes. In the plot - the grinding in of a young couple who is just starting to live together.

French literature as a great journey

  • Children's tales about little Nicholas (Rene Gossini) are a kind of remake of Denis's Tales from the author of Asterix and Obelix, which perfectly reveals the usual French family life.
  • Anna Gavalda is already a recognized writer, and her latest books, I Confess and Matilda, only strengthen the status of a mature, sensitive and careful author.
  • The Lavender Room (Nina Gheorghe, German by birth) shows that foreign people can feel great the French nature, no worse than their compatriots.
  • The guide book “ A Year in Provence” (Peter Meil, British) will easily convince you that the southernmost of the French provinces is the best place to live!
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