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Books

'One Deadly Summer' and the Boundaries of Desire and Mania

There's almost never a moment in One Deadly Summer that doesn't recall a crushing nostalgia, using tone and texture to evince a sort of empathetic longing.

Recent
Music

Mr. Oizo: All Wet

Collaboration ends up as both vice and virtue on Mr. Oizo's sixth album, rendering one half of the album a lot of fun.

Reviews

Art Decadence in 'L'inhumaine'

Smart, sharp and fashionably ahead of its time, L’inhumaine hangs in an aesthetic balance between the cerebral pretensions of a popular literary novel and the continental-chic of a glamour magazine.

Film

Haneke's 'Code Unknown' Manages Impact and Accessibility

Thematically and visually cohesive, Code Unknown displays Michael Haneke's talent as a filmmaker without alienating viewers hesitant to explore his darker films.

Film

The Struggling Economies of 'Two Days, One Night'

With a clear respect for the struggle of its characters, Two Days, One Night crafts a story that reveals the strife inherent in the economic system.

Music

Laetitia Sadier: Something Shines

The Stereolab songstress brings us an album of familiar themes that pushes her latest chapter into deeper territory and works to correct the missteps of 2012’s Silencio.

Music

Kangding Ray: Solens Arc

More human than human.

Music

Arab Soul Rebels: Punk Among the Beurs of '80s Era France

French-Arab band Carte de Séjour made pop music history with their rousing blend of punk and raï in the early '80s. To date there are no successors in sight.

Music

Banda Magda: Amour, t’es là?

This album is about her voice and a character she's created with that voice: a French ingénue, a breathy lollypop naïf.

Music

Genticorum: Enregistré Live

The flute seems more poignantly important with a crowd in front of it.

Music

Fredda: L'ancolie

The collaboration with Mocke has made her slower and calmer.

Music

Kavinsky: Outrun

On Outrun, Kavinsky firmly defines himself as a musician capable of forming, and then effectively nailing, an overarching concept of artistic vision.

Film

A View Out: The Search for Identity in 'Cléo from 5 to 7'

In the works of many New Wave auteurs, a sense of alienation often leads to disillusionment. Unlike the pessimism of many of her contemporaries, Agnes Varda views alienation as a quest for identity, one that offers hope and freedom, no matter the uncertainties.

Television

Lost In Translation, or, Why 'The Hangover' Can't Just Be 'The Hangover'

Thanks to translation, the cult '60s British show The Avengers is known to French viewers as Chapeau Melon et Bottes de Cuir, literally "bowler hat and leather boots", a title which could be misconstrued for a show about bondage tips and foot fetish.

Reviews

'Romantics Anonymous' Is a Light Confection of a Film

There is far more sweetness than bitterness in this new film by Jean-Pierre Améris — in chocolatier terms, it’s maybe ten percent cocoa solids.

Music

Union: Analogtronics

A pair of French DJs get together for 17 riffs on a sound fans of J Dilla's Shining will find very familiar. Talib Kweli, Sly Johnson, and more guest.

Music

Air: Le Voyage Dans La Lune

Nearly 20 years into the French duo’s career, Le Voyage Dans la Lune is yet even more proof of Air’s relevance in the evolution of modern music.

Music

Enjoy Your Life: An Interview with Yelle

They've conquered the world by singing in French, pretending to rap, and releasing remix albums that are almost as acclaimed as their regular ones. Welcome to the topsy-turvy world of Yelle, where fashion, touring, and a love of Mike Meyers all collide ...

Jose Solís Mayén
Film

The Not-So-Global Globes: International Tensions in the Film Industry

Now that The Artist gave the Golden Globes a distinctly French flavor, and Meryl Streep fueled the controversy in the British camp, a simultaneous rapprochement and tension defines the relationship between the European and American film industry.

Books

'French Cinema' Is a Tangled, Rumpled Jumble of a History

French Cinema is a popular history that makes its own eccentric claims on what that history should be.

Music

Jacky Chalard: Je Sus Vivant, Mais J'Ai Peur de Gilbert Deflez

Space-age rock, straight-faced and playful, with driving mystic keyboards to tell us we're in the future.

Music

Marianne Dissard: Paris One Takes

Soft little "La Confetti" from L'Entredeux now opens with a guitar like a jet engine.

Music

Sirba Octet/Isabelle Georges: Yiddish Rhapsody

The music being orchestrally interpreted on this disc comes from Yiddish folk culture via 1920s and '30s New York.

Reviews

Shall We Kiss?

This is repetitive and subdued, but those looking for a little less fluff in their romantic comedies would be well to do by renting this French export.

Music

20 Questions: Zachary Richard

Zachary Richard’s Cajun accordion speaks to the heart. Let that sound get in your ear and you’ll be out of your chair and on your feet before you can say Laissez le bon temps rouler!

Music

Mélanie Dahan: La Princesse et les Croque-Notes

All of this is electric, attractive.

Music

Francoiz Breut: A L'Aveuglette

A savoury voice, a savoury album.

Music

French, Frith, Kaiser, Thompson: Invisible Means

To call this album chock full of self-indulgent wanking is just another way of saying, "Hey! It’s prog rock!"

Music

Étienne Daho: L'invitation

Polished music with streams of semi-formal strings and songs in which the intimacy sounds autobiographical rather than sexy.

Music

Fredda: Toutes mes Aventures

These are songs that are made to be enjoyed almost without conscious effort, clever tracks with sticky little choruses that saunter into your head and refuse to go away.

Music

Woelv: Tout Seul dans la Forêt en Plein Jour

Tout Seul is an album that had the potential to be pretentious. That it avoids pretension and seems instead intelligent, exploratory, and heartfelt, is a tribute to the musician.

Music

Lunabee: Prenez Garde Aux Flots Bleus

A small, unexplained, perhaps inexplicable object.

Music

Various Artists: Le Pop 4

A Gigi of an album: a voluptuous and innocent charmer from France.


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