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Category Archives: France

Books on Cities: Georges Perec, Lieux

Georges Perec was born in Paris and died in Paris (or at least a suburb just across the Périph), which didn’t necessarily qualify him to write about the city. Natives of a place tend to suffer from a degree of what-do-they-know-of-England ignorance of context, or even, to get more metaphorical and more clichéd, the fish’s […]

Los Angeles Review of Books: The Useless French Language and Why We Learn It

JE SUIS la jeune fille: though I’ve never formally studied French, I’ve had that phrase stuck deep in my linguistic consciousness since childhood. So, surely, have most Americans of my generation, hearing it as we all did over and over again for years in the same television commercial. Frequently aired and never once updated, it advertised […]

Notebook on Cities and Culture S4E26: New Meant Better with Jonathan Meades

Colin Marshall sits down in Marseille, France, specifically in the Le Corbusier-designed Unité d’Habitation, with Jonathan Meades, writer and broadcaster on architecture, culture, food, and a variety of other subjects to do with place. In his latest film, Bunkers, Brutalism, and Bloodymindness, he looks at architectural styles once- and currently maligned. They discuss how much his […]

Aki Kaurismäki: La Vie de Bohème

Up today, my latest Humanists column for 3Quarksdaily on Aki Kaurismäki’s La Vie de Bohème: Do even lovers of world cinema think much about Finland’s working class? Does Aki Kaurismäki think about much else? Clearly, when not thinking about Finland’s working class, he thinks about world cinema, even going so far as to produce a […]