Culturetheque Blog Feed http:// en-uk Tue, 03 Feb 2015 09:50:39 +0000 Tue, 03 Feb 2015 09:50:39 +0000 Record Store Day in France / Disquaire Day audio Tomorrow marks Record Store Day, when independent record dealers get some special exclusive
releases, and some much needed attention.

Sat, 18 Apr 2015 12:21:46 +0100
Exploring Cannes with Charlotte video You've probably seen on Twitter the hype around the Cannes Film Festival nominations (if you haven't, please leave the room via exit 2). We're lucky enough to have the fabulous Charlotte - Programming Manager at the [cough best cinema in London] Ciné Lumière. The real question is, can YOU do the can-can?

Thu, 16 Apr 2015 17:23:34 +0100
Word Up your French: Flemme all "Flemme" is such a nice word. I like that it is a mix between "femme" (woman) and "flamme" (flame) but actually means something completely different. I also feel it's a useful word to define my general state of mind.

Thu, 16 Apr 2015 17:22:34 +0100
Painting & Passion: Pablo, the graphic novel book Always thought genius were pure minds, floating in the ethereal air of creation? Then SelfMadeHero’s Art Masters graphic novel series is for you: it brings to life the greatest artists, more human than you ever thought.

Tue, 14 Apr 2015 17:24:17 +0100
New Book Release from Quarto Publishing Group UK book Stunning April release from Jacqui Small: Scook: The Complete Cookery Course by Anne- Sophie Pic

Tue, 14 Apr 2015 17:23:23 +0100
Norland Place School Draws! all The Institut français currently organises a wealth of activities for Schools and Groups.

Mon, 13 Apr 2015 14:18:27 +0100
Daevid Allen RIP audio Sad news about the passing of Daevid Allen, the founder of Gong. A unique character and true musical visionary.

Mon, 13 Apr 2015 14:17:34 +0100
The French Alex James audio I never really liked reading autobiographies. The over poncy fact that a celebrity's life was always action strawberry jam packed with anecdotes simply doesn't float my boat.

Thu, 09 Apr 2015 12:28:19 +0100
Dubbing or not dubbing? all That seems to be a recurring question among French people, and a question that has turned into quite the dispute between those who are fiercely against dubbing and those who, let's face it, can't really do without.

Thu, 09 Apr 2015 12:28:12 +0100
Word Up your French: Charabia all Did your know that the French dictionary Le Grand Robert contained more than 100,000 words? Me neither, and I'll probably never be able to learn them all (though I don't think I'll miss much if I don't know the meaning of, say, sternutation). Some words, on the other hand, turn out to be fun AND kinda useful, so here we go!

Thu, 09 Apr 2015 12:28:09 +0100
The Phantom as Victim book Gaston LeRoux, in his Phantom of the Opera, produces what on the surface is a mere Gothic tale...

Thu, 09 Apr 2015 12:28:14 +0100
April tromper book You've seen my first April Fools' blog I wrote last year (I would like to thank my fans for following me, peace + love to you all), and you've let out a sigh at the naughty geeks behind backwards Google. Now it's time for some hardcore April pranking...vintage style!

Thu, 09 Apr 2015 12:27:17 +0100
831 Kilometres audio Here at Culturethèque we love to give a helping hand...escpecially when it's for the super duper Laure who used to work for us (see her fabulous artist pages right here).

Tue, 31 Mar 2015 18:53:18 +0100
L'Anglais débarque audio Have you been sitting at home twiddling your thumbs, or even taking up cross-stitching, since Zayn left One Direction? Fear no more, Vincent Hazard and Stephen Clarke save the day with their new series for Radio France.

Tue, 31 Mar 2015 17:19:06 +0100
‘Inventing Impressionism’ at the National Gallery video This spring, the National Gallery celebrates Paul Durand-Ruel, the man without whom Impressionism probably would have never existed.

Tue, 31 Mar 2015 17:19:03 +0100
Portable libraries with 'Bibliothèques sans frontières' all Oh how we wept at the thought provoking 'Red Nose Day' shorts. Here's a project where you can really sink your teeth into...

Sat, 21 Mar 2015 13:44:50 +0000
What to see: David Bowie Is in Paris audio David Bowie Is... back! For those of you who had missed the exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum two years ago, don't worry, you'll always have Paris. The iconic pop artist has taken over the French capital, where the exhibition will be held until the 31st of May.

Wed, 18 Mar 2015 15:04:49 +0000
Online French Courses with the French Institute Language Centre learn Ever fancied learning French online? Watch this quirky video for all the answers!

Tue, 17 Mar 2015 17:31:28 +0000
A Season in Hell… Or in London book London is renowned for attracting hedonistic, rebellious, eccentric characters (in one word: dropouts) from all over the world. But two former London inhabitants definitely top the bill. Their lifestyle makes the artists and hipsters of today look like Boy Scouts. And the two men lived here 142 years ago!

Thu, 12 Mar 2015 13:10:06 +0000
The Difficulty of Approaching Hugo book 'Les Miserables' stands in the 19th century as the equivalent of Napoleon at Austerlitz or the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

Tue, 10 Mar 2015 18:06:20 +0000
The Tales of the Killer Rabbit: Cowardice, violence and bunnies from the Middle Ages to modern times video Maximilien Theinhardt is studying for a joint International Master in Art History and Museology at the École du Louvre (Paris) and the Ruprecht-Karl Universität Heidelberg. His recent research has focused on ‘Caricatures and avant-gardes in the Parisian magazine Fantasio (1906-1914)’.

Tue, 10 Mar 2015 18:06:17 +0000
Paris in figures learn Before you start planning your next trip to Paris, you might be interested in taking a look at this fun infographic in order to challenge your tour guide.

Tue, 10 Mar 2015 18:05:55 +0000
Nathalie Tatai-Pogioni upcoming writer book Read more about this upcoming writer!

Tue, 10 Mar 2015 18:05:03 +0000
Le Bistrot...where dreams come true all Imagine this, you've just come back from a glorious holiday in Paris. You've slumped in cafés for hours on end, eaten all the viennoiserie your belly can take but feel somewhat unfulfilled with an egg and bacon sarnie when you glide into King's Cross St. Pancras...never fear, Le Bistrot is here!

Tue, 10 Mar 2015 10:57:20 +0000
Les Victoires de la Musique 2015: Who won what audio A brief look back at who won what at the Victoires de la Musique 2015 on Friday, and equally a look
back at where I thought the honours might have gone.

Mon, 09 Mar 2015 13:18:04 +0000
Sonia Delaunay vs. Victoria Beckham book Back to the battle ring, ding ding, and this time it's punch up between the professional rainbow plongeuse and the girl power advocate.

Thu, 26 Feb 2015 18:33:02 +0000
The Cheat's Guide to 'Laurence Anyways' video So, now that I'm a professional film studies student(-ish), I thought I would give your DVD collection and upgrade with my recommendations...starting with Laurence Anyways, directed by Xavier Dolan.

Tue, 24 Feb 2015 18:00:31 +0000
The World of Rare Books according to Lucie book Oh what a lovely selection we have of digitalised rare books. Lucie gave us a top list of smashing reads on Culturethèque.

Mon, 23 Feb 2015 14:33:07 +0000
La Reine Soleil by the Pembridge Hall School video We've teamed up with the fabulous School Activities department of the Institut français for an exciting new project. Schools of all shapes and sizes are invited to write film critics for a chance to win a special prize!

Mon, 23 Feb 2015 11:08:52 +0000
A Chat with Philippe Geluck (Oxford) book Philippe will talk about his career and future projects.

Tue, 17 Feb 2015 12:42:49 +0000
KinoFólk - New Independent Cinema in York all KinoFólk and The Basement, bring independent cinema to York.

Mon, 16 Feb 2015 13:26:09 +0000
Cinémathèque Bradford: New and Archive Films video Each screening will be introduced and Film Notes will be available.

Wed, 04 Feb 2015 18:26:23 +0000
Charlie Hebdo - All its Contradictions book I entered the Médiathèque on a rather boring Saturday afternoon, and sat down on one of the new sofas, seeming perhaps too comfortable, in the Denis Saurat Reading Room. There, I consulted the first issue of Charlie Hebdo since the tragic Paris attacks.

Wed, 04 Feb 2015 18:05:10 +0000
Hop, skip and brush to View Festival all Art lovers, rejoice! There's a spiffing festival in town dedicated to Art History.

Tue, 03 Feb 2015 12:29:59 +0000
Totally Serialized: Season 4 video Ever thought of watching TV series on a cinema screen? AND in the presence of actors, actresses, directors and producers? Well, at the Institut français, we make dreams come true.

Tue, 03 Feb 2015 12:29:11 +0000
Carmen in the Cold of January book January, 2015, had arrived, with frost in its wake and a callous wind confronting people in the streets of South Kensington...

Wed, 04 Feb 2015 18:05:12 +0000
Guillaume Canet at the Institut français video Cédric Anger and Guillaume Canet presented: 'La Prochaine fois je viserai le coeur' at the French Institute.

Tue, 27 Jan 2015 18:11:15 +0000
William Boyd & Marc Dugain book Re-united once more, Boyd and Dugain discussed World War One.

Tue, 27 Jan 2015 17:27:27 +0000
Maylis de Kerangal comes to the Institut français book Literature still lives! Grab your type-writers and trot down to the Institut for an evening with a Médicis Prize winner.

Tue, 27 Jan 2015 15:55:26 +0000
Nous sommes Charlie II all We continue to pay tribute to the lives lost at Charlie Hebdo.

Mon, 19 Jan 2015 12:32:40 +0000
Report: Les Trans Musicales de Rennes 2014 audio Make no mistake, the Trans Musicales de Rennes is a lot to take in, with acts playing in both the city centre in the early evening and in the halls of the Parc Expo by the airport on the outskirts of the city at night.

Tue, 20 Jan 2015 12:28:02 +0000
Digital Workshop at the South Ken Kids Festival all A little souvenir from the festival whereby children were invited to make their own digital comics.

Tue, 20 Jan 2015 10:42:43 +0000
Interview with Pierre Lemaitre book Prix Goncourt-winning French author spared a generous couple of minutes to answer our questions.

Mon, 19 Jan 2015 15:24:03 +0000
Alec Reed Academy - Film Critics all The Institut français currently organises a wealth of activities for Schools and Groups. This time, we present the works of Alec Reed Academy.

Mon, 19 Jan 2015 12:33:27 +0000
French: The Lingua Franca of the Future? book In the mid-eighteenth century, things were looking good for French. Journalist Antoine de Rivarol had just published his prize-winning essay, De l'universalité européenne de la langue française (The Universality of the French Language), which gave a detailed account of why French would be a global, worldwide language, and why no other language could possibility su-persede it.

Indeed, French has enjoyed a great deal of success: in fact, it was the official language of Euro-pean diplomacy from the seventeenth to mid-twentieth century. But in recent years, de Rivarol’s vision of French’s universality seems to be fading: according to recent projections, with less than 100 million speakers worldwide, French is only the 14th most spoken language worldwide, behind Chinese, English, German, Spanish, and Korean, among others.

But a recent study has suggested that de Rivarol’s dream might just come true after all: it’s pre-dicted that, by 2050, French could grow up to almost eight times its current size, with an esti-mated 750 million speakers. But how?

Mon, 19 Jan 2015 12:33:25 +0000
Nous sommes Charlie all In homage to those lost and hurt at Charlie Hebdo, we have started compiling a blog of drawings that have been sent in. We have also published the messages left on our Facebook page.

Wed, 14 Jan 2015 16:56:41 +0000
Norland Place School Draws! all Today the Norland Place School visited us for a school trip and here are the "TRES BEAUX" drawings the pupils made during their Library activity focusing on animals.

Tue, 13 Jan 2015 17:52:33 +0000
Paying our respects to Charlie Hebdo book We are very sad to hear about the attack at the Charlie Hebdo head office. We wish to pay our respects with articles from the French and English news.

Wed, 07 Jan 2015 16:18:15 +0000
School of Babel - film review video The film follows a Parisian class of immigrant pre-teens and teenagers for a year, as they are placed in a 'reception class' and given intensive French lessons.

Wed, 07 Jan 2015 11:00:15 +0000
Rosendale School Film Critic video The Institut français currently organises a wealth of activities for Schools and Groups. This time, we present the work of a pupil from Rosendale School.

Wed, 07 Jan 2015 10:30:17 +0000
The Figgy Pudding vs. La Galette des rois book Ding ding...Let the match commence! In one corner, we have the cake which has awoken from hibernation, in the other, a tasty surprise with a sinister twist. Who will win the battle?

Tue, 06 Jan 2015 17:49:42 +0000
Father Christmas is a B****** – fancy that as a title! video As much as I loved Christmas time and all the magic that came with it as a child, I’ve now definitely turned into Mr Scrooge, as I can barely hide my contempt for the über-commercialised, in-your-face festivities. I especially feel sorry for the staff at big supermarkets and department stores having to endure Christmas carols being played over and over day and night (it would drive me insane), as well as the humiliation of having to wear those silly hats.

Tue, 06 Jan 2015 11:49:47 +0000
Bard on Holiday book Everyone loves a holiday in the north of France: why, there's cider, that over-viewed 'Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis' film and of course... Shakespeare?

Mon, 01 Dec 2014 17:59:40 +0000
A whale of a time at the South Ken Kids Festival all Have you ever wanted to be a kid again? Well, I certainly re-lived the joys of imagination with the South Ken Kids Festival.

Mon, 24 Nov 2014 16:13:53 +0000
Tardi attacks the Culturethèque logo all Famous comic book artist, Jacques Tardi, visited the Institut français for a uniques Armistice event.

Wed, 12 Nov 2014 17:55:12 +0000
Review: Black Strobe - Godforsaken Roads audio Black Strobe's Godforsaken Roads sees Arnaud Rebotini move from the field of EBM to a territory
more associated with the likes of Nick Cave, albeit with a mostly electro backdrop.

Wed, 12 Nov 2014 16:52:43 +0000
Weekly French Film Buff: 4. Romantics and Russophiles - Soleil Trompeur, Nikita Mikhalkov, 1997 video Burnt by the Sun is one of the few films Western audiences will get to see of Russia through the eyes of a Russian director. It received the Grand Prix at Cannes and is the only Russian film to have ever received an Academy Award, give it a watch and you’ll see why it is worthy of the honour.

Mon, 13 Oct 2014 15:26:56 +0100
Review: Moodoïd - Le Monde Möö audio I've been looking forward to the realease of Moodoïd's debut album Le Monde Möö for a while, since
I first heard their Je Suis la Montagne single last year, and it's with some pleasure that I can report it's lived up to expectations.

Wed, 12 Nov 2014 16:52:43 +0000
La femme qui dit non, by Gilles Martin-Chauffier book This novel, which made the first selection for the Prix Goncourt 2014, is a ripping yarn with an unforgettable central character who leads an event-packed life. The book takes the form of the "memoirs" of Marge, a British woman who in 1938 lands with her father on Île-aux-Moines in the Golfe du Morbihan and spends the rest of her life in Brittany.

Tue, 11 Nov 2014 10:28:08 +0000
A Tribute to Techno Legend Dr Mu audio The untimely, sudden and recent death of Dr Mu (real name Noël Fuchs) has left the London queer techno scene quite shaken. The 51-year-old DJ and music producer had been rocking dance floors for over two decades.

Wed, 12 Nov 2014 16:52:43 +0000
Weekly French Film Buff: 3. The Refined Comedy Palate – Delicatessen, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 1991 video Jean-Pierre Jeunet is the master of the perfectly crafted, aesthetically deliberate film world. Delicatessen may not have the pomp and circumstance of the globally-lauded and French-belittled Le Fabuleux destin de Amélie Poulain but it offers a vibrant sci-fi world with a grimy, dusty palette of colours which seem to have been salvaged from a flea market bin in 1950s Paris.

Mon, 13 Oct 2014 15:26:54 +0100
Language and the making of nations book On 14 November the British Library will be hosting a study day ‘Language and the Making of Nations’, organised by the Library's European Studies Department and examining the relationship between majority and minority languages in the countries of Europe and the creation of national literary languages

Tue, 04 Nov 2014 10:49:55 +0000
One book, many faces: the Nobel laureate Patrick Modiano book When the French novelist Patrick Modiano (b. 1945) was announced as the winner of the 2014 Nobel Prize for Literature, many readers in the English-speaking world reacted with incomprehension.

Wed, 29 Oct 2014 13:22:24 +0000
Who is Emmanuel Carrère? book You may have heard this French author's name flying around the shop, but who the heck is he?
(Note: blog directed for those who still use "I'm feeling lucky" for a Google search, all the others...pat on the back for being in touch with the French literary world).

Wed, 29 Oct 2014 13:21:39 +0000
Weekly French Film Buff: 2. The Alternative Crowd - Pierrot le fou, Jean-Luc Godard, 1965 video Godard doesn’t need much of an introduction other than to say, or rather to offer a disclaimer, that one should be prepared for anything. Pierrot le fou offers all of the quirks and playfulness of any Godard film and shines as one of his most enjoyable experiments with colour and film language.

Mon, 13 Oct 2014 15:26:52 +0100
BFI Film Festival: 'Loin des Hommes' video I managed to grab a ticket for the much anticipated release from David Oelhoffen staring: Viggo Mortensen and Reda Kateb.

Tue, 21 Oct 2014 16:59:53 +0100
Farewell, Leicester Square! video It's a long way to Tipperary, and also to the Odeon in Leicester Square where I saw Xavier (wonderkid) Dolan and his new release 'Mommy'.

Tue, 21 Oct 2014 16:59:53 +0100
Weekly French Film Buff: 1. History and Film Geeks - Jour de fête, Jacques Tati, 1949 video A film for francophiles, film buffs, and history geeks alike. Jour de fête provides a rare glimpse, in colour, into the life of a typical village in the French countryside of the 1940s.

Mon, 13 Oct 2014 15:26:10 +0100
Truffaut hits the town... video Now that I've started my MA in Film Studies (boast, boast, boast), there will be a flood of French cinema things coming your way!

Mon, 13 Oct 2014 15:52:48 +0100
Mood Indigo - not the full magic of Vian? book It was September 17th. A nondescript Wednesday in South Kensington. I had been to the reading group a few months beforehand about Boris Vian's tale of love and nemesis, 'L'Ecume des Jours', which describes romance in the only way possible- a dream- like condition; and there is the sad degeneration, as reality- poverty, death- pours itself grimly over the sweet rose of passion.

Mon, 13 Oct 2014 15:27:01 +0100
(Very) Disobedient Objects book The V and A is rather like an elderly aunt who belongs to some distant epoch, decades ago; she can never really escape her roots in the Great Exhibition of 1851, the Museum's very name - Victoria and Albert - having a musty ambience.

Mon, 13 Oct 2014 15:26:59 +0100
Weekly French Film Buff: 5. Rated E for Everyone - The Red Shoes, Powell and Pressberger, 1948 video This is one of those rare examples of a film where there isn’t much need to elaborate on the plethora of reasons why it should be seen...

Mon, 13 Oct 2014 15:26:58 +0100
The Weekly French Film Buff video In this, the first installment of our weekly go-to guide for finding that perfect Saturday-night stay-in film, the obvious lists of explosion-bonanzas, romantic comedies, and Tom Cruise best-and-worst-of have all been sidestepped for a fresh and inspired outlook on the home movie experience. Welcome to The Weekly Film Buff!

Mon, 13 Oct 2014 13:42:30 +0100
Before the ‘Miracle of the Marne’ – what if the Germans had reached Paris in September 1914 book In August 1914 the German army broke through Belgium into France and advanced towards the French capital.

Mon, 13 Oct 2014 12:44:47 +0100
Three-concert series by French violinist Renaud Capuçon audio ‘A rite of passage for every violinist’ – Renaud Capuçon on the Beethoven Violin Sonatas

Wed, 08 Oct 2014 18:13:15 +0100
Philharmonia Orchestra presents 'City of Light: Paris 1900-1950' all Imagine the best^ city in the world, the best orchestra in the world and the best website (other than Culturethèque) all in one place....well imagine no further!

^ = subjective opinion, bien sûr

Wed, 08 Oct 2014 18:09:20 +0100
Don Juan - Comedy as Subversion? book I will sadly be out of London for a couple of weeks, so I will not be able to attend the reading group on the second Thursday of October. I present my own always insufficient thoughts on Moliere's approach to the Don Juan myth.

Wed, 08 Oct 2014 18:09:17 +0100
Remembering Piaf: Part V audio I have—sort of—reached the end of a first draft of my book on Piaf, though there’s still a long way to go before the final product lands on the desk of an editor at Liverpool University Press. I’ve spent quite a long time recently thinking about Piaf’s afterlives—the curious thing being that, for over 50 years now people have been commemorating an icon who didn’t actually make 50.

Wed, 08 Oct 2014 18:08:33 +0100
Genet, Prison and the Dilemna of Dreams book During what was not the easiest of Summers, I decided, the Mediatheque being closed for its August break, to engage, my French remaining as tentative as ever, with Jean Genet.

Wed, 08 Oct 2014 18:09:15 +0100
Cavendish School Film Critics book The Institut français currently organises a wealth of activities for Schools and Groups. This time, we present the work of Cavendish School.

Wed, 08 Oct 2014 18:13:17 +0100
Stylight Presents: Brigitte Bardot and Sophia Loren book Brigitte Bardot and Sophia Loren embodied the changing post-war lifestyle of their time and became two divas of the silver screen. But it’s not just their success as actresses in the 1960s that connects the two, they’re also linked by their birthdays.

Mon, 22 Sep 2014 11:54:23 +0100
'Photo journalism' with Patrick Chauvel audio You know what they say...once through the Médiathèque, forever famous...well that's what I say, and it certainly proves the case with Patrick Chauvel.

Mon, 22 Sep 2014 11:23:13 +0100
French Fiction Review: Mon sommeil sera paisible, by Alain Absire book Just how incorruptible was Maxime Robespierre, one of the key figures in the French Revolution and the “soul of the Terror” himself? Famously impervious to the temptations of alcohol and women, and steadfast in his adherence to his political creed, Mon sommeil sera paisible sees him simultaneously attracted to and repelled by a young woman, Marie, who he tries to use for his own propagandist ends.

Thu, 18 Sep 2014 18:02:16 +0100
Love Will Tear Us Apart book So, we've heard left, right and centre about the 'will they/won't they' situation. The question is, what's that got to do with France??

Thu, 18 Sep 2014 12:48:53 +0100
Discover a world of great cinema video Calling all film buffs, check out this site for a taste of film pie.

Thu, 18 Sep 2014 12:48:14 +0100
Moves like Mamadou book Following his £17million move from Paris Saint Germain to Liverpool in 2013, French Vice-Captain Mamadou Sakho has, in all honesty, struggled to nail down his place at the heart of Liverpool’s defence. He is a very tough defender [in an interview with beIN he revealed as a boy he had a very tough childhood] and he was in fact a nomad. When watching the interview, you'll get a sense that he learned a lot from it.

Tue, 09 Sep 2014 16:23:59 +0100
Cook like a French person book So, you've been to France, seen the sights, tasted the glorious food, and now that BLT doesn't quite live up to the reputation it used to...

Fri, 05 Sep 2014 19:14:45 +0100
Les Gammas! Les Gammas! (Les Gammas n’existent pas) video As far as didactic television goes, it must be one of the most surreal programmes ever made.

Thu, 04 Sep 2014 12:46:27 +0100
Oui Love Autumn Tour audio Oui Love is about exciting French artists touring the UK with support from bureauexport (the French music export office) & the Institut Français. Oui Love launched in 2009 with a breakout 12-date tour of the UK showcasing the best up- and-coming French music to UK audiences and has since featured the likes of Jupiter, Housse de Racket, Team Ghost and Anoraak.

Thu, 04 Sep 2014 12:12:14 +0100
Johnny Hallyday: The Sound, The Fury audio There is no shortage of Johnny Hallyday compilations in France, from lazy collections of well-known hits to
massive box sets, but the Anglophone audience has always been poorly served.

Thu, 04 Sep 2014 12:11:35 +0100
Lilly Wood and the Prick audio While it has been hugely encouraging to see acts like David Guetta and Daft Punk conquer the international music scene, it's great to see another French act making a significant chart impact in the UK, even more so when the act in question has the kind of name that would normally not even get them mentioned on the radio, never mind played.

Tue, 02 Sep 2014 18:16:09 +0100
Le Nouveau château all What do you get if you cross a flour mill with a football team? A handy bit of France tucked up in the Toon.

Sat, 30 Aug 2014 15:04:35 +0100
Celebrating Bastille Day in London all Who says you have to be in France or even French to celebrate Bastille Day? The festivities were certainly just as vibrant over the other side of the Channel in London.

Tue, 26 Aug 2014 18:28:26 +0100
A Rising French Star And A Citizen Of The World audio Her debut album, released in 2010, received mixed reviews. The references in her lyrics were defined as “predictable” and her vocal abilities “unusual”. Yet, during the same year, Zaz was nominated the French artist most played abroad and won the European Border Breakers Award.

Tue, 26 Aug 2014 15:38:58 +0100
Beside the Sea (Bord de Mer), by Véronique Olmi, translated by Adriana Hunter book A bestseller in France when it was first published in 2001, in the UK Bord de Mer was regarded as a difficult, controversial book and was not published in English until 2010, after being championed by translator Adriana Hunter. It was the first release from Peirene Press, an imprint specialising in novella-length, cinematic fiction, and there is no doubt it is a challenging, heart-wrenching read, but it is also a classic that will bear repeated readings.

Tue, 26 Aug 2014 13:11:27 +0100
Interviewing Pierre Lemaitre all Tue, 29 Jul 2014 17:46:20 +0100 Peter Doherty: The Unlikely Libertine audio By now, you will surely know that I am rooting for Monsieur Doherty. It is my duty as a francophile detective to make this love of French culture float to the surface, no matter where or whom it comes from...

Thu, 10 Jul 2014 12:55:11 +0100
Maison Française...Oxford's Best Kept French Secret all Did you know that there's a hidden secret only a bike push, or punt, from the Oxford city centre?

Tue, 29 Jul 2014 12:24:13 +0100
Renaud: La Bande à Renaud Versions Originales audio A recent tribute album La Bande à Renaud takes songs by French singer Renaud and sees them re-
interpreted by other artists.

Tue, 29 Jul 2014 17:46:18 +0100
Amandine Bourgeois: Au Masculin - Versions Originales audio I though I'd take a look at the tracks on the recent Amandine Bourgeois album Au Masculin, just to see how
they looked and sounded in their 'Versions Originales'.

Tue, 29 Jul 2014 17:45:41 +0100
'Detective for the day...' book An exciting week-end is coming to the Institut Français: join a brilliant team of little Hercule Poirots and begin to dig and delve, to ferret and rummage all around the French Institute... From dressing-up to learning new dance steps, and clapping and drawing too, there’s plenty to enjoy, as children run the show.

Wed, 16 Jul 2014 18:16:01 +0100
Harris Academy Peckham Film Critics video The Institut français currently organises a wealth of activities for Schools and Groups. This time, we present the work of Harris Academy Peckham.

Wed, 16 Jul 2014 18:16:01 +0100
Bromley High School Film Critics book The Institut français currently organises a wealth of activities for Schools and Groups. This time, we present the work of Bromley High School.

Tue, 08 Jul 2014 16:04:41 +0100
Digest Baudelaire the easy way book Ever thought to try your hand at Baudelaire but couldn't even stumble through the first page of "Les fleurs du mal"? Help is at hand.

Tue, 08 Jul 2014 16:04:41 +0100
Poetry is not dead: Part IV book This post has more of a prose twist, enjoy!

Tue, 08 Jul 2014 16:04:41 +0100
La Feline en Concert audio La Feline, does it sound familiar to you? Click here to be acquainted to her! She will perform a concert tomorrow 2nd July and 10th of July in Paris. I guess not everybody is able to travel to Paris, so if you want you can watch her interpreting her song "Adieu l'enfance" acoustically on the website Noisey

Tue, 08 Jul 2014 16:04:41 +0100
The Quarrel of the Buffoons & the Styles Reunited book When thinking of Baroque music, it is Bach that immediately springs to mind. And indeed Johann Sebastian is the indisputable King Supreme of the musical style - but Handel, D. Scarlatti and Vivaldi are probably just as well known.

Tue, 01 Jul 2014 12:39:04 +0100
New Release From Thin Man Press: From Albion to Shangri-La audio "It captures the filth and fury as well as the poetry and pathos"...what more could you want?

Fri, 27 Jun 2014 21:24:16 +0100
Tennis and all things sport at IFRU book Fancy reading about the French institute in London AND tennis? As it is that time of the year, when Britain turns to tennis (well, football and the first world war too), I thought I would stretch my doctoral findings to tennis!

Fri, 27 Jun 2014 17:25:09 +0100
Axelle Lemaire at La Médiathèque all Haven't you heard? La Médiathèque is the place to be! Confirmed by Patrick Chauvel, Albert Dupontel, and now French socialist politician Axelle Lemaire.

Wed, 25 Jun 2014 15:54:59 +0100
Book Review: A History of the French in London: Liberty, Equality, Opportunity (Debra Kelly and Martyn Cornick, ed.) book Every couple of months or so, the media is surprised at ‘the great French love affair with la vie anglaise’ (that’s The Guardian)

Tue, 24 Jun 2014 15:32:27 +0100
Moving Cities Part III - Brussels video After"Keeping London moving", Moving cities presents now: "Moving Brussels". An amazing celebration of the town, this short film features some of the most talented Belgian dancers during a Brussels rush hour.

Tue, 24 Jun 2014 12:06:44 +0100
Poetry is not dead: Part III book We have some very interesting people who pass through the doors of the Institut français. A recent visitor, Tim Drew, decided to share his poetry with Culturethèque

Tue, 24 Jun 2014 12:06:44 +0100
Reading Group: Bonjour Tristesse by Françoise Sagan book Tonight's Reading Group is the last in the current season! Read on to find out more information and the eBook for free.

Thu, 19 Jun 2014 17:50:03 +0100
Fête de la Musique audio If you're close to French culture, no doubt you've heard about La Fête de la Musique before.
This is one of the most popular event in France that celebrates all kinds of music.

Thu, 19 Jun 2014 11:27:57 +0100
Hanging Out with Claude Lelouch video Imagine all the wonders of the world in human being form. Imagine no more, the answer is Mr Lelouch!

Wed, 11 Jun 2014 17:38:57 +0100
Culturethèque's Artist in Residence: Rosie Brooks all Culturethèque is on the lookout to promote creative people and their creations. Whether you're a first class photographer or beginner in water colours, we want to hear your ideas for our homepage. Drop us an email at with a small selection of your work and we'll see what we can do!

Fri, 13 Jun 2014 16:56:58 +0100
Christine and the Queens (of Madame JoJo’s) audio To be brutally frank, her music isn’t my cup of tea; but to be fair, pop music rarely is. Yet, in an era of over sexualisation of female pop stars, her restrained and asexual style is quite refreshing.

Fri, 13 Jun 2014 12:20:23 +0100
France in the World Cup: Football anthems audio There's no official French anthem for the World Cup this year. Perhaps its a pity, it adds something to the
excitement of the event, but perhaps there's less of a mood for celebrating giving how narrowly France qualified for the finals this time.

Fri, 13 Jun 2014 11:28:30 +0100
Sussex House School Film critics book The Institut français currently organises a wealth of activities for Schools and Groups. This time, we present the works of Sussex House School.

Wed, 11 Jun 2014 17:39:32 +0100
Charles Aznavour, a poet in shining armour audio This is going to sound hypocritical, but when you turn on the radio YouTube these days, there's a tinkering of monotone beats and a robotic ladies spreading their electronic 'boom-ch' like marmalade on toast...

Wed, 11 Jun 2014 15:36:39 +0100
French Fiction Review: L’enfant aux cailloux, by Sophie Loubière book As the Institut français runs Noir is the Colour, a celebration of the best crime writing from both sides of the channel, here is a very modern, dark thriller with plenty to say about modern society.

Tue, 10 Jun 2014 10:46:20 +0100
Poetry Prefers to be Difficult... book Poetry in French is never easy for someone such as me who lacks the idiomatic and phonetic instincts required, and so I lack a natural feel in my lame versification.

Thu, 05 Jun 2014 17:31:12 +0100
Boris Vian and the Dilemna that is Love book The crowded evening of May the Sixteenth. The sun seemed to be unleashing its warmth at last, with Spring about to leap into Summer, and the Reading Room of the Médiathèque was reopened...

Thu, 05 Jun 2014 17:30:36 +0100
Partially Meeting Louise Bourgoin video I say partially, as it's like claiming that I am related to John Mayer, of which by name I may be, but by nature I am most certainly not.

Wed, 04 Jun 2014 12:22:57 +0100
Jeune et Jolie – a French fantasy? video The major UK broadsheets give it low ratings and use adjectives such as “fatuous”, “vacant” and “ridiculous”, amongst others, to describe it. Which hardly comes as a surprise given the papers’ generally moralistic stance on the old profession.

Wed, 04 Jun 2014 11:46:56 +0100
Noir is the colour: Bernard Minier & Nicci French book "You are in the throes of perdition, in thrall to a dangerously addictive and singularly powerful genre: Noir. It comes in many shades – Nordic, neo, Tartan – but it reigns supreme". The Institut Français will present as part of Noir Is the colour festival: husband and wife crime-fiction writers Nicci French with award-winning author Bernard Minier for a talk that will get down to the nitty-gritty of crime-fiction writing.

Wed, 04 Jun 2014 11:46:21 +0100
Poetry is not dead: Part II book Another poet to run his literary fingers across the keyboard...

Tue, 03 Jun 2014 11:29:24 +0100
Patrick Chauvel at La Médiathèque book Once in a while, you may spot a key figure of French culture hiding between the bookshelves of La Médiathèque. In this case, we have Patrick Chauvel, critically acclaimed war photographer and film cinematographer, searching through our copious collection.

Fri, 30 May 2014 18:35:50 +0100
Noir is the colour: Monsieur Hire book ''You shiver, you sweat. But mostly, you keep turning the pages, reading as fast as you can, while contemplating with dread the ever approaching end [...]'' The Institut Français will show 'Monsieur Hire' on the 1st of June, as part of the Noir is the colour; a festival dedicated to promoting crime novels.

Fri, 30 May 2014 18:35:48 +0100
New release: "Tirez la langue, Mademoiselle" all Swipe will be releasing the French hit movie, "Miss and the Doctors" ["Tirez La Langue, Mademoiselle"], on May 30th. Louise Bourgoin (Adele Blanc-Sec) and Cedric Kahn are the leads.

Fri, 30 May 2014 18:35:53 +0100
"Tirez la langue, Mademoiselle" video Swipe will be releasing the French hit movie, "Miss and the Doctors" ("Tirez La Langue, Mademoiselle" for the French title), on May 30th. Louise Bourgoin (Adele Blanc-Sec) and Cedric Kahn are the leads.

Fri, 30 May 2014 18:35:16 +0100
Culturethèque's Artist in Residence: Caroline Janssens all Culturethèque is on the lookout to promote creative people and their creations. Whether you're a first class photographer or beginner in water colours, we want to hear your ideas for our homepage. Drop us an email at with a small selection of your work and we'll see what we can do!

Wed, 28 May 2014 16:12:33 +0100
Je regrette, Je regrette that Carl Barât is not French audio By jove, I think I've found another anglais with a French fur coat. We've seen the likes of Quentin Blake and Oscar Wilde in French guise, now it's the turn of the Englishman in a baseball cap...

Wed, 28 May 2014 14:44:52 +0100
My brief encounter with Fanny Ardant video I’m definitely not the starstruck type. In fact, I am positively out of touch; I often horrify friends and acquaintances by not recognising the names of apparently big celebrities...

Sat, 24 May 2014 17:23:00 +0100
Renovation of La Médiathèque: Behind the Scenes XV all Here we are, the final blog about our dearest salle classée. Let's have a look at our journey, que [X-Factor style eviction video with a Westlife soundtrack]

Sat, 24 May 2014 16:33:13 +0100
Mick Harvey performs the Songs of Serge Gainsbourg in London audio Don’t miss this unique opportunity to see Mick Harvey and band perform the incredible interpretations of legendary singer, songwriter and poet Serge Gainsbourg’s oeuvre at the Union Chapel in London on 27th May 2014.

Following MUTE Records' re-issues of the albums 'Intoxicated Man' (1995) and 'Pink Elephants' (1997), this month of April, Mick Harvey will present his interpretations of the songs of legendary singer, songwriter and poet Serge Gainsbourg.

Fri, 23 May 2014 16:33:02 +0100
NOIR Is the colour : Pierre Lemaitre & John Harvey book ''Your heart is beating, your palms are sweaty. You hear a creak in the floorboard [...]'' To celebrate the crime novel genre, the Institut Français is organising this year the festival Noir Is the colour dedicated to crime novel. It's the opportunity to discover the best French authors of crime novel in conversation with their counterparts from the UK.

For the occasion, Culturetheque is setting up a Crime Novels collection in the Read section.

Thu, 22 May 2014 15:17:21 +0100
French Fiction Review: Malavita, by Tonino Benacquista book In this enjoyable and often thought-provoking comedy, made into a Hollywood film shown recently at the Institut Français, a high-ranking Mafia hitman and his family are relocated to rural France under the witness protection programme after he turns state’s evidence. Malavita is the story of how the family adapt to their new lives, and in particular how mobster Giovanni Manzoni (rechristened Fred Blake for his own protection) comes to terms with his past life and the consequences it might have for his family.

Thu, 22 May 2014 15:16:48 +0100
Moving Cities Part II - Keeping London Moving video We have already presented you the great street dance project Moving Cities a couple of days ago. Currently the team is working on Moving Cities: Brussels.

Tue, 20 May 2014 16:19:59 +0100
La Playlist du Lundi audio A weekly selection of French contemporary music at La Playlist du Lundi...what more could you want?.

Tue, 20 May 2014 16:19:57 +0100
French films at the Festival de Canne all At Culturetheque, of course we wouldn't skip the Festival de Cannes, so here is what we think is interesting and maybe without being to pretentious a review of our ''coup de coeur''.

Tue, 20 May 2014 16:15:25 +0100
Indochine announce London show for July 2014 book Indochine have today announced that they will be heading to the UK in July to play a rare London show at O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire as part of their BLACK CITY TOUR. This tour has rocked more than forty sold out gigs since its kick off in 2013.

Indochine ont annoncé qu'ils se rendront au Royaume-Uni, en Juillet pour jouer un concert spécial au O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire de Londres, dans le cadre de leur tournée BLACK CITY TOUR. Sur toutes les dates programmées de cette tournée, (lancée en 2013), plus d'une quarantaine de concerts ont affiché sold out.

Tue, 20 May 2014 16:14:51 +0100
Reading Group: L'écume des jours de Boris Vian book Tonight's Reading Group is part of the fabulous inauguration at the Institut français. Read on to find out more information and even the eBook for free!

Fri, 16 May 2014 11:39:21 +0100
Meeting Albert Dupontel all He's funny, a bit sinister but very down to earth. Albert Dupontel came to the Institut français to present his film "9 mois ferme", then nipped into the library to tell us his influences (literary influences, you naughty bunch!).

Wed, 14 May 2014 17:55:58 +0100
Moving cities: Street Dance project video Dance, People, Cars, Trains, Planes. Cities are mesmerising. Moving Cities celebrates this. Founded in London in 2014 by Wind & Foster director Jevan Chowdhury, Moving Cities is a street dance project and its mission is to capture professionals in real time dancing in a city environment.

Wed, 14 May 2014 17:05:02 +0100
Primary French Project: Training Courses learn The Primary French Project offers the ideal solution to the challenge currently facing many primary schools.

Thu, 22 May 2014 15:17:22 +0100
Remembering Piaf: Part IV book I’m returning to this blog after several months of moving house and other distractions. But the long gap since my last post is also, in a small way, due to the fact that 2014 represents a kind of limbo, between the fiftieth anniversary of Piaf’s death in 2013 and the centenary of her birth in 2015. Still, this intermezzo perhaps offers the chance for some quieter reflections.

Wed, 14 May 2014 17:05:00 +0100
French Fiction Review: L’Assassin à la pomme verte, by Christophe Carlier book A novel with alternate narrators inspired by 18th century epistolary novels like Les Liaisons Dangereuses and with a title that alludes to a Magritte painting – Le fils de l’homme – of a respectable, bowler-hatted man whose face is concealed by a green apple. L’Assassin à la pomme verte explores what really lurks beneath our sometimes inscrutable, “irreproachable” exteriors, in the moneyed setting of a rive droite hotel where the guests sense the chance to escape from their everyday lives.

Wed, 14 May 2014 17:04:59 +0100
We Love Words book WeLoveWords is the first online community for writers. More than 17 000 authors – among which poets, reviewers, journalists, singers - are writing everyday on our platform and are sharing their thoughts about their texts with the members of our community.

Wed, 14 May 2014 17:04:57 +0100
Élucubrations – Antoine on 45 1965-1969 audio A great archive release this week, with the Élucubrations – Antoine on 45 1965-1969 collection documenting the early work of the influential French singer-songwriter.

Antoine exploded onto the French pop scene in the mid 60s, his long hair, combat jacket and patched jeans making him an embodiement of beatnik style, his music an electrifying blend of Bob Dylan and Donovan, shot through with intelligence, humour and attitude.

Wed, 14 May 2014 17:04:56 +0100
Sudden Death of Stars - All Unrevealed Parts Of The Unknown audio I've been a fan of Sudden Death of Stars since I caught their debut album Getting Up, Going Down and it was a real pleasure to catch them live in December in Rennes last year, one of the (many) highlights of the visit to the city during the Transmusicales and Bars en Trans events.

Wed, 14 May 2014 17:04:54 +0100
Francois and the Atlas Mountains - Piano Ombre audio If E volo Love was the album that made the world sit up and notice Francois and the Atlas Mountains, Piano
Ombre should be the album that sees them make a major commercial breakthrough.

Wed, 14 May 2014 17:04:52 +0100
The Plasticines: Back to the Start audio The third album by French three-piece female rock act The Plasticines came out earlier this week, and it
certainly shows a band that has changed since their last album came out.
A first listen reveals it to be a much more pop orientated work that their previous output.

Wed, 14 May 2014 17:04:21 +0100
Diary of an IFRU visitor: With Sartre in Hell book Spring was not yet rampant, but it seemed to have unlocked the cage doors and to have timidly crept out into view from the shadowy confinement in which it had been placed.

Wed, 07 May 2014 16:55:28 +0100
Pembridge Hall School Film Critics book The Institut français currently organises a wealth of activities for Schools and Groups. This time, we present the works of Pembridge Hall School.

Wed, 07 May 2014 16:55:26 +0100
French Book Reviews by Jennifer Mahe book Do you remember our Readathon back in 2012? Well there are some more book reviews in store!

Wed, 07 May 2014 16:54:50 +0100
France @ Liverpool Sound City 2014 audio In partnership with Bureau Export (the French music export office) and the Institut Français, Liverpool Sound City once again features a winning selection of up-and-coming French-signed and published acts.

Tue, 29 Apr 2014 18:24:44 +0100
France @ The Great Escape 2014 audio Taking their place among The Great Escape’s international line-up this year once again are a number of French-signed and published acts, supported by the Bureau Export (the French music export office) and the Institut Français in their partnership with the festival.

Tue, 29 Apr 2014 18:23:58 +0100
Renovation of La Médiathèque: Behind the Scenes XIV all The glorious French library is nearly finished, and this blog is all about BOOKS!

Fri, 25 Apr 2014 18:37:22 +0100
Poetry is not dead: Part I book We have some very interesting people who pass through the doors of the Institut français. A recent visitor, Bob Crosby, decided to share his poetry with Culturethèque

Thu, 24 Apr 2014 15:15:28 +0100
French Easter Customs: Flying Bells and Colourful Eggs? book We all like a bit of the old tradition when it comes to Easter, but there's is nothing like the French one. Hand on heart, you will not find anything more mystical!

Fri, 18 Apr 2014 15:40:06 +0100
The Primary French Project: Press Release learn National French Training Scheme for Primary Teachers. The Primary French Project offers the ideal solution to the challenge currently facing many primary schools.

Thu, 17 Apr 2014 16:13:56 +0100
February Newsletter : French Art Attack book Grab your easels and paint brushes, it's time to get arty with Culturethèque! Dive into the world of French art with the help of
Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Marcel Duchamp, Claude Monet and many, many more...

Thu, 17 Apr 2014 16:11:23 +0100
March Newsletter : French Singers book Can you really get healthy whilst listening to French music? The answer is...oui! Our new Artist in Residence, Marie Bouyer, has delightfully appointed a fruit or vegetable to famous French singers. You have to see it to believe it.

Thu, 17 Apr 2014 16:11:15 +0100
April Newsletter: Parlez-moi! book The French language is filled to the brim with fanciful and favourable words. Our current theme celebrates French lexicon through poetry, spoken word and film. So, grab your quill and parlez moi dans la langue de Molière.

Thu, 17 Apr 2014 16:11:12 +0100
Henri Matisse book 'Il y a deux façons d'exprimer les choses: l'une est de les montrer brutalement, l'autre de les évoquer avec art. En s'éloignant de la représentation littérale du mouvement, on aboutit à plus de beauté et plus de grandeur.' (Henri Matisse, Ecrits et propos sur l'art (1972), Notes d'un peintre, la Grande Revue, 25 décembre 1908)

Thu, 17 Apr 2014 16:02:40 +0100
Reading Group: Huis clos by Sartre book Tonight's Reading Group needs to be read over and over again in order to understand what is going on. Read on to find out more information and free Sartre related eBooks.

Thu, 10 Apr 2014 16:38:54 +0100
The new francophone thriller: 'Tom at the Farm' video We Are The Tonic helps filmmakers and film companies get their films out there in the best way possible. Here is one of the lastest nuggets from Network Distributing; 'Tom at the farm', directed by Xavier Dolan from Quebec.

Thu, 10 Apr 2014 16:38:52 +0100
Renovation of La Médiathèque: Behind the Scenes XIV all We're picking up the pieces we left behind...

Thu, 10 Apr 2014 16:27:46 +0100
A Very Freudian Evening book March the 13th had arrived, with vague imitations at last of Spring after the storms of Winter...

Tue, 08 Apr 2014 17:02:37 +0100
Dutronc Junior Coming to the UK audio Musician, song-writer, actor and film composer: watch this guitar virtuoso on stage!

Tue, 08 Apr 2014 17:02:35 +0100
Renovation of La Médiathèque: Behind the Scenes XIII all With the finishing date in sight, let's take a look at the amazing progress.

Fri, 04 Apr 2014 16:14:03 +0100
It's All About Piano: Finally here! audio Manuscript to's time to celebrate the piano festival!

Fri, 04 Apr 2014 12:06:17 +0100
Time is flying... all Time is flying at Culturetheque, last month we got so many exiting projects that we want to share those with you again.

We had a cosy chat with the lead singer of Louise Attaque and got to the roots of his career, his music and his guilty pleasures. It was also our first time working with Flyotw, a creative film studio in Oxford.
Simply click here to watch the video, and click here to read about the experience.

Fri, 04 Apr 2014 12:06:10 +0100
'Un autre jour est possible' sur France Culture audio Every time and every worlds meet: Cinema, music, literature, comic books ... Since 2011 on the French radio France Culture, every morning before the news of the day (6.00am to be precise, yes I know who would believe that French people wake up at 6.00 am); the emission 'Un autre jour est possible' is the cultural waking up.

Fri, 04 Apr 2014 12:05:35 +0100
POISSON D'AVRILLLLL all Let's get pranked...French style!

Tue, 01 Apr 2014 18:23:17 +0100
Citysketch Paris book Citysketch Paris is a handy tour guide that invites readers to doodle and sketch their way through the sites of the city with guided prompts from illustrator Melissa Wood.

Tue, 01 Apr 2014 16:08:39 +0100
Web TV of Scientific events all Since 2001, the Web TV Workshops and Conferences, provides, in live on the Internet, an audiovisual relay of scientific events at a national and international level. is THE memory of events, and this database of knowledge is accessible freely. Over 3000 hours of filmed events are available on video on demand (VOD). To consult them, simply click on the tab 'Events'. You also have a specific search engine keywords. So you can find a speaker, a place, a partner organization ...

Tue, 01 Apr 2014 16:06:37 +0100
Amazing French collection of the London Library book Since its foundation in 1941, the London Library has constantly developed the French literature collection and it is actively enriches itself with contemporary French writers.
For more information about the London Library French Collection, click here.

Tue, 01 Apr 2014 16:05:52 +0100
Lift off for Primary French Project learn The Primary French Project aims to support any primary school that wishes to
teach French throughout Key Stage 2 as part of the statutory curriculum.

Wed, 26 Mar 2014 17:09:55 +0000
It's All About Piano: 2-4-6-8 who do we appreciate? all Picture this: 6 pianists, 6 concerts, and BBC Radio 3 all at the Institut français.

Wed, 26 Mar 2014 16:33:46 +0000
Crown Woods College Film Critics video The Institut français currently organises a wealth of activities for Schools and Groups. This time, we present the works of some of the students from Crown Woods College.

Wed, 26 Mar 2014 16:33:11 +0000
Renovation of La Médiathèque: Behind the Scenes XII all Now that we are back in business with the blog, you won't be able to get rid of us!

Wed, 26 Mar 2014 13:09:15 +0000
Albert Camus lit L’Etranger / REMIX audio An interesting event being held in Edinburgh tonight (20/03/2014), courtesy of the Institut français d’Ecosse as part of its
marking the Semaine de la langue française et de la francophonie.

Wed, 26 Mar 2014 13:08:08 +0000
It's all about piano: Pascal and Ami Rogé audio Music has brought up the greatest love affairs in history. Here we have a piano duo who will grace the stage at the Institut français.

Wed, 26 Mar 2014 11:16:50 +0000
Renovation of La Médiathèque: Behind the Scenes XI book It's been a while...have you missed the updates?

Wed, 26 Mar 2014 11:16:12 +0000
The French institute in London Art deco building is 75 years old! book We are all following the renovation of the Médiathèque with excitement.

Tue, 25 Mar 2014 14:26:29 +0000
It's All About Piano: Olivier Cavé audio The king of instruments is celebrated in all its glory at the Institut français.

Tue, 25 Mar 2014 14:26:27 +0000
Southbank International School Film critics book The Institut français currently organises a wealth of activities for Schools and Groups. This time, we present the works of Southbank International School.

Wed, 19 Mar 2014 18:20:06 +0000
Carl Köhler, the Artist book We got a nice tweet from Henry Köhler (@Authorportrait) promoting his father's work.

Wed, 19 Mar 2014 15:26:19 +0000
Panorama of the French culture book French cultural events don't escape to the British press. Here is a brief panorama of news about French culture.
If we tell you impressionism you probably think straight away about France> Paris > Musee d'Orsay, but did you know that the museum Marmottan in Paris contains the most important and beautiful collection of the French impressionist painter Claude Monet? This museum has just reopened its doors after a phase of refurbishment. It is ''one of the unmissable artistic jewels of the French capital'' reports The Independant .

Wed, 19 Mar 2014 13:12:53 +0000
It's All About Piano: Debussy meets Le Petit Prince audio We're just a small crescendo away from the best (subjective opinion, deal with it) piano festival to date!

Wed, 19 Mar 2014 13:12:17 +0000
French music for a Wes Anderson film video Before it was Elvis, now my dangerous obsession is Wes Anderson. I have fallen head over heels for the OCD film shots, the bright colours and strange accents.

Mon, 17 Mar 2014 20:15:45 +0000
It's All About Piano: The Big Countdown! audio Wriggle those fingers because there's a Piano festival coming to London town.

Mon, 17 Mar 2014 19:34:54 +0000
Review: Fauve: Vieux frères - Partie 1 audio There's a feeling that Fauve are one of the most hyped acts at the moment, with expectations high about their
debut collection Vieux frères - Partie 1.

Mon, 17 Mar 2014 18:26:40 +0000
The Second Part of the Commentary on 'Le blé en herbe' book The adult, the corrupt, the shadow... This is ensured by the third person in the story dedicated to its own edgy simplicity, who is Mme Dalleray.

Sat, 15 Mar 2014 16:07:12 +0000
Pierre Doherty book Much like Oscar Wilde and Quentin Blake, Pete Doherty is a libertine on the wrong side of the fishing pond.

Sat, 15 Mar 2014 16:07:09 +0000
Excuse my ''French'' book The French have a reputation for being sensual—they are passionate lovers, and make exquisite food. Given the English perception of the French, unfortunately they are sometimes associated with vulgarity as well. These stereotypes, both positive and negative, are reflected within the English adjective. How many words can you think of that have ¨French¨ in them? Here is a list of 5 ¨French¨ words and phrases.

Sat, 15 Mar 2014 16:06:32 +0000
Meeting Quentin Blake book All my childhood dreams came true when I had the honour of meeting Sir Quentin Blake. But what on earth has he got to do with French culture??

Thu, 13 Mar 2014 07:32:56 +0000
British and French elite graduates book “I feel it is in my soul to work for the public service.”
“I think I would do whatever and choose to go and work wherever I thought I would get the most benefit in terms of personal development.”
Those two quotes were uttered by two different people. One is British, the other is French. Can you guess who said what?

Wed, 12 Mar 2014 11:24:47 +0000
Cascadeur: Ghost Surfer audio Cascadeur is one of France's most distinctive vocalists, his 2011 debut firmly establishing him as one of the
country's most promising artists.
His follow up - Ghost Surfer - released this month up secures that reputation. His voice both affecting and powerful, standing comparison to the likes of Anthony Heggarty, Neil Young or Robert Wyatt.

Wed, 12 Mar 2014 11:24:45 +0000
Victoires de la Musique 2014 video This weekend saw France's most significant music awards ceremony, with the Victoires de la Musique ceremony being held for the 29th time.

Wed, 12 Mar 2014 11:24:12 +0000
Norland Place School "Le Tableau" Film Critics book The Institut français currently organises a wealth of activities for Schools and Groups. This time, we present the works of Norland Place School.

Wed, 05 Mar 2014 12:05:49 +0000
Film Critics « Boule & Bill » by Reedham Park School book The Institut français currently organises a wealth of activities for Schools and Groups. This time, we present the works of Reedham Park School.

Wed, 05 Mar 2014 12:05:47 +0000
The Perils of Investigating Colette all February the Thirteenth. Because of the building works in the Mediatheque, the Reading Group had to be transferred to the Salons. So, we bought our tickets at Reception, and proceeded up the stairs to a large room where we could, perhaps hesitantly at first, discuss 'Le Ble en herbe' by Colette.

Wed, 05 Mar 2014 12:05:46 +0000
'La fleur au fusil' book August 1914, because of political alliances, Europe turns to world war. In France, when the general mobilization is declared, men went to fight with 'la fleur au fusil', thinking it will be a short war, alas it will last four years.

Wed, 05 Mar 2014 12:05:42 +0000
L'exception culturelle française... book Comme vous l'aurez certainement déjà entendu au détour d'une conversation, ou dans les media, on parle de l'exception culturelle française. Vous vous êtes peut être demandé qu'est ce que cela signifiait exactement?

Wed, 05 Mar 2014 12:05:39 +0000
Le sermon sur la chute de Rome, by Jérôme Ferrari book The winner of the Prix Goncourt in 2012, and soon to be published in English translation, Le sermon sur la chute de Rome is a tale of contrasting philosophies and crumbling empires, narrated in majestic, poetic French by Jérôme Ferrari.

Wed, 26 Feb 2014 16:44:07 +0000
Culturethèque presents: Matthieu Chèneby all We are lucky enough to have a small insight to Matthieu's impressive and inciting world of photography.

Tue, 25 Feb 2014 17:22:32 +0000
Sous les pavés, aucun message book Art is all about digging up those hidden meanings. This can also be said about graffiti through the years, but in this case, it certainly isn't.

Fri, 21 Feb 2014 12:36:14 +0000
Meeting Ludivine Sagnier video The "oh-so-sweet" Ludivine Sagnier graced the floors of the Institut. Read on to hear about the whole experience, and the fact that I ate sushi with her (boast, boast, boast).

Thu, 20 Feb 2014 23:53:43 +0000
Hi, My Name’s Victoria, And I Am A Francophile! book There you are, I’ve said it, it’s out there, and there’s no going back, in fact it’s my first step to recovery – but how can one not be? The movies, the food, and the language alone make me love the wonderful country that is France.

Tue, 25 Feb 2014 14:37:49 +0000
How to listen to audiobooks audio First time new comer to Culturethèque? Fear not, this blog will show you how to use our audiobooks.

Tue, 25 Feb 2014 14:37:47 +0000
Meeting Gaëtan Roussel video Coming soon to Culturethèque: an insight to Mr Roussel's life, influences and guilty pleasures. In the meantime, read up on the experience here below...

Thu, 20 Feb 2014 23:53:12 +0000
Reading Group: Le blé en herbe book A wonderful insight to the daring novel...

Thu, 20 Feb 2014 23:54:14 +0000
Elvis...comme d'habitude! audio I have a dangerous obsession over Mr Presley at the moment, so naturally a forced link with French culture is the perfect opportunity to spread a little jailhouse rock...

Sun, 23 Feb 2014 19:19:34 +0000
Philippe Starck: changing the world, one juice squeezer at a time video I didn't quite realise the amount of genius that comes out of Starck's mouth. And that's being honest.

Fri, 21 Feb 2014 12:36:59 +0000
Song du Jour audio A great way to discover new music, straight to your inbox, every jour!

Mon, 17 Feb 2014 13:46:36 +0000
Reading Group: Le blé en herbe by Colette book Tonight's Reading Group comes just in time for Valentine's day. Read on to find out more information and the eBook for free.

Thu, 13 Feb 2014 17:16:24 +0000
Renovation of La Médiathèque: Behind the Scenes X all Another update on the renovation happenings.

Tue, 11 Feb 2014 18:36:00 +0000
Renovation of La Médiathèque: Behind the Scenes IX book It's that time of the day, your daily post is just a click away!

Fri, 07 Feb 2014 18:06:42 +0000
Renovation of La Médiathèque: Behind the Scenes VIII book Pull up a chair and read another installment.

Fri, 07 Feb 2014 18:06:29 +0000
Renovation of La Médiathèque: Behind the Scenes VII book Your daily dose of renovation keeps the boredom at bay.

Fri, 07 Feb 2014 18:06:23 +0000
Renovation of La Médiathèque: Behind the Scenes VI book As dawn-light glistens through the stain glass windows, a new blog post is ready to read.

Fri, 07 Feb 2014 18:06:20 +0000
Renovation of La Médiathèque: Behind the Scenes V book The time has come brush up on the Renovation project. Have you missed me? (Rhetorical question, of course you have!).

Fri, 07 Feb 2014 18:06:17 +0000
Renovation of La Médiathèque: Behind the Scenes IV book Brick by brick the wonderful Médiathèque is having a make-over. Follow the progress with this blog...

Fri, 07 Feb 2014 18:05:42 +0000
Culturethèque's Artist in Residence: Marie Bouyer all New year, new artist, and this time we have the fabulous Marie Bouyer. Read on to find out more about this exciting project...

Thu, 06 Feb 2014 15:17:43 +0000
Exclusive special offer from France Magazine all As a recent contributor to FRANCE Magazine the Institut Francais members can claim an exclusive contributor’s subscription offer. Saving 50% on the cover price!

Wed, 05 Feb 2014 13:26:01 +0000
New French Cook Book: Eat Well and Stay Slim by Michel Guérard book In Eat Well and Stay Slim, three-Michelin-starred chef Michel Guérard shows you how to combine exquisite flavours with astonishingly low calorie counts.

Tue, 04 Feb 2014 14:47:54 +0000
Clark Kent in French video Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's an interesting documentary about French!

Tue, 04 Feb 2014 00:33:39 +0000
Renovation of La Médiathèque: Behind the Scenes III all It's lap 3 of the renovation project, read on for photos, facts and...CD pockets?

Tue, 28 Jan 2014 18:15:56 +0000
The Great Visual War book History should not be constrained to dusty archives, figures and books...

Fri, 24 Jan 2014 18:18:59 +0000
Renovation of La Médiathèque: Behind the Scenes II all Take a gander at the exciting renovation project of La Médiathèque...for your eyes only!

Fri, 24 Jan 2014 12:08:24 +0000
Renovation of La Médiathèque: Behind the Scenes I all The time has come for your favourite French library in London to have a make-over. Read on to take a glimpse behind the scenes...

Thu, 23 Jan 2014 10:50:55 +0000
The French Allen Ginsberg book Ok, ok, this French connection may be a bit forced, but it’s the thought that counts after all, eh?

Mon, 20 Jan 2014 09:38:29 +0000
Reading Group: La Guerre des boutons by Louis Pergaud book Tonight's Reading Group involves mischief, booby traps and general cheekiness!

Thu, 16 Jan 2014 15:44:27 +0000
The Problem of Poetry (In French) book I feel it would be pretentious (and unsuccessful) for me to attempt poetry in French. My lamentable effort below is a mere exercise, not anything profound.

Wed, 15 Jan 2014 11:20:44 +0000
Vita Sackville-West and Institut francais du Royaume-Uni during the First World War. book Many of us will know Vita Sakeville West for her aristocratic extravagance, her poems, her garden (Kent) and her relationships with women. The most famous of her lovers, Virginia Wool dedicated her Orlando, a fictional biography based on Sackville-West.

Wed, 15 Jan 2014 11:21:26 +0000
Crisis at Christmas 2013 book I spent Christmas with the homeless, at the Crisis day centre situated in Baron's Court...

Wed, 15 Jan 2014 11:21:18 +0000
Dub Inc: Il Faut Qu'on Ose audio A video for an acoustic live version of the track Il Faut Qu'on Ose, a track from the Paradise album by
Saint-Étienne reggae act Dub Inc.

Fri, 27 Dec 2013 14:07:55 +0000
Fauve: De ceux audio A great new clip by Fauve for the track De ceux. Fauve are getting a huge amount of attention at the moment, not surprising given their position somewhere between the popularity and directness of rap and the more experimental areas of rock.

Fri, 27 Dec 2013 14:07:52 +0000
Détroit: Null and Void audio A new clip by Bertrand Cantat's new act Détroit, for the track Null and Void.

Fri, 27 Dec 2013 14:07:44 +0000
Ben L'Oncle Soul: Être un homme comme vous audio Ben L'Oncle Soul has been a busy chap recently, and has featured a couple of times on the blog in the last couple of weeks, with a new video and a show in London.

Fri, 27 Dec 2013 14:07:42 +0000
Dionysos: Jack et la mécanique du cœur audio A clip for the track Jack et la mécanique du cœur has emerged ahead of the release of the film of the same
name, based on the album by Dionysos.

Fri, 27 Dec 2013 14:06:58 +0000
The Returned (Les revenants): Euro-drama at its best video I had never got the whole zombie craze. All the gruesome details in The Walking Dead and Shaun of the Dead would gross me out. With no real plot and garnished with gore, zombie series are usually as lifeless as their protagonists.

Fri, 27 Dec 2013 13:41:10 +0000
Les Transmusicales de Rennes audio This year I had the opportunity to travel to the Rencontres Trans Musicales de Rennes event, a festival in the town in Brittany that showcases some of the best new acts from France and elsewhere, with one or two big names also on the bill.

Fri, 20 Dec 2013 12:49:20 +0000
The Alps and Paul Éluard video Travel to the Alps with a little help from Flyotw...and Paul Éluard

Wed, 18 Dec 2013 17:43:58 +0000
A Hybrid Christmas book Oh what a joy to have the best of both worlds during the festive season. Living in England, yet having a cherry-pick of the French Noël makes Christmas what it is!

Mon, 16 Dec 2013 16:44:55 +0000
Create your own eBook book We had lots of laughs at the South Ken Kids Festival this year, and here's what our "Create your own eBook" workshop produced.

Fri, 13 Dec 2013 13:07:29 +0000
Fête des Lumières video The famous annual light spectacle took place in Lyon last weekend.

Wed, 11 Dec 2013 15:59:34 +0000
Reading Group: Les Liaisons dangereuses by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos book Tomorrow's Reading Group will be moderated by Dr Hector Kollias (King's College, London) and Mrs Line Playfair. Get set for scandal!

Wed, 04 Dec 2013 18:56:22 +0000
French Fiction Review: Le confident, by Hélène Grémillon book Part psychological drama, part thriller, this cleverly structured novel will draw you in and keep you hooked with its emotional complexity and a series of thrilling revelations.

Tue, 03 Dec 2013 12:33:00 +0000
Film critics "Le Petit Nicolas" from St. Nicholas Prep video We've teamed up with the fabulous School Activities department of the Institut français for an exciting new project. Schools of all shapes and sizes are invited to write film critics for a chance to win a special prize!

Fri, 13 Dec 2013 15:04:27 +0000
Film critics "Le Petit Nicolas" from St. Margaret School, Hampstead book We've teamed up with the fabulous School Activities department of the Institut français for an exciting new project. Schools of all shapes and sizes are invited to write film critics for a chance to win a special prize!

Sat, 30 Nov 2013 18:22:35 +0000
ULIP competition: Win a trip to Paris book The University of London in Paris has a wonderful competition for UK students of French at AS/A-level or equivalent.

Thu, 28 Nov 2013 13:54:42 +0000
Art Attack Part II book The South Ken Kids Festival 2013 was such a laugh and a half! Not only did I have a prime spot on the judging panel, even more artists attacked the Culturethèque logo!

Tue, 26 Nov 2013 16:09:49 +0000
New book release: Michel de Montaigne Essays, Translated by M.A. Screech book Blending intellectual speculation with anecdote and personal reflection, the Renaissance thinker and writer Michel de Montaigne pioneered the modern essay form.

Fri, 15 Nov 2013 16:50:42 +0000
Remembering Piaf: Part III audio I have just got back from a week's archival research at the BNF's Richelieu site. The reason for this particular visit was to go through the newly catalogued archive donated by L'Association des Amis d'Edith Piaf, catalogued in fact specially for my visit.

Fri, 15 Nov 2013 16:26:56 +0000
My latest coup de coeur: Coco Chanel does comics book Fangled tales told about Coco Chanel have achieved timelessness equal to that of her couture. Chanel perplexed many by circling around and about her past, telling and retelling the narrative of her youth. She remade history just as she remade the sleeves of a jacket, unfastening its seams and cutting its threads, and sewing it back together again…

Fri, 15 Nov 2013 12:53:05 +0000
Reading Group: Voltaire's Candide book Tonight's Reading Group explores the curiously written "Candide" by Voltaire.

Thu, 14 Nov 2013 17:03:21 +0000
Becksistentialism: I think therefore I am David Beckham book Sartre, Camus, de Beauvoir, Fanon… and Beckham? That’s right – After his move to Paris, Beckham is apparently the latest member to join the existential club.

Fri, 08 Nov 2013 14:51:16 +0000
Exhibitions/Festivals/Plays video Are you passionate about the French language and culture? Here's all you need to know about events coming up near you!

Wed, 06 Nov 2013 13:48:56 +0000
Diary of an IFRU visitor: Prelude to the Reading Group on Laclos book As an inevitably inadequate prelude to the Reading Group in December, I introduce in this article some grim sonnets revolving round 'Les Liaisons Dangeureuses' by Laclos.

Wed, 06 Nov 2013 11:35:57 +0000
Diary of an IFRU visitor: Sorrow in the Bistrot book While I was in the Bistrot downstairs a few days ago, I considered, over a cup of Earl Grey, the sorrows of the world, and this rather dreary sonnet was the unhappy result!

Wed, 06 Nov 2013 11:35:23 +0000
Llama, où es-tu? all Regional stories in newspapers such as Nice Matin never, ever, ever swim across the channel to the British bulldogs of The Guardian and The Independent. Sometimes it just takes a couple of teenagers and a llama to bridge that gap.

Mon, 04 Nov 2013 14:33:58 +0000
La! book A little birdy (and fellow librarian) told me about these two magazines which inject even more French multimedia into your life. Along the way, I found another lucky is that? Answer = very lucky.

Wed, 30 Oct 2013 16:33:02 +0000
In Homage to Lou Reed audio We are very sad to hear that Lou Reed has passed away. Read on to find out the different articles in the French news which have payed respect to his music and life.

Tue, 29 Oct 2013 11:18:47 +0000
La parole audio I'm an absolute sucker for poetry. In all shapes and forms: the standard Keats, the dandyism of Wilde, the verbal vomit of Fauve ≠ and the vulgar rap.

Thu, 24 Oct 2013 18:22:53 +0100
Getting Started with Primary French learn From September 2014 the National Curriculum will include the teaching of a language throughout Key Stage 2.

Thu, 25 Jul 2013 10:05:46 +0100
Diary of an IFRU visitor: Molière - Le Tartuffe book October the tenth arrived- the dull chill of autumn was beginning to grip South Kensington's roads, and, at the Institut français, there was the first Reading Group of the current season.

Thu, 24 Oct 2013 15:52:04 +0100
Diary of an IFRU visitor: 'J'irai cracher sur vos tombes' by Boris Vian book 'J'irai cracher sur vos tombes' was produced by Boris Vian under the pseudonym of Vernon Sullivan. This book is intended to be totally unsafe. Set in the United States, it is an increasingly murky mix of sex, murder, and race revenge.

Thu, 24 Oct 2013 15:51:31 +0100
Villes-mondes "France Culture sans frontières" audio Ever wondered how to travel the world from the comfort of your toasty home? A radio show on France Culture does just that!

Thu, 24 Oct 2013 12:37:21 +0100
In a Manner of Speaking book Like many things (well, according to Mr Darwin) language has evolved from doth to wha’. But enough of the criticism; dig deeper for an Anglo-Franco parity!

Sat, 19 Oct 2013 18:33:01 +0100
The Frenchmen in London, 1915 book Charlotte is currently working her socks off on a thesis about the Institut français du Royaume-Uni. She will be writing a series of history chronicles about the Institute, the French population and surrounding French culture in London using her treasured finds from the archives.

Sat, 19 Oct 2013 15:51:27 +0100
Handy French Resources with 'Maskarade' learn Maskarade Languages Ltd is full to brim of learning resources for children aged from 3 to 12 years old.

Thu, 24 Oct 2013 15:00:09 +0100
Remembering Piaf: Part II audio Last week (starting Monday 6th October) was a busy one for Piaf fans—and for analysts of the Piaf phenomenon like myself—as it was the high point of the year’s commemorations of her death fifty years before.

Mon, 14 Oct 2013 20:36:00 +0100
The Alternative Réntrée book Everyone’s had the dream: sweaty palms and feeling under pressure, i.e. exams in all shapes and forms. A funny article from “Le nouvel observateur” helps you re-live that very moment…lucky us!

Sun, 13 Oct 2013 18:22:36 +0100
Jacques Brel: 35th anniversary audio Thirty-five years after his death on October 9 1978, Jacques Brel is recognised not only as one of the finest French language songwriters, but simply as one of the greatest ever.

Sun, 13 Oct 2013 19:50:44 +0100
Perfect your French! learn 'Voyages en Français' is a great website which helps improve your French through speaking exercises, useful expressions and much, much more!

Thu, 17 Oct 2013 11:41:25 +0100
M83: Hurry up we're dreaming (about advertising!) audio There are times when TV producers and advertising people seem to be listening to the same music.

Fri, 11 Oct 2013 18:54:36 +0100
Diary of an IFRU visitor: Boris Vian - Et on tuera tous les affreux book The coming of August. I hesitated about what author from the Mediatheque I would plough through during the Summer break. I alas use the term 'plough through' becuase my French is limited, so reading a French novel can be stressful. The vocabulary! The grammar! My lack of both!

Fri, 11 Oct 2013 17:38:43 +0100
Zaz at the Institut français audio French jazz singer Zaz came to the Institut français for a private an exclusive video clip!

Tue, 01 Oct 2013 11:11:37 +0100
C'est cassé! book I often regret picking up London's jolly newspaper, “METRO”, but when there is a French-related story, I simply cannot resist.

Thu, 26 Sep 2013 11:51:50 +0100
French Fiction Review: Ovaldé's La grâce des brigands book A witty, lyrical hymn to the importance of breaking free and plotting your own course.

Thu, 26 Sep 2013 18:54:16 +0100
Diary of an IFRU visitor: Notting Hill Carnival all I went to the Notting Hill Carnival of 2013. I tried to dress in a smart way for this event, but inevitable failed, because I am neither young no well- off. At my age, it is not feasible to be 'cool', and my restricted budget ensures I cannot be sartorially slick.

Thu, 26 Sep 2013 18:54:47 +0100
Part Two: Sussex House School Reading Reviews learn The Institut français currently organises a wealth of activities for Schools and Groups. We have a great link with Sussex House School where the fabulous Ms Dayman-Larbaoui sent over some of her students' book reviews.

Wed, 25 Sep 2013 10:57:43 +0100
Remembering Edith Piaf audio 50 years after her death, how do you write in English about ‘la grande dame de la chanson française?

Wed, 18 Sep 2013 15:42:57 +0100
Meeting Mister Kettle book It was the uneasy Spring of 2013. I was sketching a statue by the fountain in the Medieval and Renaissance section of the V and A.

Wed, 11 Sep 2013 12:56:16 +0100
Le Livre Blanc by by Anne-Sophie Pic book Love cooking? Then you'll love this! A new cookbook by Anne-Sophie Pic (the only woman in France with three Michelin stars) releases a colourful new book full of delicious recipes.

Wed, 28 Aug 2013 14:30:54 +0100
Reading Group at the Institut français book This is not your average Reading Group… We specialise in French literature, but with an English twist. Read on to find out more...

Wed, 28 Aug 2013 12:36:06 +0100
OohLaLA! Festival, London audio In association with Bureau Export, this smashing festival is coming to London. The likes of Lescop, Fauve and Dominique A will be there...get your tickets before they sell out like hotcakes!

Tue, 27 Aug 2013 17:49:48 +0100
Stromae: √ (Racine carré) audio This week sees the release of the long-awaited second album by Belgian singer-songwriter Stromae.

Tue, 27 Aug 2013 12:28:50 +0100
Joy Division: Tout pour devenir un mythe audio Gobsmacked with this new gift from the internet. If you love Joy Division and the history of new wave post-punk music then this is for you!

Mon, 19 Aug 2013 11:52:49 +0100
French Fiction Review: Le chapeau de Mitterrand, by Antoine Laurain book Hats off! A stylish and hugely entertaining novel that would make an ideal holiday read.

Fri, 16 Aug 2013 13:55:06 +0100
Steak tah-tah all Everybody in the food world (except vegetarians) is nattering about this cow stem cell burger, a.k.a. the biscuit. Oh, what has become of the world?

Tue, 06 Aug 2013 15:08:59 +0100
Culturethèque's Artist in Residence: Camille Galloy all Our fourth artist to contribute to a (nearly) new Culturethèque project. We invite budding artists, from a number of fields, to decorate the homepage. Read on to find out about Camille Galloy and her eccentric world of illustrations...

Mon, 29 Jul 2013 02:22:08 +0100
Besson vs. Boyle video Aaaand action! It’s a battle of the dreamers: one’s a futurist and the other is simply timeless. Grab your 3D glasses for a journey beyond time and space (an added clin d'œil for the Mighty Boosh fans).

Wed, 17 Jul 2013 10:52:27 +0100
French Fiction Review: Caryl Férey’s Zulu book The Festival de Cannes closed this year with the première of French film director Jerôme Salle's Zulu, starring Forest Whitaker and Orlando Bloom. It is based on Caryl Férey’s novel of the same name, for which Férey won the Grand prix de littérature policière in 2008. It is available in English translation. As Nelson Mandela lies ill in hospital, this book and film offer an excellent opportunity to reflect on South Africa’s turbulent past and, hopefully, brighter future.

Wed, 17 Jul 2013 18:45:27 +0100
Paul Claudel – The Poet as Monster? book It was early July, and, the weather seeming warm at last, I crept with my usual dismal tread into the Médiathèque. I resolved, with my customary shortage of efficiency, to bore into some books concerning the sad and bleak relationship between Paul and Camille Claudel – brother and sister.

Wed, 17 Jul 2013 16:23:45 +0100
Pierre Rigal: Standards all Hear that noise? It's the refreshing (meta-physic) cool-ness of Pierre Rigal: the new choreographer in town...quite literally on the 4th of August. Read on to find out more.

Tue, 16 Jul 2013 17:53:00 +0100
La Promenade des Anglais? all Ok, I admit that the title was nicked from a headline in the French newspaper 'L'Équipe', but it seemed so fitting for this blog about that famous cycling know, the tour de something...?

Fri, 12 Jul 2013 16:27:34 +0100
The French Crossover all French is like multi-purpose glue: it sticks together all kinds of things such as learning French and Lily Allen.

Tue, 09 Jul 2013 16:55:37 +0100
Rendez-vous avec X audio A colleague recommended this rather unique radio show: perfect for the curious and quirky.

Tue, 09 Jul 2013 16:55:09 +0100
Culturethèque's Artist in Residence: Léonore Schick all Our third artist to contribute to a new Culturethèque project. Much like the concept in many museums and art galleries, Culturethèque welcomes artists, photographers and sculptors to illustrate the theme of our homepage. Read on to find out more about Léonore's work.

Sat, 06 Jul 2013 16:56:51 +0100
The Travails of a Dunce all It was the final Reading Group of the season. The not so warm twentieth of June. The book was 'School Blues' by Daniel Pennac, from 2011.

Wed, 03 Jul 2013 18:11:04 +0100
French must-reads book The Daily Telegraph recently made a rather generous selection of 500 must-reads. Amongst the hundreds swam a few French best-sellers. Luckily enough, they are available on Culturethèque for free!

Tue, 02 Jul 2013 17:24:28 +0100
Variations on Get Lucky audio One thing that's impressed about Daft Punk's Get Lucky is the apparent ease with which the song has been adapted into different styles and how its mutated in the hands of other musicians like an internet meme that re-appears in different forms.

Mon, 01 Jul 2013 21:02:40 +0100
Diary of an Institut français Visitor book I, in my usual tired condition, went for the first time to the Café Philo at the Salons of the French Institute. It was a Saturday morning - June the fifteenth, 2013.

Fri, 21 Jun 2013 18:54:36 +0100
Happy Birthday Johnny Hallyday! audio A Saturday night in Paris that saw Johnny Hallyday celebrate his 70th birthday with his closest friends. And a few thousand fans in the Palais onmisport de Paris-Berc arena, not forgetting a few more around the country who watched live on French TV or online.

Wed, 19 Jun 2013 16:20:27 +0100
My Night With Philosophers book What happens when you mix together philosophers and 12 hours of events with wine/coffee? My Night With Philosophers! Here's a selection of free documents in preparation or even for those who cannot make it.

Tue, 04 Jun 2013 18:09:45 +0100
Art Attaque book The BD and Comics Passion festival at the Institut français saw the likes of drawing, jamming and whamming. Take a look at cartoonists who attacked the Culturethèque logo!

Tue, 04 Jun 2013 18:09:39 +0100
Culturethèque's Artist in Residence: Roger Kasparian audio Our second artist to contribute to a new Culturethèque project. Much like the concept in many museums and art galleries, Culturethèque welcomes artists, photographers and sculptors to illustrate the theme of our homepage. Read on to find out more about Kasparian's work and this new project.

Tue, 04 Jun 2013 18:09:01 +0100
Freedom of Speech Bubbles all Comics express ideas as well as creativity. The UK usually holds back on the whole political caricature realm, whilst in France there seems to be no boundaries. Cartoon Movement mixes global awareness in a truthful way.

Wed, 29 May 2013 22:11:29 +0100
Compartiment Tueurs all New Kid's blog about French cinema

Wed, 29 May 2013 22:11:28 +0100
Cannes, Cannes, Cannes video Glitz, glamour and more glitz. This festival breaks the boundaries of cinema magic. Read on for documentaries, exclusive 2013 shots and a bit of 'blah blah'.

Sun, 26 May 2013 20:34:28 +0100
Comics Countdown: Exclusive no.4 book Oh la la! It's only 5 days, 139 hours and 8,350 minutes until the infamous BD & Comics Passion festival. COMPETITION ALERT, hidden in this Comics Countdown...

Fri, 24 May 2013 18:59:10 +0100
Sussex House School Reading Reviews all The Institut français currently organises a wealth of activities for Schools and Groups. We have a great link with Sussex House School where the fabulous Ms Dayman-Larbaoui sent over some of her students' book reviews.

Fri, 24 May 2013 15:17:40 +0100
Reading Group: Le rapport de Brodeck, Philippe Claudel all Tonight's Reading Group uncovers the mysteries of Le rapport de Brodeck. In preparation, we've listed a collection of documents which may be of use.

Thu, 23 May 2013 16:45:35 +0100
My funny Valentin all New Kid's blog about French cinema

Thu, 23 May 2013 16:38:14 +0100
Raving Madly At The Sky: Rockfort Interviews 'La Terre Tremble!!!' audio David McKenna speaks to 'La Terre Tremble!!!' about the multiple meanings behind the album Salvage Blues.
Big thank you to The Quietus for this article, they are you're ONLY source for rock music and pop culture so please check them out.

Mon, 20 May 2013 21:24:50 +0100
The Swinging Sixties are Back audio A true 'Tutankhamun discovery' moment. Roger Kasparian was a photographer in the sixties, and now he's releasing never-seen-before photos of the likes of Gainsbourg, Brel, Françoise Hardy, Edith Piaf, and many more.

Mon, 20 May 2013 12:29:29 +0100
FPIB = Forbidden Planet International Blog all As you might have guessed, we're huge fans of comics here at Culturethèque. We're also fans of blogs. So when you combine the two i.e. The Forbidden Planet Blog, we get that same excited feeling of Christmas yuletide joy.

Sun, 19 May 2013 22:16:59 +0100
France in the Eurovision song contest: Ten Highlights audio Saturday night sees France's Amandine Bourgeoise represent the country at the Eurovision Song Contest with the song L'enfer et moi. It's a strong bluesy rock number, and time will tell how it does at the event in Malmo.

Sat, 18 May 2013 13:56:38 +0100
French bands at The Great Escape in Brighton audio This weekend sees a whole host of French acts play at the The Great Escape festival in Brighton, an event that like the SXSW festival in Austin Texas showcases some of the best new acts.

Sat, 18 May 2013 13:56:36 +0100
Master Yoda, Master blog. all Awaiting the Festival BD & Comics Passion at the French Institute, we are delighted to introduce you to the universe of YODABLOG Starwars c'est rigolo.

Wed, 15 May 2013 17:03:41 +0100
Negative Attraction all I was never a scientist at heart. The closest thing to an ‘interest’ was touching a plasma ball in primary school…you know, those things which make all your hairs stand on end. It was only when I googled nuclear power in France (don’t ask) that a sudden surge of intrigue kicked in.

Mon, 13 May 2013 14:10:20 +0100
Culturethèque's Artist in Residence: Camille Regnault all Our very first artist in a new Culturethèque project. Much like the concept in many museums and art galleries, Culturethèque welcomes artists, photographers and sculptors to illustrate the theme of our homepage. Read on to find out more about Camille's work and this new project.

Mon, 13 May 2013 14:10:11 +0100
Sous le ciel de Paris all An out of this world view for all the Parisian-files. Travel above the clouds without the help of Easy Jet and Google Maps.

Sat, 11 May 2013 18:58:27 +0100
Justice: Access All Arenas audio I've always suspected that Justice were at heart a rock act, and their effortless transition from nightclub to arena seems to confirm this.

Fri, 10 May 2013 12:08:33 +0100
Comics Countdown: Exclusive no.3 book 22 days until the ginormous BD & Comics Passion festival crash lands at the Institut français. That's the equivalent of 528 hours, 31,680 minutes or 1,900,800 seconds. This blog brings EVEN MORE surprises.

Wed, 08 May 2013 17:49:59 +0100
One-Nil to French romanticism all Some may say that the poetry of John Keats can melt hearts and the sounds of Ian Curtis will tear you apart but nothing compares to the florally romantic traditions of the French... trust me!

Wed, 01 May 2013 22:46:30 +0100
Behind the Scenes of the Institut Français du Royaume-Uni all The European Bookshop will be hosting the launch of a behind the scenes documentary about the Institut français on the 16th of May 2013, read on for more information.

Wed, 01 May 2013 16:10:58 +0100
Living legend Julien Clerc comes to London audio Pianos, French ballads and the O² Shepherds Bush Empire...the perfect recipe for an evening with Julien Clerc

Tue, 30 Apr 2013 18:58:43 +0100
Bla-bla-bla-bla Waffles. all Sometimes a blog has got to have a_ je ne sais quoi_ of_ je ne fais rien_. This one will do its best to lure you away from working-thinking-focussing. We offer you 33 seconds of genuine, indulgent procrastination, knowing that a 33 seconds break is meant to be repeated in a row, as it should be. time-lapse real procrastination if you prefer.

Sat, 18 May 2013 13:55:35 +0100
Yuksek: Baby & Me Evian babies advert audio Amid an onslaught of amazing new releases this week, this new advertising campaign caught my eye and ear.

Thu, 25 Apr 2013 13:25:00 +0100
Comics Countdown: Exclusive no.2 book Pssst...only 36 days until our ginormous comic book takeover. We will be offering over 3,000 FREE French comics on Culturethèque for the BD & Comics weekend (30 May-2 June). In the last blog, we promised training and we stick to our promises like glue!

Wed, 24 Apr 2013 18:31:21 +0100
Phoenix: Bankrupt! (review) audio And so the new album by Phoenix arrives, Bankrupt! arriving as unquestionably one of the most anticipated releases of the year.

Tue, 23 Apr 2013 18:35:53 +0100
Comics Countdown: Exclusive no.1 book Culturethèque has the absolute honour of offering over 3,000 free French comics during the BD & Comics Passion festival to all you lovely people. As a warm-up, have a sneaky peek at these exclusives...

Fri, 19 Apr 2013 14:51:52 +0100
Cooking with Culturethèque: recipe number 12: “Incontournables Cannelés” book Today, Cooking with Culturethèque is packing their suitcases for Bordeaux with the “Cannelés” recipe. These little cakes are famous for their special shapes (their name “Cannelé” comes from the copper moulds used to bake them) and taste incredible (a mix of Vanilla and rum). This recipe is taken from one of Culturethèque’s cookbooks La Cuisine bordelaise, by François Martin, 2010 (see p. 62-63).

Preparation: 20 minutes (the day before).
Baking: 1 hour.

Mon, 13 May 2013 14:09:53 +0100
Cooking with Culturethèque: recipe number 11: Pancake Baking book Even if Pancake Day is now a bit far away, it’s never too late to make pancakes!
The recipe is taken from: Crêpes et galettes : Les crêpes, c'est chouette ! (2010) by Marie-France Chauvirey (see p.45).

For 6 to 8 pancakes

Preparation: from 10 to 15 minutes
Baking: about 3 minutes for each pancake

75g of baking flour
1 baking powder one level teaspoonful
½ teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate
1 and ½ teaspoon of white sugar
2 eggs
15 cl of milk
Oil or butter

Mon, 13 May 2013 14:09:25 +0100
TED open translation project all TED -the nonprofit devoted to ideas worth spreading- runs an open translation project since 2009. It involves 40 languages and it has reached 300 translations so far!

Fri, 19 Apr 2013 14:51:50 +0100
Cercle Dramatique Français in London! all The Cercle Dramatique Français invites you to the Steiner theatre for a theatre night and an opera night !

Fri, 19 Apr 2013 14:51:49 +0100
Profile:#5. Compartiment tueurs all If anyone is actually reading this stuff they will be hip to my overall aim of presenting a non-chronological overview of the entire spectrum of French Cinema from the tail-end of the Silent Era right up to tomorrow via Movements (Front Populaire), Individual Careers (Erich Von Stroheim) and a series of Profiles highlighting a representative film from each decade. Having featured the 1930s, 1950s, 1980s and 2000s I come now to the 1960s and a film from the exact centre of the decade.

Fri, 19 Apr 2013 14:51:30 +0100
Daft Punk Get Lucky (ft Pharell Williams) audio More content emerging from he new Daft Punk album Random Access Memories, with a short clip for the track Get Lucky.

Mon, 15 Apr 2013 18:27:36 +0100
Hands up all In preparation for the next Reading Group, I started reading Entre les murs (26th April at the Institut français hint hint ). There was a phrase which was repeated over and over: « on lève le doigt quand on veut parler ».

Fri, 05 Apr 2013 19:25:41 +0100
Learn French with the Institut Français! learn Find out more about the multitude of exciting lessons and tailored packages offered at the Institut français.

Fri, 05 Apr 2013 10:21:05 +0100
Weather forecast: Cold but fine learn The British always talk about the weather, fact. The French always complain about British weather. But what if the both actions signify a deeper, more psychological meaning of patriotism?

Wed, 03 Apr 2013 00:17:39 +0100
How to stream comics all Wed, 03 Apr 2013 00:13:13 +0100 How to stream eBooks all First time new comer to Culturethèque? Fear not, this blog will show you how to use our streamable eBooks.

Wed, 03 Apr 2013 00:12:57 +0100
The Comical Religion all It's been a while since I picked up a Bande dessinée, since the times of discovering Tintin infact. But now I have been properly converted and have plunged head first into the world of comics.

Sat, 23 Mar 2013 20:07:55 +0000
Yum miam. all It's official, an excuse to make macarons on your door step...

Wed, 20 Mar 2013 21:06:36 +0000
Rachel Khoo Kitchen paradise. all A chef in her own flat !

Wed, 20 Mar 2013 11:04:55 +0000
Boris Johnson in France all Boris Johnson on French radio.

Wed, 20 Mar 2013 11:04:55 +0000
France in the U.K. all Cult film director Jacques Tati can be seen on posters all over London! Want to know more about it? Check it out right here.

Thu, 14 Mar 2013 22:08:38 +0000
Hommage to Stéphane Hessel all We are sad to hear that Stephane Hessel passed away on the 27th of February 2013. Culturethèque wishes to pay our respects with a dedicated blog.

Mon, 11 Mar 2013 23:30:22 +0000
Julia Kristeva: a key proponent of French feminism learn Kristeva will be giving a free talk at the French Institute on the 20th of March. Find out more about her works with Culturethèque.

Mon, 11 Mar 2013 21:48:26 +0000
Mods vs. Lumières all Fighting oppression, preaching the obsolete and dislocating order. This week, it’s a battle which conquers the norm…

Wed, 06 Mar 2013 23:45:16 +0000
The Wallace Collection...à la française! all Add an extra zest to your diner table talk, free guided tours of The Wallace Collection in French.
Read on for more information.

Fri, 01 Mar 2013 18:10:11 +0000
The Twitter Troupe book Times have changed. We no longer cite the philosophes nor memorise the lyrics of Proust. Why bother when you have Twitter?

Fri, 01 Mar 2013 01:04:00 +0000
Some very special exhibitions all Read on for more information!

Wed, 27 Feb 2013 16:27:21 +0000
Calling all future Molières! book EMUE and are launching a brand new competition for the next big French writer in the UK. Be in the chance to win a contract with a professional publisher!

Wed, 27 Feb 2013 00:37:47 +0000
Reading Group: 'Stupeur et tremblements' by Amélie Nothomb book Tonight's Reading Group is all about Nothomb's mysterious novel. Read on for more Culturethèque documents.

Thu, 14 Feb 2013 18:53:00 +0000
Claquer des doigts with Gainsbourg audio Are you familiar with Serge Gainsbourg? If your mother-tongue is English, perhaps you’ve only heard a handful of his songs, a handful which will definitely include “Je t’aime... moi non plus”, long since become a sort of musical shorthand for French sauciness.

Fri, 08 Feb 2013 23:21:32 +0000
Tune me in audio The festival ‘It’s All About Piano’ which will tinkle throughout the Institut français from the 22nd to the 24th of March. To warm up, Culturethèque has chosen the major works which you need in order to prepare your musical brain.

Fri, 08 Feb 2013 23:21:19 +0000
Are you for (sur)real? all At first I didn't get I do and you can too!

Mon, 04 Feb 2013 22:41:10 +0000
The Flâneur Still Lives! all The character emerged from the concrete of 19th Paris and is now tucked-up in the front seat of London underground trains...

Mon, 04 Feb 2013 06:21:24 +0000
The Brits who swim in the French Abyss video Once in a blue moon one will come across a particular personality: The 'Franglo'
Read on to see if YOU have these symptoms.

Fri, 25 Jan 2013 19:17:13 +0000
How to download e-books all First time new comer to Culturethèque? Fear not, this blog will show you how to use our downloadable ebooks.

Fri, 25 Jan 2013 14:23:54 +0000
All About Victor Hugo book To celebrate the new film release of Les Misérables, we have dug deep into the pockets of Culturethèque to acknowledge the work of this literary genius. In Mr Hugo's own words: « Tout ce qui est mort comme fait, est vivant comme enseignement ».

Thu, 24 Jan 2013 01:04:15 +0000
PLAY. PAUSE. REWIND. REWIND AGAIN. video This genius of a programme points out the genius of cinema.

Fri, 18 Jan 2013 15:21:14 +0000
For Richer all The continuation of this blog series.

Thu, 24 Jan 2013 03:19:46 +0000
For Richer all Marriage and Show Business go together like peaches and cream albeit more often than not the bloom deserts the peach and the cream sours somewhere between exchanging rings and signing the Register.

Thu, 24 Jan 2013 02:39:59 +0000
Atmosphere: Part One all New Kid's blog about French cinema

Thu, 31 Jan 2013 00:42:52 +0000
Atmosphere: Part Two all New Kid's blog about cinema

Thu, 31 Jan 2013 00:42:55 +0000
Get Totally Serialized: Le vol des cigognes video Picture this: ever dreamed of watching tv on a cinema screen? Ever wondered how the magic of tv can transport actors, directors and screen-writers right in front of your very own eyes? Well, the French Institute is where dreams come true...

Wed, 09 Jan 2013 17:12:31 +0000
Untranslatable words...apparently book We’ve all been there: you are reading a short article in [insert desired newspaper] and the French-English dictionary is just out of r e a c h. Well, there’s always the excuse that it was untranslatable anyway...

Sun, 30 Dec 2012 21:12:36 +0000
Cooking with Culturethèque: recipe number 10: vanilla sablés book Youpi! This is my tenth blog about cooking with Culturethèque. To celebrate that, I have chosen to make a recipe which tastes the vanilla from Guadeloupe and takes us in the "Magie de Noël".

The "Stars" of the recipe are not only the vanilla beans but also the cookie cutters: starring heart shaped cookie cutter, hedgehog, reindeer and as a “clin d’oeil” to France: a snail.

Sun, 30 Dec 2012 19:45:21 +0000
Newsletter: Culturetheque Christmas Game all Read on to play our Culturetheque Christmas game!

Sat, 22 Dec 2012 18:19:07 +0000
Parlez-vous québécois? all Quebec has always been a mystery to me. From the lyrical twist on the French language to the controversy of “La loi 101”.

Wed, 19 Dec 2012 16:09:45 +0000
Loads and loads and loads of really good short films online video As a continuation of this Short Film festival, here are a few links to some good French short films online that have links to the short films currently on Culturethèque.

Fri, 14 Dec 2012 13:28:02 +0000
Newsletter: Short Film Festival on Culturetheque all Read on to view this week's newsletter.

Fri, 14 Dec 2012 12:58:59 +0000
Lesser-known French musical treasures from the 1980's audio Aurore at the library compiled this playlist, including keepers such as Lio, Dorothée and Les Musclés.
A lot of the big names in French music are, for some inexplicable reason, forgotten (or all too casually skimmed over) by the British public. Aurore has set it upon herself to defeat this ignorance. Please, feel free to help her in her mission to rediscover the pedastals upon which to place these monuments of French - no, global - music.
P.s Earplugs are adviseable.

Thu, 13 Dec 2012 15:18:41 +0000
Read-athon critics book Read the best entries!

Fri, 07 Dec 2012 15:51:14 +0000
Ruskin vs. Hugo book This week: a true battle between modernity and tradition - the candlestick versus the light bulb.

Fri, 07 Dec 2012 11:36:38 +0000
Trop millésime ? audio As the saying goes, trends come and go but vintage always stays. Surprisingly, behind every Pete Doherty trilby hides a Baudelaire, and under the leather boots of Johnny Hallyday lives a traditional Charles Dickens.

Thu, 29 Nov 2012 11:10:00 +0000
Newsletter: Listen to talks by famous thinkers all Click "read more" for the newsletter.

Thu, 06 Dec 2012 14:35:16 +0000
Profile #3: Le Grand Chemin video It would require much more than a blog, much more than a Term Paper and possibly more than one complete book to deal adequately with the ‘Child’ actor in all its permutations and I’m not particulary interested in pursuing the topic any further; so why then am I telling you all this? Because, kiddies, the blog today centres on one of the finest French movies of the last fifty years and ‘child acting’ is an integral part of it.

Thu, 06 Dec 2012 13:09:33 +0000
Profile: #1: ‘Un Carnet de bal’ video This is the first in an occasional series in which I intend to Profile individual Performers, Writers, Directors or, as here, Films. I have no idea what kind of people – if anyone – reads this stuff but my aim is to explore French cinema in as many aspects as possible, expanding any knowledge you may have and ideally infecting you with my passion for the subject and provoking a desire to watch the films, performers, I discuss.

Wed, 21 Nov 2012 15:17:22 +0000
Erich Von Stroheim in France Part 3: 1953-1955 video Von Stroheim returned to Hollywood in 1950 to appear in what would be the second of the two iconic films in which he appeared as an actor (the first, of course, being La Grande Illusion. As Max, the butler in Billy Wilder’s masterpiece Sunset Boulevard Von Stroheim was playing a role not a million miles from his own life; although now butler to once-great Silent Film Star Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson) Max had once been a great director himself and the film that Norma watches over and over in her gothic mansion is in fact Queen Kelly directed by Von Stroheim and starring Gloria Swanson.

Fri, 30 Nov 2012 18:41:13 +0000
Erich Von Stroheim In France Part 2: 1946 – 1949 video With his outspoken anti-Nazi opinions well documented and his films amongst the first to be banned by the Germans in 1940, Viennese born Von Stroheim had arguably more reason than some native Frenchman to leave for Hollywood in 1940. He was constantly employed as an actor and appeared in nine films between 1940 – 1946. They were mostly good quality but one, Billy Wilder’s Five Graves To Cairo is especially interesting. Wilder, also Austrian, had actually directed his first film in Paris as early as 1934 - Mauvaise Graine featured a young Danielle Darrieux in a prominent role – but in Hollywood he had to be content with screenwriting only until Paramount allowed him to direct The Major And The Minor in 1942. The film was successful and Five Graves To Cairo was his second film as writer-director in 1943. The film was set in North Africa and Wilder hired Von Stroheim to play Field Marshal Erwin Rommel. Although their initial meeting has been well documented there may be some younger readers who are not familiar with it. Wilder, genuinely in awe of Von Stroheim’s triumphs as a director said to Von Stroheim ‘You were ten years ahead of your time’. ‘Twenty’ replied Von Stroheim, no shrinking violet. Wilder also remarked on Von Stroheim’s working methods. As Rommel he was obliged to wear around his neck a case containing binoculars. The binoculars were never actually seen but Von Stroheim insisted on having real binoculars in the case in the interests of authenticity.

Fri, 30 Nov 2012 14:16:33 +0000
Erich Von Stroheim in France Part One: 1934-1940 all In some ways Erich Von Stroheim was a prototype Orson Welles – Writer-Director-Actor and larger than life - he directed his first film, Blind Husbands when Welles was only four years old and like Welles suffered both disappointment and humiliation in Hollywood and again like Welles he abandoned Hollywood for Europe. The clip below reminds us how he appeared in his own Foolish Wives in 1925.

Thu, 29 Nov 2012 11:10:00 +0000
Five Guys Named Bo: Part Two video Unlike his great contemporaries Harry Baur and Raimu Michel Simon preferred to think of himself as a ‘character’ actor rather than a leading man and this lack of ego meant that he was just as happy to let others get top billing – in Quai des Brumes for example Gabin, by now a definite vedette, had his name alone on screen and boxed whilst Simon shared a title card with Michele Morgan. In films since 1924 he had the distinction of starring in Marcel L’Herbiere’s first ‘Talkie’, Ilegitimate Child in 1930. The following year he received top billing, an Above-the-Title credit on Renoir’s La Chienne. You can watch the entire film on Youtube but the clip below should give you the flavour.

Wed, 28 Nov 2012 12:13:18 +0000
Five Guys Named Bo video Even in a 21st century replete with Search Engines, Wikpedias and such it’s still possible to cruise a site such as imdb and be privy to discussion on French cinema where otherwise intelligent people – they’re discussing French cinema so they must be intelligent, right – appear to both accept and take for granted that during the 1930s Jean Gabin was French Cinema. Gabin’s place in the Panthéon is assured and I would neither deny or begrudge him that place, bowing to no one in my admiration for a fine, charismatic actor who, by being in the right place at the right time, came to embody the ordinary, cloth-capped working man in a string of dazzling films, but he wasn’t the only game in town and today I’d like to discuss four male actors of equal stature and active in French cinema during the 1930s who, together with Gabin comprised Five Guys Named B(ox) O(office).

Thu, 22 Nov 2012 18:42:10 +0000
Newsletter: Teaching and Studying French all Read more to view the Newsletter: "Teaching and Studying French."

Wed, 28 Nov 2012 12:49:17 +0000
The 'bonkers' tab all So we all know about the Read, Watch, Listen & Learn...but what about the bizarre?

Fri, 30 Nov 2012 13:47:06 +0000
Ladies Who Launch video I don’t know about you but over the last twenty years or so I’ve seen some excellent films, the kind you watch in the cinema and then buy on DVD so you can watch them again and again. And here’s the thing: a good eighty per cent were French, leaving a meager twenty per cent from Hollywood, England and, indeed, the rest of the world.

Tue, 20 Nov 2012 19:54:57 +0000
Le Cirque at the Barbican all Coming soon to the Barbican: Du Goudron et des Plumes, a jaw-dropping and fantastical act. But how do YOU balance yourself on the history of le cirque?

Sun, 18 Nov 2012 17:52:22 +0000
Bardot vs. Cézanne all One can be found under the pebbles of St. Tropez, the other hiding next to a wonky card table. Culturethèque is back and that means bizarre blogs are back… on ne tourne pas autour du pot !

Sun, 18 Nov 2012 00:29:16 +0000
Annie Ernaux's 'La Place' book Tonight's Reading Group at La Mediatheque welcomes a text which transcends social classes. Read on to find out our culturetheque resources.

Thu, 15 Nov 2012 17:54:35 +0000
How are human beings shaped by both heredity and our environment? book Have you been watching the BBC's new period drama The Paradise? Were you surprised, as I was, to find out that it was based on Emile Zola's novel Au Bonheur des Dames, part of his famous 20-volume cycle, Les Rougon-Macquart - a natural and social history of one family during the Second Empire (1852-70) under Emperor Napoleon III?

Tue, 13 Nov 2012 20:34:00 +0000
Newsletter: Culturetheque, The Return all Read more to view the newsletter, "Culturetheque, The Return"

Wed, 28 Nov 2012 13:03:41 +0000
Blum Steer video By the mid-1930's, both the USA and Europe were knee-deep in the Great Depression. In the US, Franklin Roosevelt addressed the problem via a series of ‘Alphabet’ – TVA, WPA etc – programmes but in France they borrowed an idea that the Russians had been using since their own Revolution in 1917; in Russia it was called ‘collective farming’ but in France they latched onto the idea of workers forming ‘collectives’ in general i.e. everyone helping everyone else to overcome a common enemy in this case the Depression.

Read on to find out about French films from this period.

Tue, 13 Nov 2012 20:04:23 +0000
Cooking with Culturethèque: recipe number 9: Salt Butter Caramel Macaroons book Culturethèque came back in action on the 5th of November, so the 'Cooking with Culturethèque' blogs are also here again!
This time I wanted to have a go with macaroons, one of Paris’ unmissable and tasty delicacies.

Fri, 09 Nov 2012 18:43:45 +0000
The Institut francais invites 5 to 11 year old children to its enchanted Library during the South Ken Kids Festival book As you already know, Culturethèque is the digital platform of the Institut français and is managed by the library team of the Institut.
For the 15th anniversary of the South Ken Kids Festival, the children's library of the Institut and Me Books invite you on the 24th and 25th November in their Enchanted Library for free iPad secrets with Me Books, character vocal training and much more literary fun!

Thu, 08 Nov 2012 14:56:02 +0000
French cinema: Continental Films video Between August, 1940, and May, 1944, some 220 feature films, made on French soil, and utilising French writers, directors, actors and technicians, were released in France. Compared to the 180 titles in 1937 and 122 in 1938, that doesn’t seem a great deal, but between August 1940 and May 1944, France was under German Occupation, raw stock was in short supply, as was talent both behind and in front of the camera, essentials like coal and food were hard to get and, like the man said, things were tough all over.

Read on for film clips and recommendations.

Mon, 05 Nov 2012 13:41:00 +0000
We're back... all ...with some improvements.
Have a look at:
our new comic books
our for the classroom section
our new contemporary literature
our amazing new and efficient conference player so you can listen to French Institute talks.
And the great thing is, there are more to come!

Sat, 03 Nov 2012 19:04:25 +0000
Cooking with Culturethèque: recipe number 8: Fans of melon with Parme ham book Ingredients
¼ of melon
2 slices of Parme Ham
1 tomato
5 chopped up basil leaves

Wed, 29 Aug 2012 15:24:30 +0100
Newsletter: A guide to Free French Content all Read on to view the newsletter, "a guide to Free French Content."

Wed, 28 Nov 2012 13:03:41 +0000
To Photo, or not to Photo all In this day and age we strive to modernise our artistic outlook. We are always a hop, skip, and jump away from the new 'era' of art...but when does controversy go too far? This blog involves the likes of: Oliviero Toscani, Jean-Charles Castelbajac and a whole lot of photography.

Mon, 13 Aug 2012 22:38:57 +0100
Cooking with Culturethèque: recipe number 10: vanilla sablés all Youpi! This is my tenth blog about cooking with Culturethèque. To celebrate that, I have chosen to make a recipe which tastes the vanilla from Guadeloupe and gives us an “avant gout” of Noël.

The "Stars" of the recipe are not only the vanilla beans but also the cookie cutters: starring heart shaped cookie cutter, hedgehog, reindeer and as a “clin d’oeil” to France: a snail.

This recipe is taken from Mes petits gâteaux, by Bérengère ABRAHAM (p.36), 2009

Tue, 13 Nov 2012 12:14:05 +0000
'Paris Syndrome' all 'Paris Syndrome.' What is this? A psychological fear of the French capital? bizarre at it sounds, yes.

The form of intense culture shock was first named by Professor Hiroaki Ota, a psychiatrist working in France in 1986. Japanese tourists have been diagnosed with the syndrome after having arrived in Paris for the first time, only to find that reality did not match the marvellous Parisian romanticism they anticipated. The apparent symptoms of Paris Syndrome could include; hallucinations, vulnerability, dizziness, nervous sweats and feelings of being treated with hostility.

(Before you read on, please note that I am not making this up.)

Wed, 08 Aug 2012 12:59:57 +0100
Pink Martini's 'Sympathique' all Whilst on my morning commute this morning, this jazzy cabaret tune whirled me into a little daydream of being a 1920s flapper girl strutting my stuff in Montmartre. So, I simply just wanted to share (or perhaps remind you) of this gem of a chanson by Pink Martini!

Whilst the lyrics themselves may not have much of an encouraging meaning ("I don't want to work, I don't want to eat, I only want to forget, and so I smoke") (English translation from French lyrics) its melody of dainty piano notes, percussion and brass will no doubt leave you in a swinging mood!

Thu, 23 Aug 2012 12:23:06 +0100
Cooking with Culturethèque: recipe n°7: Warm chocolate pudding-Express style book I have found this delicious recipe in a book available for free on Culturethèque:
Mes petits gâteaux from Bérengère Abraham (2009), p77.

Tue, 31 Jul 2012 09:23:44 +0100
From Paris, with Impressionistic love all "From Paris: A Taste for Impressionism Painting from the Clark" is currently exhibiting in the Royal Academy of Arts (7th July-23rd September 2012). Culturethèque is extremely lucky to extend the experience with exclusive content for all!

Fri, 03 Aug 2012 12:27:54 +0100
Tribute to Chris Marker all Chris Marker has passed way at the age of 91, after over six decades of film-making. He will be remembered for his unique experimental films whose influence on the medium is still felt to this day.

Fri, 03 Aug 2012 12:29:18 +0100
On your marks... all Are you in need for some serious French culture training? Are you a gold medalist in French films? Then why not join the Médiathèque or Culturethèque Olympic team for the brand new READ-athon.

Tue, 31 Jul 2012 16:03:17 +0100
Cooking with Culturethèque: recipe n°6: Chocolate marble cake book Today, I wanted to re discover a classic dessert: the chocolate marble cake.
I have found this very easy recipe in a free ebook available on Culturethèque:
Délices au chocolat from Samuel Butler (2008) (p.56).
Enjoy the recipe!

Tue, 31 Jul 2012 09:22:22 +0100
Je voudrais les 'beans on toast' s'il vous plait. all As a French enthusiast and British student going on my year abroad to Paris in September, excitement is an understatement. I await to explore the City of Romance, to walk along the Seine at sunset, to get lost in a book and feign 'intellectual chic' in a Montmartre café, and explore all the art and history Paris has to offer. What I anticipate just as much is of course, all that glorious French food.

Thu, 26 Jul 2012 16:06:46 +0100
"French déclinisme?" The debate about the so-called 'cultural decline' of France... all An American journalist Donald Morrison, wrote an article in Time magazine in 2007, boldly titled, the 'Death of French Culture.' Unsurprisingly,Quel horreur! sums up the French response.
Since then, the topic of French 'cultural decline' in the current globalised era has become a hot topic. Phrases of 'declinisme' , 'sinistrose,' or as author Jean-Philippe Mathy describes, 'La France qui tombe..' are becoming ever more familiar. Sure, France's culture may be nostalgic about it's past, but is it too bold to say French contemporary culture is losing it's global influence?

Wed, 25 Jul 2012 15:34:23 +0100
Going to Paris during the summer? Find libraries in Parisian gardens! book Just like every year in July and August, the Parisian librarian ensconce in Parisian gardens with carpets, sun umbrellas and books for Children and Family.

Parisian local libraries (35 in total), “Lire à Paris” and “Lire et faire lire” (non-profit organisations) bring stories to children and families in 28 public gardens, all located near a library.

Wed, 25 Jul 2012 13:55:55 +0100
The French radio station 'France Culture' launches 'France Culture Plus': a web radio aimed at students! audio Olivier Poivre d’Arvor (the director of France Culture Plus who has also been the director of the French Institute of the United Kingdom from 1994 to 1999) used the occasion of the summer programme season to announce the launch of a new web radio “France Culture Plus”. This station will be specifically aimed at students and will be available for the beginning of October 2012.

Wed, 25 Jul 2012 13:54:31 +0100
Cooking with Culturethèque: recipe n°5: Cherry clafoutis book Today, I have prepared a traditional recipe from my childhood: a cherry clafoutis.
I have found this “traditional” recipe in a book available for free on Culturethèque:
Desserts aux fruits ... et autres fantaisies from Bruno Olivier (2009), p44
Enjoy this yummy recipe!

Tue, 24 Jul 2012 19:04:22 +0100
When I was 20 years old… all Rousseau, Hemingway, Proust, Flaubert and Colette: what were they doing at the age of twenty? Use Culturethèque to find out: the "à 20 ans" series is now in our stacks. The links to these books are at the bottom of the blogpost.

Fri, 20 Jul 2012 10:48:30 +0100
Le qu’en dira t-on all When I was a kid, I would hear ‘grown ups’ using this phrase and I would immediately fall into some sort of day dream where I would figure out its meaning. What I often pictured was a somewhat surrealist image of a ‘candy’ raton (a young rat, or a raccoon, un raton laveur). But I never managed to understand what ‘candy’ (or qu’en dit-) could actually be. This part remained the unknown figure of the equation until I discovered that ‘candy raton’ was actually spelled ‘qu’en dira t-on’. And then, a new lexical universe opened up!

Tue, 17 Jul 2012 10:20:41 +0100
Talking about another generation all Calling all Anglophones: you may not have heard of the name, or the music, but Mr Johnny Hallyday is the symbol of a musical evolution. Calling all Francophones: I hear your ‘pffft’ when it comes to this name, but just you wait, this blog may change that…

Tue, 17 Jul 2012 10:20:35 +0100
Three sides to the story all As modern historians become more subjective, events such as the independence of Algeria on the 5th of July 1962 become more polemic. Stepping aside from the debates, one forgets that Algeria was different when it came to de-colonisation.

Sun, 08 Jul 2012 23:47:41 +0100
Onomatopoeic Punk Rock - Skunk Anansie and Shaka Ponk all SKUNK ANANSIE and SHAKA PONK will tear up the O2 Brixton Academy this December, but how will two sides of the channel interpret the chameleon-type genre of 'rock'?

Sat, 07 Jul 2012 11:49:26 +0100
Les Philosophes Publiques book We kick-start our discussion with a question explored by the great 16th century essayist Michel de Montaigne: What Is Friendship?

Montaigne’s essay ‘On Friendship’ was inspired his own great friendship with judge and political philosopher Etienne de la Boetie. He describes it as a ‘loving-friendship’ of such perfection and rarity that it’s unlikely to be found once in every 300 years!

Leaving best bud Etienne’s perfections to one side, Montaigne describes their relationship as something more than an ordinary friendship, but not that of lovers. And this seems to be the key point of discussion for Montaigne. What is the perfect friendship and how does it differ from love?

Sat, 07 Jul 2012 11:49:20 +0100
Bloguons français ! all In today's times, we talk the talk of 'blog'. If you want to speak a different blog language, read on!

Sat, 07 Jul 2012 11:48:00 +0100
Taratata all A mix of music from all over the world, all packed up in this little site. Plus, if you have never come across the idiosyncratic character of Nagui then this is for you!

Wed, 04 Jul 2012 18:37:48 +0100
Jusqu'ici tout va bien? all La Haine is a film which either grasps your attention, or gives you a têtes à claques. Ambiguity is at its zenith when it comes to analysing this film. However, at what point does analysis become scrutiny?

Tue, 03 Jul 2012 08:04:36 +0100
Cooking with Culturethèque: recipe number four : Chorizo Omelette book After madeleines, muffins and crumbles, let’s test something salted.
I have chosen this recipe for several reasons:

  • It did not take long to prepare, around 10 minutes
  • it didn't need specific ingredients or special cookware
    This recipe is taken from_ Cuisine au micro-ondes_, Collectif, 2008.
    This book contains 30 recipes that can be cooked easily in the micro-wave.
    Each recipe of the books is illustrated.
Tue, 03 Jul 2012 08:02:57 +0100
La Vie Devant Romain Gary all Get ahead of tonight's reading group with the help of Culturethèque!

Thu, 28 Jun 2012 18:07:21 +0100
Extend the Doisneau exhibition on your tablets all Due to the huge success of this exhibition, « Doisneau, Paris les Halles » from the 8th February until 28th April 2012 (which took place in the Paris Town Hall, with over 110 000 visitors during spring 2012), offers you the opportunity to extend the exhibition with your Ipad, thanks to the free online app, rich in both photos and videos.

Thu, 28 Jun 2012 18:07:12 +0100
Test your Comic Book knowledge! audio Would you like to test your Comic Book knowledge by answering our quizz?

During the BD&Comics Passion festival, which was hosted by the Institut francais from the 24th to 27th June, we offered to the visitors to fill in a quiz about Culturethèque's Comics section.

If you want to test your Comics knowledge too, click here to see the quiz (the question sheet is at the bottom of the page, with the answer sheet too).

In addition to the 13 questions asked in the quiz, we added another question:
14 > Draw yourself as a comic book character overleaf.
Here are some of the drawings which were submitted:

Tue, 26 Jun 2012 11:24:57 +0100
Excitement about Free Online University Courses learn The star link of this post is the online university: Udacity.

I've already posted twice about handy online University courses: here and here. Those posts contain loads of links of courses you can sign up to.

It seems that there is plenty of interest in this domain. I'm currently having some time off work, but that doesn't stop me checking my work emails - and I was happy to read the following email (and discover all the exciting links).

Tue, 26 Jun 2012 11:27:51 +0100
Flashback on a digital comics workshop! book From 24th to 27th June 2012, the Institut français was the host of the second edition of BD&Comics Passion festival, featuring extraordinary creators (Christophe Arleston and Jean-Louis Mourier, David B., Guy Delisle, Karrie Fransman, Tom Gauld, Pat Mills, Kevin O’Neill, Luke Pearson, Grzegorz Rosinski, Jonathan Ross aka Wossy), music (Mesparrow), performances (Freeeks Factory), films and the best booksellers (Gosh!, La Page, Cinebook).
With nearly thirty events including live drawing, talks, exhibitions, workshops, a drawing jam with Mesparrow and a dress-up party, this innovative festival had something for everyone!

Mon, 25 Jun 2012 18:38:27 +0100
Hitchcock vs. Cloclo all Distinctive, modern and modest. Claude François (1939-78) and Alfred Hitchcock (1899-1980) were both recognisable by their persona which shone through their chosen medium of entertainment. But how will we decide who should stand in the spotlight? (A question we ask comme d'habitude!)

Sat, 23 Jun 2012 18:08:37 +0100
Binoche, Barbican and a Battle of the sexes all What do you get if you cross a Swedish playwright, a famous French actress and a piece contemporary theatre? The idiosyncratic Barbican of course! August Strindberg's Mademoiselle Julie will grace the Barbican stage in September 2012, but what are the protons and neutrons of this nucleus?

Wed, 20 Jun 2012 18:03:28 +0100
Cooking with Culturethèque: Cold Raspberry crumble book After introducing the first two recipes: Nutella madeleines and chocolate with vanilla muffins, let’s taste something new!

This time the recipe is taken from Crumbles, by Martine Lizambard. Just like the other cook books on Culturethèque, this ebook is free and accessible to all registered and logged-in users (also, free registration can be found on Culturethèque but is only reserved to UK residents).
The book lists more than 25 recipes from cold to warm crumbles and sweetened to salty ones.

Wed, 20 Jun 2012 15:25:39 +0100
A little bit of news all So you want to be "in-the-know" with the French side of things, but only have a couple of minutes to spare? This is for you!

Fri, 15 Jun 2012 16:48:09 +0100
Alouette, gentille Alouette? all I nearly choked on my morning café when I read a certain article, and I think you will too! Have we really come to the age of cotton wool? Will we ever see a clair lune? I think not...

Wed, 13 Jun 2012 14:34:25 +0100
Save Kensal Rise Library ! book A librarian who works here at the Institut français lives in North London.
He's been following the fight to save Kensal Rise Library.
He also sent me a link about a badly timed closure - unless you prefer irony to libraries.
On the same blog, this article by Zadie Smith is worth a read.

Mon, 11 Jun 2012 14:16:26 +0100
University Courses online. learn Continuing a trend I begun in this blogpost, this post about The Open Academy should make you want to not pay University fees and just stay at home and watch lectures online. I got an email from The Open Academy, and they mentioned one website I've been meaning to blog about: Khan Academy and one I've never heard of that also looks great Coursera.
Don't forget that lectures are often available on iTunes U.

Extracts from the Open Academy email below, along with a little video.

Thu, 07 Jun 2012 18:50:41 +0100
Le Petit Prince sur Vénus all Historically ground-breaking and yet it will never happen again in our lifetime. No, I am not talking about the final of “The Voice”…I’m talking about that tiny chunk munched out of the sun by our fellow planet. This made me think, what is the fascination with space? E.T should phone home and certainly tell us!

Thu, 07 Jun 2012 18:02:49 +0100
Legal free books, films, music and audiobooks online: the top 5 search-it-first websites. all I've been working here over a year now, and blogging for the same amount of time. This blogpost is a little summing up of my favourite rivals to Culturethèque.

Sat, 02 Jun 2012 14:54:28 +0100
The Alternative Albion book What do these things have in common: biscuits, festivity and a touch of traditionalism? The isle of Albion of course! As the jubilee fast approaches, I am forever searching high and low for the changes in British society. Don’t you worry, I have not gone to the dark side (anthropology). I am merely doing what a Franco-Anglo kid has been taught: c'est en forgeant qu'on devient forgeron

Thu, 31 May 2012 19:43:18 +0100
L'arrache-Coeur book The reading group at the Institut français this evening is on Boris Vian's novel L'arrache-Coeur. We've got books of Boris Vian works and ebooks about his work.
Here's a Duke Ellington playlist on Grooveshark to get you in the mood.
You've also got L'écume des jours online for free in its entirety, as well as songs and poems. Extracts from the film are on youtube.
Read on to learn more about Boris Vian and Jazz.

Thu, 31 May 2012 17:17:33 +0100
In-lightenment book Whatever is in vogue always stays in fashion. No, I am not talking about that fat catalogue of adverts; I am thinking about the ideas which prevail… therefore I am, n’est-ce pas?

Fri, 25 May 2012 15:44:00 +0100
Les Philosophes Publiques all Philosophy is a ‘love of wisdom’ and can be cultivated by anyone.

At its best it is a shared process of learning and debate.

This is what we’ll be doing together on the Culturetheque blog.

Join in to be one of Les Philosophes Publiques...

Tue, 22 May 2012 17:20:43 +0100
Les Deux Mulets all One of the most polemic, yet defining moments in history: the Algerian War (1955-62). In today’s times, how do we view the lasting effects or have we become the camarade du mulet

Fri, 18 May 2012 14:02:32 +0100
Enter the BD&Comics Passion & Culturethèque Facebook Competition book How can Culturethèque's Comics section win you 2 tickets for one of the events of the BD&Comics Passion Festival?

From 24th to 27th May, the French Institute, London will host the second edition of the BD&Comics Passion Festival.

Culturethèque is giving away 2 tickets to one of the festival's events: Grzegorz Rosinski telling “All about Thorgal,” which will take place on Sunday 27 May – 2pm-3pm, at the Institute.

Wed, 16 May 2012 15:48:26 +0100
BD&Comics Passion festival - 24 to 27 May 2012 - Meet Culturethèque's team in the Comic Bar of the Festival book Fans of comic books, graphic novels and bandes dessinées rejoice: the international BD & Comics Passion festival is back from 24 to 27 May 2012!
Get ready for four days of fun brought to you by the Institut français in association with Comica Festival, featuring extraordinary creators (Christophe Arleston and Jean-Louis Mourier, David B., Guy Delisle, Karrie Fransman, Tom Gauld, Pat Mills, Kevin O’Neill, Luke Pearson, Grzegorz Rosinski, Jonathan Ross aka Wossy), music (Mesparrow), performances (Freeeks Factory), films and the best booksellers (Gosh!, La Page, Cinebook).
With nearly thirty events including live drawing, talks, exhibitions, workshops, a drawing jam with Mesparrow and a dress-up party, this innovative festival will have something for everyone!

Meet Culturethèque's team in the Comic Bar of the Festival

The Institut's Bistrot will be turned into a Comics Bar during the BD&Comics Passion Festival, on the 26th and 27th May 2012.

Mon, 14 May 2012 14:23:27 +0100
BD&Comics Passion festival - 24 to 27 May 2012 - Highlight on one of the workshops book Fans of comic books, graphic novels and bandes dessinées rejoice: the international BD & Comics Passion festival is back from 24 to 27 May 2012!
Get ready for four days of fun brought to you by the Institut français in association with Comica Festival, featuring extraordinary creators (Christophe Arleston and Jean-Louis Mourier, David B., Guy Delisle, Karrie Fransman, Tom Gauld, Pat Mills, Kevin O’Neill, Luke Pearson, Grzegorz Rosinski, Jonathan Ross aka Wossy), music (Mesparrow), performances (Freeeks Factory), films and the best booksellers (Gosh!, La Page, Cinebook).
With nearly thirty events including live drawing, talks, exhibitions, workshops, a drawing jam with Mesparrow and a dress-up party, this innovative festival will have something for everyone!

Learn how to create digital comics on your iPad in a single workshop
Workshop: learn how to make and publish digital comics on your iPad.
14h-17h / 15£ / 15 people max / Institut français' Médiathèque.

Mon, 14 May 2012 14:22:16 +0100
Read ebooks online. Read them here, and there, and also here and there. book I like the feel of paper. I'm no glue-sniffer but I'll always appreciate the smell of a new binding. Not that I'm against musty books. I love musty books. But I remember the days, not so long ago, when at quarter to three in the morning, I would get home, realise I had an essay to hand in within the next half day and knuckle down to some last minute reading, analysing and extensive quoting. That's when I really love ebooks.

Culturethèque is not the only repository of French books online, these are my top four websites (other than Culturethèque).

Wed, 09 Feb 2011 15:24:33 +0000
Urne all Earlier this month, I had – as an EU citizen - an important electoral week-end.
This experience has given me some ideas on the voting traditions of both France and now England, too.
Went I went to vote for London’s new mayor, I was struck by the quasi absence of ceremonial when I cast my vote in the ballot box. I am not sure if I was more astonished by the absence of proper 'isoloire' (voting booth) or by the fact that I put three unfolded sheets of paper in a cardboard box or that the election clerk did not even look at my hand when I stocked my papers in the ballot box! And I did not get to hear the concluding ‘a voté’phrase which indicates that one is free to go! Or maybe was it that the clerks did not even ask for my ID and that I consequently thought that anybody knowing my address could have voted for me.
Having said that, the whole process must have taken me 3 minutes and I did not queue for ages contrary to what French voters in London experienced during the first round of the presidential elections. See the picture here:

Mon, 14 May 2012 17:43:55 +0100
BD&Comics Passion festival - 24 to 27 May 2012 - Highlight on the Reading group book Fans of comic books, graphic novels and bandes dessinées rejoice: the international BD & Comics Passion festival is back from 24 to 27 May 2012!

Get ready for four days of fun brought to you by the Institut français in association with Comica Festival, featuring extraordinary creators (Christophe Arleston and Jean-Louis Mourier, David B., Guy Delisle, Karrie Fransman, Tom Gauld, Pat Mills, Kevin O’Neill, Luke Pearson, Grzegorz Rosinski, Jonathan Ross aka Wossy), music (Mesparrow), performances (Freeeks Factory), films and the best booksellers (Gosh!, La Page, Cinebook).
With nearly thirty events including live drawing, talks, exhibitions, workshops, a drawing jam with Mesparrow and a dress-up party, this innovative festival will have something for everyone!

Witness London's most French reading group explore a comic book for the first time.
Focus on Marjane Satrapi with Comic book specialist Paul Gravett.

Fri, 11 May 2012 12:04:35 +0100
Le Samsung Galaxy S3 qui veut se faire aussi grosse que le Boeuf book In this day and age we ride the tube with our heads bowed, we speak to head phones and have worked our thumbs to the core. As technology grows, the social standards slip…when will we replace phone hacking with phone smashing?

Thu, 10 May 2012 12:52:18 +0100
L’Éducation (d’Hollande) all Things are certainly hotting up in regard to the French presidential elections. A certain Monsieur Hollande is nearing the finish line, but lest we not assume anything. This week’s fable L’Éducation teaches us the basis of Marx doctrine…with a little help from our faithful friends.

Thu, 03 May 2012 20:22:48 +0100
Iggy Pop sings covers of French classic singers Gainsbourg, Piaf and Brassens audio Ex-Stooges leader is releasing an album entitled “Après” ("afterwards").
On this album, Iggy Pop re-interprets some of the most great figures of “La Chanson française” including Serge Gainsbourg, Georges Brassens, Edith Piaf, Joe Dassin, Henri Salvador. Despite offering another version of French classics songs, Iggy Pop also covers Frank Sinatra and The Beatles.

Mon, 30 Apr 2012 12:32:50 +0100
Gnomonique. all On top of the Mount Saint Odile, a mount near Strasbourg adjacent to the Vosges, my brother and I had a revelation.
I am now certain that this lexical revelation is nothing but a metaphor of Saint Odile’s life: she was born blind and she recovered the sight as holy oil was poured on her forehead when she was baptised, hence her name Odile, which means ‘daughter of light,’ fille de la lumière. And a bonus for a perfect setting: though my brother and I did not have any holy water at our disposal, whoever it was upstairs was sending plenty of water down from the clouds.

Fri, 27 Apr 2012 13:23:33 +0100
Le Stamp et le Hosepipe all An alternative take on the ambiguous La Cigale et la Fourmi. Whilst we all drown away our sorrows with the rise in stamp prices, we are doubly hit with a hosepipe ban. Times awfully hard which has led one to conserve and preserve. Despite this, an Olympic summer is ahead; do we dance maintenant?

Thu, 26 Apr 2012 12:32:54 +0100
Traditional French Cuisine all As with most countries and regions throughout Europe, each has their own food specialities and styles of cooking and the same applies to the country of France. However, there are some distinct and traditional dishes that are unmistakably French. Here are a few of those dishes that are undeniably influenced by French cuisine.

Fri, 20 Apr 2012 11:08:35 +0100
The Political Spectrum in France book La Droite

In my last blog post, I looked at La Gauche in French politics.
This time it’s the turn of right wing politics in France.

I’ve just returned from Paris and was fascinated to see the city in election mode - posters everywhere, the virtually constant political chat on all the news channels and in the city’s bars and cafes.

The first round is but a few days away, so here’s a brief insight into what the French Right are all about.

Fri, 20 Apr 2012 11:08:35 +0100
Anacoluthe book In my last post, on Bachi bouzouki, there was a picture of Capitaine Hadock shouting “insults” at people…among those invectives was the word ‘Anacoluthe’ or ‘anacoluthon’ in English.
This word comes from the Greek ‘anakolouthon’ and is a rhetorical device, a ‘figure de style’. In Greek, it literally means ‘not following’. I don’t know about the English school system, but my French teacher in 3ème (when I was 15) was crazy about rhetorical devices. We had scary exams assessing our ability to recognize them...that was one of the keys to our understanding of literature, he thought. To me, it was sheer agony!

Thu, 19 Apr 2012 20:45:55 +0100
Le Corb-ande et le Ren-kozy book The infamous Le Corbeau et le Renard . Of course we all know it by heart, but does the voice of de La Fontaine speak from the grave? In today’s presidential elections the French are torn between the extravagant and the safe…who will flatteur and who will be fooled?

Thu, 19 Apr 2012 12:22:16 +0100
WORLD PLAYBACK WEEK 2012 audio Improvisational theatre ensembles performing in many languages.

From Tuesday 15 to Sunday 20 May at the New Diorama Theatre, Regents Place, London NW1 3BF, London’s diverse audiences as well as visitors to London in this our Olympic year, will be able to experience a week of Playback Theatre with groups from France, Italy, Hungary, Norway, Greece, alongside UK-based ensembles.

Tue, 17 Apr 2012 16:55:25 +0100
“Tout moelleux” Chocolate and vanilla muffins on Culturethèque book After testing a “madeleines” recipe and offering it to you on my first cookery blog, here's another (but not less “gourmande”) recipe extracted from Culturethèque : “Tout moelleux” Chocolate and vanilla muffins.

This recipe is taken from the Muffins : 750 grammes de plaisir book available for free on Culturethèque. This book offers 60 recipes, including 30 illustrated ones, but all of them original and tasty!

Mon, 16 Apr 2012 12:30:32 +0100
Flaubert vs. Wilde book Question: who would apologise for being too “maimed by extravagance”, and who would else would say “exuberance is better than taste”? Why it is no other than witty Wilde and flamboyant Flaubert. This week, we will need elocution, a dictionary and a touch of dapper as we float inside the minds of these two whizz kids...or should I say virtuosos of language...

Fri, 13 Apr 2012 15:18:23 +0100
French porn comedy HARD has been bought by Sky. video After having hosted the 3 first episodes of Hard second season during the Totally Serialized festival (in February at the Institut français), we are pleased to announce that the first season of the French comedy series about porn will soon be on Sky (thanks to the Box distribution!)

Fri, 13 Apr 2012 11:12:52 +0100
Le Cercle de Lecture Français in Islington all Le Cercle de Lecture Français à Islington only started a few months ago and at the moment, it only has a few members. We meet every three weeks at a lovely café in Islington to discuss a book, or part of a book, we have read over the previous weeks.

Tue, 10 Apr 2012 11:19:00 +0100
Au revoir tristesse book Luxury, lines and love: three different aspects for two similar lifestyles. The luxuries were unlimited, the lines were addictive (as well as necessary) and the love was just a losing game. Queen Elizabeth I and Françoise Sagan put the ‘I’ in intelligence as they always placed themselves first, leaving no room for second or third. Hide away your feminist prejudgements as we explore the true meaning of independent woman.

Wed, 04 Apr 2012 17:00:15 +0100
L'Office National du Film du Canada video The National Film Board of Canada is Canada's twelve-time Academy Award-winning public film producer and distributor.

This is the ONF's suitably retro logo:

Tue, 03 Apr 2012 11:31:55 +0100
Le Long de La Rivière Tendre audio I thought I hated Sebastien Tellier. I thought he was lame trashy europop whose pinnacle was France's entry to Eurovision a few years back. And I saw him on a radio show once, pot-bellied and - I assumed - from the spaced out movements his limbs made - stoned. He wore his trademark sunglasses and creepy beard and his weird combover, weird, in anycase, for someone with such long hair.

But it turns out I'm either an idiot or a hypocrite, because I can't stop listening to this song I came across on Air's Late Night Tales compilation.

Tue, 03 Apr 2012 19:21:54 +0100
Les Gobelins video Following on from my last post about free animation online, another youtube channel you might want to have a look at is the one for the prestigious "école de l'image" in Paris called Les Gobelins. They also have a pretty retro looking logo, but not quite as retro.
I put a video below, but once again, recommend diving down the youtube hole.
I still prefer the Canadian National Film Board, so if you haven't already looked at it, start with my other post.

Tue, 03 Apr 2012 12:30:52 +0100
Two for tea, tea for two video On the one hand, we have a surrealist lady-goth who wears silver cowboy boots. On the other hand, we have a jazz pianist who plays forty faces per minute. On the other other hand, we enter the world of the weird and wonderful where a third hand is essential…
Noel Fielding and Louis de Funès use anything but salt and pepper to season the comedy world. As we explore the mechanics of their minds, we find a plethora of unexpected juxtapositions which confuse reality with dreams. Come with me now on a journey through time and space…to the planet of hibernatus

Fri, 30 Mar 2012 15:39:51 +0100
Video Games Time machine all After introducing the re-opening of The Institut du monde arabe museum, I am going to present another sort of museum: an online one.

Video games time machine is a virtual museum dedicated to video games, that has been launched by MO5.COM, in partnership with Dailymotion.

MO5.COM is a non-profit organization whose mission is to preserve and to broadcast to the general public digital heritage.
The non-profit organization brings together collectors, heritage conservators, specialized journalists, enthusiasts, engineers, teachers, researchers, high-school students, students and young people from all over.

Fri, 30 Mar 2012 15:38:49 +0100
A new space for the Institut du monde arabe in Paris all 3 years after it first opened, the Institut du Monde Arabe opened for a second time on the 21st February 2012.

Fri, 30 Mar 2012 12:25:54 +0100
Close to me – From the Cure to M audio Do you know the French musician M? We have blogged about him before.

Also known as Mathieu Chedid, the grand son of French poet and writer Andrée Chedid and French musician Louis Chedid, M has been making his own melodies and albums for more than 15 years.

Thu, 22 Mar 2012 12:29:18 +0000
Why did the renard lose his cheese? book Wit, sophistication and a whole lot of imagination. As curiosity kicks in, we must ask: who invented the idea of haute grammaire? Who was a master of prose and verse? And who has a planet named after them? Jean de La Fontaine and Rudyard Kipling open our eyes to the world of the wilderness; regardless whether we are young or old.

Thu, 22 Mar 2012 12:29:18 +0000
Tribute to Moebius video Jean Giraud, a French comic-book artist whose dark, intricately drawn fantasy worlds exerted a profound influence on graphic novels worldwide and on American science fiction films like “Alien,” “Tron” “The Fifth Element,” and “Avatar,” died on Sunday 11th March at his home outside Paris. He was 73.

Mon, 19 Mar 2012 15:15:43 +0000
Keats vs. Camus book Do you think with your head or with your heart?
Well, you can have both with the English Romantic or the Absurd philosopher. These two gentlemen turned the world upside-down with the magic of words and language. This week, please have to hand an English tea pot and a scone or a cigarette and a trilby as these literary gods guide us through the deepest darkest depths of our minds…or do they?

Mon, 19 Mar 2012 12:30:29 +0000
The Political Spectrum in France all La Gauche

Its election time in France. In April we’ll see Nicolas Sarkozy’s centre right UMP face le Parti Socialiste (PS) of François Hollande. We’ve heard a lot about these two, but what about the rest?

Mon, 12 Mar 2012 16:16:30 +0000
Ebook lovers book I hate those people on the tube, with their smug little noses in their smug little ereaders, while my poor finger muscles are exhausting themselves over bits of paper (bits of what?) and having to use two hands to get a story into my brain whilst juggling my bag and my coat and my book and my jealousy.

However, Culturethèque requires that I pass on some useful information. So I will, magnanimously, conceal my green-eyed anger with my reading spectacles, and get to the point.

Ebouquin is a blog in French for ereader owners. While I'm ranting, why not vent my angst at the creators of this website? They have cheekily undermined my usefulness by writing this fantastic blogpost about where you find ebooks for free on the internet, which is more comprehensive than mine.

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 17:32:12 +0000
Chaplin surfs La Nouvelle Vague video I know, I know, comparing an era with an individual, it’s against the convention right? Well, that is this week’s theme: the un-conventional. From the forward-thinking Chaplin to the Nouvelle Vague “au naturel” we explore the rejection of tradition which ironically created the trend. Grab your dickie bow ties and moody face at the’s up!

Thu, 08 Mar 2012 12:21:37 +0000
Madame vs. Middleton all Ladies and Gentlemen, roll out the red carpet for the ultimately primped and poised. This week we are in the company of two high society ladies, the charming Courtesan and the delightful Duchess. They both define flair in every sense of the word and show us mere mortals how to live the real conte de fées.

Mon, 05 Mar 2012 13:17:38 +0000
Anouilh online book In terms of ebook, Anouilh is still heavily under copyright, so the best place to go looking is Culturetheque. We've got a Profil Hatier.

Thu, 01 Mar 2012 18:12:01 +0000
Napoléon vs. Churchill book An ostentatious taste for splendour and masters of the elements ruling by land, sea and air these two (almost) characters of Greek mythology had a taste for a good tipple and an exquisite Mille-Feuille. This week we’re heading to Mount Olympus, sorry I mean Mount Napoléo-hill.

Fri, 24 Feb 2012 12:47:50 +0000
Cooking with Culturethèque. <br> Recipe number 1: Madeleines au Nutella (Nutella shell-shaped madeleines) all The first recipe I have experienced from one of Culturethèque’s cookbooks is entitled Madeleine with a Nutella® Heart.

Despite being a fervent web addict and writing blogs and posts on Culturethèque’s Facebook wall, I have to confess that I am also a big fan of bakery. I don’t know why but I have always loved making sweet food. Maybe because I am – except when a catastrophe happens from time to time – pretty much sure that I (and by the way, my friends too) will without fail love anything made with chocolate, sugar and butter. When I arrived in London in late November, I came without my cookbooks – they stayed in France. Fortunately, the Christmas Holidays came and I had the opportunity to come back to London with some bakering equipment. Less fortunate, and due to luggage restrictions, I still have no cookbooks with me! That’s when Culturethèque enters onto the scene! Did you know that we have more than 470 books available for free? From salted to sweet, and drinks and dieting, there is something for every cooking enthusiast.

Thu, 23 Feb 2012 20:01:30 +0000
Gainsbourg vs Bowie audio Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s Mr. Ziggy and Monsieur Chou!…dig out your glam-rock glitter lycra and pair it with une chemise bien taillée, we are heading in disguise to the land of the eccentric! Follow this week’s comic strip with the superheroes of our time…

Thu, 16 Feb 2012 18:38:56 +0000
Free Ebooks in Epub format book You can download them from the BNF's online library, Gallica, by clicking on this link.

Thu, 16 Feb 2012 14:31:00 +0000
Kinetica Art Fair video Watch screenings of holographic art by audiovisual artists on Sunday 12th February.
Londoners, for full details on the Kinetica Art Fair visit their website.

Sat, 11 Feb 2012 20:19:20 +0000
Maison française d'Oxford: listen to lectures for free. audio Perhaps you noticed some recordings on Culturethèque from the “Maison Française d'Oxford”, or a chef and a chemist arguing about eggs in a glass of acid may already have caught your attention!

Thu, 09 Feb 2012 13:59:51 +0000
La Flame de la Manche book The English say: ‘you wear your heart on your sleeve.’
The French say: you raise your sleeve to protest.”
They collect their placards, and yell, "prenez vos désirs pour des réalités!” 

Among both the British and the French, we see this passion burning…quite literally, in many cases.

Thu, 09 Feb 2012 13:21:43 +0000
Kaas sings Piaf at the Royal Albert Hall audio Come to the Royal Albert Hall, on 5th November 2012 to attend “Kaas sings Piaf”. A Patricia Kaas show arranged by Golden Globe nominated composer Abel Korzeniowsk.

Patricia Kaas will be opening a world tour at the prestigious Royal Albert Hall, London on Monday 5th November 2012. The tour entitled ‘Kaas Chante Piaf’ meaning ‘Kaas Sings Piaf’ will focus on 21 of the great Edith Piaf’s iconic songs, arranged by Abel Korzeniowski and commemorate 50 years since the death of Piaf.
With innovative stage design, this unique show aims to be above all contemporary and urban.
It will include a video installation with lighting that is different from anything on the stage today.
Unedited, extraordinary, never seen images of Piaf will be the centerpiece of this unique event.

Tue, 07 Feb 2012 16:18:07 +0000
Thierry Lhermitte on 17th February video French actor Thierry Lhermitte, will visit the Taylorian Institute on 17th February, at 5.30 pm.
Since the late seventies, he has acted in famous comedy films, such as Les Bronzés (dir. Patrice Leconte), Le Père Noël est une Ordure (with his mates from the Splendid comedy troupe).

Tue, 07 Feb 2012 15:26:38 +0000
Truffaut's birthday? video Isn't it better if you think about your mother, not on mother's day, but say, on an arbitrary day, say, today, and post her a little letter, wouldn't she appreciate it more than if you sent her a letter on mother's day?

I'm trying to draw a parallel with Truffaut's birthday. Sure, Google remembered. Sure, none of the Culturethèque bloggers did. So I'm reporting on a little complaint we received.

But, you see, it's always Truffaut day on Culturethèque.

Source documents, overleaf.

Tue, 07 Feb 2012 13:33:26 +0000
Sartre online book I'll just go straight ahead and tell you what I found. The star content is the BBC documentary.

Read on for my links.

Thu, 19 Jan 2012 14:29:13 +0000
Shakespeare vs. Molière book In the boxing ring this week: Shakespeare vs. Molière
Grab your moleskine notebooks and jump inside the time machine - c'est parti!

Fri, 03 Feb 2012 12:25:23 +0000
Last Days to wish you a 2012 Happy New Year! all Wishing you all the best for the New Year!

Success, happiness and new cultural discoveries and re-discoveries on our digital platform.


Thu, 26 Jan 2012 14:43:18 +0000
Academic Earth: another reason to love the internet. learn Did you apply to Yale, get in, but then realise the course fees were $40 000/ year above your budget? Even if you didn't, you may be interested to hear about Academic Earth., a kind of online lecture hall, where you can attend any lecture series at any time.

Here's a link to a Yale course on the History of France since 1871.

Their wikipedia page.

Fri, 30 Dec 2011 15:05:01 +0000
Fixing clocks in tunnels video The Parisian underground has sewers, dead people, a metro, and, being Parisian, artists. I read about this when I was at school in the early 2000s in Paris. A friend sent me an article from Wired magazine on the topic, though I should add that this is by no means "new."

Wed, 25 Jan 2012 13:59:17 +0000
Look smart, watch French films with the second edition of my French films festival! video Last year, we blogged about this online exclusive event organized by Unifrance and Allociné (see here).
For those who didn't read the post, let's explain briefly what My French Films Festival is.

Wed, 11 Jan 2012 11:25:18 +0000
Online airwaves for French expats but not only! audio Have you heard of French Radio London (FRL)?
The slogan speaks for itself: “The French Voice in London”.
FRL is known as the French expats' radio but fortunately it is also aimed at anyone with an interest in French culture.
It covers various subjects from daily news to sports, to art, health and music.

Tue, 10 Jan 2012 14:47:21 +0000
Blogs about French films video Four blogs that talk about French films (among others):
Left-field cinema: "not film criticism, it's film recommendation and analysis"
Cellophane tears: from a film fan who is "trying to watch at least two films a week "
World Cinema: pretty thorough in the number of films it touches on, but not a lot of depth.
Criterion: does a lot of analysis. It's not so much a blog, as a shop, but this essay by good ol' Slavoj is entertaining.

Mon, 05 Dec 2011 13:11:40 +0000
Oxford's e-resources: The Ashmolean all Oxford gets money for interesting stuff. There are probably reasons why the town seems to have a bigger interesting-stuff budget than say, Wittersham, but I'm not going to go into them.

This is the first in a series of blogposts on how that money is put to use.

The Ashmolean museum was recently refurbished (and when they were rebuilding, some sneaky undergrads would break in and climb up onto the roof, for one of the best night views around).

The Ashmolean has updated their website too, with lots of works viewable online. Here's something French. Click on the image for higher resolution.

Thu, 17 Nov 2011 13:31:43 +0000
Literal Translations of French Idioms and Phrases learn I make white cabbage when it comes to idiomatic expressions. As a binational, I frequently sound like I'm from nowhere, and I have other cats to whip than to go around memorising ridiculous phrases, then dig into my head trying to remember them.

I don't have the memory of an elephant, but I do have wikipedia links to French idioms with their meaning and direct translation, or a more complete list with their equivalents in English.

Mon, 28 Mar 2011 17:55:20 +0100
Tailored Texts book Nicolas (the author of this post) sent me a link to this fledgling website, Tailored Texts.

The idea is this: foreign language public domain texts are uploaded and commented on by the Tailored Texts community - user-generated lit crit, essentially, with handy translations. It is still quite small - the most discussed work is Voltaire's Candide with 2329 entries, that means 2329 little annotations to the text, and one user has submitted 2300 - but it looks like the beginning of something that could revolutionise literary commentary and the study of literary texts. The lay-out is not super enticing, but it uses wikis so it is maleable and suits its purpose.

Fri, 04 Nov 2011 13:26:20 +0000
Camille is playing at the Hackney Empire tonight audio Songs from Camille's first two albums were among my University staple listening tracks. I had just left Paris, so this song was relevant. Now that I have an office job (sort of), I find the line in this song very apt: "C'est quand même triste d'être vissée sur sa chaise à mon âge, comme une vieille anglaise."
Anyhow, she has brought out a new album, and tonight she's playing in London at the Hackney Empire.
This is Camille's website, this is a six minute video of the time I interviewed her, and here is her Culturethèque page.

Thu, 03 Nov 2011 12:11:26 +0000
Eight minutes of Harpsichord all For your listening pleasure, on the Bibliothèque Nationale de France's online library, Gallica, listen to the Cinquième Pièce de clavecin en concert, Jean-Philippe Rameau. I prefer the A-side.
For more links like this, have a look at this very early blogpost. Give me points for consistency, at least.

Mon, 31 Oct 2011 16:56:52 +0000
Deezer and Spotify all I used to be able to rely on Deezer. I two-timed for a while, with Spotify. I would put all my favourite tracks into their little search boxes and add them to my playlists. It's just not the same anymore. They've changed; they're not so generous, they want my unwavering loyalty, they want money. They don't want me as I am, and I don't want them. I've uninstalled Spotify's stupid program, and deleted my account on Deezer. A nice, clean break. In short, it's over.

I've started looking around for other options. It's the 21st century; I looked online. Thank the past for print journalism, because Le Point has told me where to go to fill the vacuum: Grooveshark, Musicme, radionomy and Jamendo. I'll tell you how it goes with each of them once I've tried them out.

NB. Don't try Beezik, it doesn't do long-distance.

Fri, 08 Jul 2011 12:17:26 +0100
French cooking blogs book I am writing this blog post despite two major obstacles. Firstly, Culturethèque has loads and loads of cookbooks, and frankly, there is no need to go any further. Secondly, my own diet is made of prepared soups, Galaxy chocolate, six-minute cakes and gluten-free crisp bread. I once managed to make cement out of mushrooms (boil, blend, et voilà), and when I used to cook, most things went from the frying pan and directly into the bin.

So it is with immense generosity that I have spent some time looking for French food blogs, and will proceed to comment and link below. (click on the title of the blog post for a comprehensive list).

Tue, 31 May 2011 18:21:43 +0100
Rabelais online: reading the texts in medieval French book Simon McBurney is coming to the French Institute to talk about the bawdy and hilarious medieval French writer.
I'm going to do a few blogposts to help you find Rabelais online. This one is if you want to read the original texts.

Pantagruel, Le Tiers Livre, Le Quart Livre and a bunch of other works (including Gargantua) in their entirety in medieval French on Wikisource.

This incredible website, set up by the University of Virginia, has uploaded .tiffs of editions of Rabelais from the 1540's and 1550's. They's got Panta, Gargs and the 3rd,4th and 5th books.

There's also this website if you want to read Gargantua but you hate Wikisource (why would you hate Wikisource?), and this one for Pantagruel.

Thu, 06 Oct 2011 10:57:00 +0100
Rabelais online: The texts in English book Rabelais' top 5 works are all on Wikisource in translation. The same translation can be found on Gutenberg - the advantage there is that you can pick your format and read illustrated texts, but the low point is that only Pantagruel and Gargantua have been uploaded.

Mon, 10 Oct 2011 17:28:03 +0100
Rabelais online: multimedia. video It turns out that dying about five hundred years ago does not exclude being all over the internet. We could say, "Yo, François, you're on Librivox, Dailymotion and Youtube," and he'd probably say, "what? that's awesome, I love user-generated content."
Below are links to a film, some podcast, an audiobook, a conference, all of which you can get online for free.

Tue, 11 Oct 2011 12:13:11 +0100
A poem a day on France Culture. audio France Culture podcasts are at times experimental, often extravagantly well-made, but they are very rarely short.
Poème du jour is an exception.

Poème du jour always includes one or two French poems, or foreign poems in translation, and they always ask a Comédie-Française actor to do the reading. They are never more than three minutes long, so remember to take your mp3 player with you next time you need to "just go and get something" or when you'll "be down in a minute, hang on."

Wed, 16 Feb 2011 11:36:24 +0000
Geeks, artists, aliens: Laloux and Topor on youtube. video "René Laloux (1929 – 2004) was a French animator and film director," writes Wikipedia. His career involved working in advertising, working in psychiatric institutions, and working on films. You can find his three feature length animations on Youtube (click on the title of this blogpost). But who is the enigmatic Topor, mentioned in the title of this post?
Below is a picture of a Planète Sauvage film night at my house.

Tue, 30 Aug 2011 18:44:19 +0100
1981-2011 : 30 years ago, the death penalty was abolished in France. book Capital punishment was practiced in France from the middle ages until 1977. The only legal execution method was the guillotine. The last person to be executed was Hamida Djandoubi who was executed in September 1977. The death penalty was abolished by law in on 9th October 1981, under President Mitterrand's presidency.

Tue, 04 Oct 2011 18:28:32 +0100
Two very different coming-of-age films video Should the need to look cultured or worldly arise, anyone – francophile, cinephile, nailphile, whoever – can throw in a reference to Godard, Truffaut or even Klapisch with enough confidence to suggest they know what they're talking about. Get to talking about Pinoteau or Sattouf, though, and you might be met with a few blank looks.

Mon, 03 Oct 2011 10:56:59 +0100
Rockfort audio When I was spending a lot of time at ResonanceFM, a volunteer-run arts radio station based in London Bridge, I'd sometimes bump into a girl with a French accent. It turned out that that she was manning a show on French culture in the UK, cunningly called Rockfort, (that's their blog ... I write "their" because Rockfort is in fact a duo). Here is a link to their back catalog (until 2009, on the Internet Archive website), and here is a link to the ResonanceFM blog.

Sat, 01 Oct 2011 14:36:44 +0100
BD & Comics Festival all I am very excited about the Institut's upcoming BD & Comics Passion festival. Book signings, a party ("cosmic" no less), competitions and workshops... next weekend.

Thu, 29 Sep 2011 13:25:50 +0100
Adobe Digital Editions book If you don't live in the UK, or in the unlikely event that you've read all the contemporary fiction on Culturethèque, here's a link to more free .epubs for your ereaders. Epubs are a format that a lot of ebooks come in.

Adobe Digital Editions is free software. You have to use it in order to read most of Culturethèque's contemporary fiction ebooks, and some of the ebooks in the classics section.

Adobe Digital Editions epubs are compatible with Sony and Samsung ereaders. A full list of the ereaders that are compatible with Adobe Digital Editions can be found here. It does not include Amazon's Kindle, as Amazon has created its own Kindle format, nor does it contain any Apple device.

Thu, 21 Jul 2011 16:07:26 +0100
Artfinder book I spoke to someone who used to work at Artfinder. I checked it out and the website lived up to my expectations. It is better than all the previous art websites I have mentioned on this blog. You can make your own gallery - be your own curator for your own little online museum. Good quality pictures and enormous variety. Here's an August Rodin tour.

Tue, 27 Sep 2011 18:40:40 +0100
The Albert Camus Rebelliously Evolving Blogpost all This blogpost was made to celebrate the uploading of Geoff Dyer's talk on Albert Camus on to Culturethèque.
This is the blogpost:
This week I will be writing just one blogpost - this one - and adding a new Camus link to it daily.
Contents: Camus' entire oeuvre in free, downloadable ebook form / In Our Time radio show on Camus / audioplay adaptations of two of Camus' works / a thematically linked song.

Mon, 12 Sep 2011 19:38:26 +0100
Blow:up video I like cinema. Especially when it’s good. But I don’t like to read Télérama. It bores me. No, what I like best is for you to take my hand and tell me about movies that I haven’t seen, or remind me of those I loved. Add a bit of music and you have my full attention.

Thu, 15 Sep 2011 17:28:09 +0100
Charles Matton exhibition in London video A fellow librarian suggested this exhibition about a French artist. Time Out says,
"In ‘Enclosures’, now open (to October 7) at All Visual Arts in Kings Cross, French artist Charles Matton creates meticulous miniature versions of interiors of the studios of Francis Bacon, Rembrandt, Hopper and Giacometti, as well as Baudrillards’s library and Freud’s study. "

Tue, 13 Sep 2011 11:33:23 +0100
L'Abbé Pierre video Take a walk around the square des Deux-Nèthes in Paris’s eighteenth arrondissement and you might come across a mural depicting Henri Marie Joseph Grouès, who goes by the slightly catchier alias of Abbé Pierre. Take a look (things start getting really impressive around the 1.52 mark).

Abbé Pierre probably sounds like someone from ‘Allo 'Allo, but he was actually very real. This is sort of what he looked like:

Thu, 08 Sep 2011 12:11:33 +0100
Agnès Bihl audio Back in the CD era, I would enjoy buying albums and compilations for anything under a euro (the CD era was not that long ago). Usually, it was music I'd never heard of. Usually, the music was awful. Occasionally, however, I'd get really into something. It was a solitary technique of discovering music. The end result was that I'd know all the words to music no one had ever heard of.

One such album was Agnès Bihl's, "Merci Maman, Merci Papa," which a part from having the obvious advantage of blaming all of one's shortfalls on one's parents, also had some incredible puns. Read on for links and examples of puns by clicking on the title of this blogpost.

Tue, 06 Sep 2011 13:45:06 +0100
Mathieu Chedid audio Having been brought up to the roars of the Libertines and the riffs of Led Zeppelin, rock music conjugated to the language of Molière has always had difficulties finding its place on my mp3 player.
However, one person, equipped with a pink guitar, managed to place himself, unsually, in the hearts of both rock lovers and admirers of French words.

Tue, 06 Sep 2011 18:53:24 +0100
French Hipsters and Japan. audio There are a number of clues that indicate that fashionable Parisians like Japan. It is more debateable whether or not hipsters exist in Paris (according to various sources, hipsters do not exist in Paris, at least not in the typical "we all play synth" way).

A moment ago (and this is the second indication), I received an email from a friend suggesting I blog about a song, "the band are manged by Kitsune which is a French record label/ fashion house. Although I don't know if Culturetheque readers would be into it. I think the animation is excellent."
The video is below.

Fri, 15 Jul 2011 13:51:39 +0100
Vinyl recordings of classical pieces audio There is, perhaps, a contradiction here: I like hearing that crinkly noise over the top of recordings, and I like my music to be digitalised. Some say that it's "new age fun" with a "vintage feel." So be it, I'm a hipster. And I should tell you about those French bands that add the vinyl crinkle-crinkle sound to what could be a crisp little studiorecording, about musician-engineers who like their sound to be special and old, like a boot-legged Brel track, or like rust paint on stainless steel.
But in this post, I want to explore vinyl versions of classical music online.

Thu, 17 Feb 2011 09:43:38 +0000
Bilingual '60's and '70's songs : which version do you prefer? audio It's far from accurate to translate "runaway" as "Vanina," or "comme d'habitude" as "my way." There have been a number of bizarre transpositions like that in pop history, where a singer from abroad like a song and have just hung their own lyrics on it.
Read on to watch the videos.

Fri, 17 Jun 2011 18:56:48 +0100
"The Entire Country Runs On Baguettes": Impressionists on iPlayer. video I recently received this message in my inbox about this iPlayer documentary. A small yet significant portion of my days is spent on iPlayer, so I felt it was my duty to relay the information.

"Further to your recent blog post (no need to credit me by the way, I'm happy being your anonymous friend in the know), just watched this excellent Waldemar Januzsack programme on the impressionists."
(Click on the title of the blogpost to read on).

Mon, 18 Jul 2011 16:25:05 +0100
Online Players audio This is not about online poker; this is not about online dating. This is about online web radios. The other day, I was busy checking out books in the children's library, when I noticed that Anissa had left two windows up in the web browser. Anissa, you should know, listens to a lot of French radio. These were the two windows:
The France Culture live radio player and the France Inter live radio player. It's not like in England where there are plenty of stations grouped in iPlayer. France goes by individual stations to send out the live feed.

Tue, 05 Jul 2011 09:48:26 +0100
Flight of the Conchords video This New Zealand comedy duo are not French.
I showed this video, "Foux de Fafa," to my work mates and they found the stereotype accurate.
It is quite an old video, and I was surprised that my colleagues had not seen it yet, so I took it upon myself to show it to them.
In case you have not seen Foux de Fafa, click on the title of the blogpost to see the video.

Tue, 21 Jun 2011 15:14:37 +0100
A Bel-Ami film from 1947 : watch it online video I was researching links for the Institut français reading group this evening, which is on Bel-Ami (tonight at seven in South Kensington).
And I came across an entire film on youtube.
The Private Affairs of Bel-Ami (1947), 112m, USA.
It's got the lady from Bedknobs and Broomsticks in it.
Here's the link to watch it on youtube.
6.8/10 on imdb.
I've embedded the 8 parts below (click on the title of the blog post to see them).

Thu, 26 May 2011 17:04:09 +0100
Unesco Online Library book I am so excited right now. Apparently the whole world has heard of Unesco's Bibliothèque Numérique Mondiale. Have you ever looked for moss? It used to be one of my hobbies. I used to love hunting about for moss. And it goes like this, you pick pick pick, and then there's none, and you know where all the moss is. Well, I just found a whole load more moss.

What I mean is, this is yet more digitalised media for free online. In TIFF format, so, sorry epub/pdf lovers, no ereader-reading for you... but these are sumptuous books.

After a short browse, my two favourites are from China and from France.

Mon, 11 Apr 2011 17:58:06 +0100
Hip French Ears - pop music in France. audio Can French people be hip? If we accept this possibility, here are some handy links to find out what French hipsters are listening to.

Deezer suggests plenty of songs, it's like an online Spotify but you don't need to download a program.

La Blogothèque is also a very popular source of amusement, at least back when I was trouncing about Paris. It is the equivalent of the Black Cab sessions in that they record videos in an informal environment and artists are forced to perform their songs without studio help.

Tue, 29 Mar 2011 17:37:22 +0100
Médecins Sans Frontières video MSF is a French NGO that provides medical and health infrastructure to war zones. I've been told a number of times that it is among the most efficient NGOs. They have lots of documentary pieces in English on their two Youtube channels. This is their wikipedia page, and this is their Nobel Peace Prize page.

Mon, 20 Jun 2011 17:39:11 +0100
Gallic Books Blog book There is a publishing house that prints translations of French contemporary fiction. They have a blog. They put some great music on there. They've got some great links (Culturethèque, obviously, but also Scott Pack's blog and The Big Green Bookshop). These are my favourite posts:

Thu, 30 Jun 2011 12:01:24 +0100
Bastille Day – Le point de vue d’un anglais à Aix book Yesterday was Bastille Day, the French National Day which marks the storming of the infamous Bastille prison in Paris on 14 July 1789.

Fri, 15 Jul 2011 14:13:51 +0100
International Partnerships in Business Schools conference video The International Partnerships in Business Schools, on how international partnerships in business schools help improve graduate profiles for the future job market, has been uploaded onto Culturethèque's Vimeo account so that it can be watched from abroad.
If you're in the UK, you can watch the conference on Culturethèque.

Tue, 12 Jul 2011 18:49:03 +0100
One of the films I would most like to see ... never got made. video There's a 2009 documentary about Henri-Georges Clouzot's Inferno.
You can read the Guardian article about the documentary about the film, you can listen or read the Leftfield cinema blog or you can have a peek at this incredible extract from Clouzot's footage.

Mon, 11 Jul 2011 18:41:23 +0100
David Lamelas all Wednesday 22nd June at 6.15pm at the Institut français: The Invention of Dr Morel (2000, 25 mins) and The Light at the Edge of a Nightmare (2002-2005, 75 mins). Introduced by David Lamelas.

Thu, 16 Jun 2011 15:04:14 +0100
Art history in French pop music: a music video. video My flatmates told me about this hilarious video by the Franco-American rock group produced in France called Hold Your Horses. The song's title is 70 Million.

A little game: how many paintings can you identify? Just the name of the artists will do, but you get brownie points if you know the title of the paintings, too.
Watch the music video on this blogpost, then leave your guesses in the comment box below.

Thu, 10 Feb 2011 11:15:39 +0000
A Squat in Paris video Before I go into the whole story, I'll get to the point. There used to be a squat called La Suite in south Paris, and it closed down in October 2010. Every Thursday, they'd have a sort of open mic night where people would pay 1 euros and defy all health and safety laws by quasi-vacuum-packing themselves into a fairy-lit basement.

Fri, 03 Jun 2011 17:43:53 +0100
French bloggers and their "bandes dessinées" book There are a lot of bloggers in France who publish some little comic strips as posts.
One of my favourites is "Kek". His strips are short, very funny and easy to understand, too.

He also published a complete comic strip available for free online.

Unfortunately, it hasn't been translated yet but given there are a lot of drawings...

Mon, 23 May 2011 17:54:47 +0100
Engrenages (Spiral): a good French television show that you can find on iPlayer. video Today was a big day for me. I had no idea what to write on the blog. Imagine! Blog block! It's awful. The big blank box. The lack of a doodle. I don't want to talk about it.
I asked around, and Camille said, "what about Spiral?"
"What is Spiral?" you may wonder - as I did.
So I've got two links for you:
ONE - the iPlayer page for Spiral, so you can watch it in the UK, in French, with English subtitles, for free and online (iPlayer is almost as good as Culturethèque).
TWO - a really positive review of it.They say it's "a French cop show almost as good as The Wire." Rien que ça!

Tue, 26 Apr 2011 18:41:05 +0100
Zéro de Conduite video I have watched, rewatched and analysed this film. Please take my word for it: it's a good'un. Among the best in fact.
Zéro de Conduite is about revolution. It inspired another one of my favourite films, If....
It is online for free, legally I think. You absolutely have to watch it before you die.
So here we have:
ONE a link to the internet archive page that allows you to download the film
TWO a link to the wikipedia page.
If you click on the title of this blog post, you can watch the Google video version below.

Fri, 06 May 2011 16:49:28 +0100
Podcasts audio Go to iTunes, go to iTunes store, go to "Podcasts"... do you see all those episodes? Yep, well, they're all free. You can download all or any of them for zero amounts of money, and listen to them anywhere - on a bus perhaps, while you stare out the window.

This is a list of podcasts that the French download the most:
(click on the title of the blog post for the list).

Wed, 27 Apr 2011 19:58:12 +0100
A Levels (French). Part two: using (and other dictionaries). learn So, you've put your translation through the translate tool on Google docs, but you have a nagging feeling that you shouldn't trust a computer to write your sweat and tears into another language.
It feels more honest, doing it word-by-word using

Wordreference is made using a combination of online dictionaries, but most importantly, user-generated forums on particular expressions. A translator's heaven.

Two other dictionary websites I like:

Thu, 24 Mar 2011 17:24:07 +0000
Audiobooks Online audio Today, I've been tip-toeing around the internet, finding links for the Culturethèque, because we're like that at Culturethèque – we like sharing.
I am a radio enthusiast, and grew up listening to story tapes. I like downloading stories and putting them onto my mp3 player and listening to them while I travel places. So my instinct was to not only link Culturethèque audiobooks to Culturethèque ebooks, but to stretch further, and make links to non-Culturethèque internet spaces. I've put the links on the individual pages, but for your comfort and ease, here's a list of the best of this morning's pickings.

Sat, 22 Jan 2011 16:14:03 +0000
French Podcasts : A Compendium audio There's a secret mailing-list among UK universities' French departments - French culture enthusiasts bounce back and forth about François Hollande, books that they've written, conferences - that sort of thing. It's not really that secret.
Recently, one man had a question about podcasts, and he got plenty of responses and sent a list back round. I asked him if I could put it on this blog and he told me to "spread the word." So here we are, some word-spreading. Of course, he wrote about Culturethèque, but I'm assuming you know about that website already.

(Click on the title of this blogpost to see the full list.)

Fri, 18 Mar 2011 13:45:52 +0000
Vous utilisez la bi-bi-si pour apprendre le français? learn At school, I loved the "parascolaire" section of the enormous secondhand bookshop. Last year, I was sorting through my books and I come across these dated (2004/5!), flimsy little books and question why I became so addicted to them, and why the little Hatier logo had the same effect on me as a carambar.
In the U.K, there seems to be less of a market, but the internet has some sweet sites. Here are three examples:

Fri, 25 Mar 2011 12:08:44 +0000
The Illusionist on 16th July video We are a North London community arts group about to screen The Illusionist. The event is intended to be a celebration of Bastille day and of all things French. Entry price is only £1 per person and this includes

Read on for more details.

Thu, 07 Jul 2011 14:00:39 +0100
There'll be no new blogs until 1st August. all Have a look at the blog archive if you get bored, but don't rely on me to blog while I'm in a mountain house with no internet! It's not gonna happen!

In the meantime, you could fill your days by writing a potential blogpost and emailing it to

Fri, 08 Jul 2011 17:03:26 +0100
Anish Kapoor at the Grand Palais. all WHO: Anish Kapoor.
WHAT: A giant red thing (contemporary art).
WHERE: At the Grand Palais, in Paris.
WHY: It's a French government initiative.
WHEN: May 11th – June 23rd, 2011.

Fri, 13 May 2011 16:06:05 +0100
Discovering the Internet Archive audio "The Internet Archive, a non-profit, is a digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form. Like a paper library, we provide free access to researchers, historians, scholars, and the general public."

It is a like an enormous Culturethèque, so ... I like it.
The main difference is that all the content is volunteer-based and/or in the public domain.

For today's post, I thought a link to an audiobook of Goethe's Les Souffrances du Jeune Werther, in French translation, would be a nice start to this week of discovering the glories of the Internet Archive.

Mon, 11 Apr 2011 13:07:10 +0100
Free music downloads from Gutenberg audio I recently discovered that Project Gutenberg wasn't simply a place to go for millions of free eBooks (even in Kindle format) but also supplies the earth with plenty of sound recordings - download Debussy here and other people here.

Thu, 21 Apr 2011 19:27:36 +0100
A Levels (French). Part one: where to find pastpapers. learn I know it's weird sitting at home at your desk, pretending you're in exam conditions when really iPlayer is only six and a half steps away. But give it a go, it's a win-win situation.

This website has the last couple of years' worth.

Mon, 21 Mar 2011 18:55:53 +0000
Learning French at Intermediate Level learn Hark, A2, B1 and B2 learners! If you know what those letters mean, I suggest you go along to this website... it has some useful language-learning tools, especially if you like the South-West of France and plan to travel there. The website also has a daily-life themed page and a colourful kid's page with games and cartoons. For teachers, there's this bit.

Fri, 29 Apr 2011 14:57:38 +0100
Françoise Hardy audio I've been building up the music section on Culturethèque with the help of some brilliant videos from the French Archives. I wanted to mention three things to do with Françoise Hardy, but couldn't fit them gracefully on to the page.
NUMBER ONE: The series of videos with Françoise Hardy in London, all on Youtube.
NUMBER TWO: Tous les Garçons et Les Filles a lovely yéyé song. I should also balance that out with Sylvie Vartan's Pour Aller Danser, and France Gall's Poupée de Cire, Poupée de Son (written by Gainsbourg, no less).
NUMBER THREE: This shockingly awesome picture of Hardy:

Sat, 16 Apr 2011 14:55:52 +0100
The Open University's freebies for learning French learn There was a mega-conference here the other day, and some people from the Open University gave a conference on everything they had to offer.

Right at the end of their presentation there was a section on all their online freebies. I'd advise French learners to got to iTunes, go to iTunes store, go to iTunes U and search for "open university French". I just had a peek and there is plenty on offer, for free.

The lady giving the presentation also spoke of free annotated French books - do you know where I can find these?

Tue, 24 May 2011 16:11:07 +0100
There's a Guardian podcast on French literature. audio A little bird told me (a twitter post) about this podcast.

Tue, 19 Apr 2011 13:10:58 +0100
A Condemned Man audio I spent a while dawdling in the imaginary corridors of The Internet Archive and found yet another free French audiobooks website.

The lay-out of Audiocite is horrific, but the content is the opposite.
And just for the heck of it, I've embedded a player of the reading of Hugo's The Last Day of A Condemned Man. (Click on the title of this blogpost to get to it).

Thu, 14 Apr 2011 18:45:35 +0100
Diamonds and Auctions all "Tout ce qui est rare est cher, or un cheval bon marché est rare, donc un cheval bon marché est cher."
Are these rare or expensive? Or both, perhaps.
ONE: a house that looks like a boat.
TWO: a French diamond that dates back to when France had a monarchy.
Don't forget that on Google documents, you can use the "translate" button, and it is often more accurate than Google translate.

Fri, 18 Feb 2011 15:55:19 +0000
L'Abbé Pierre video There are things the French do that can get on British nerves, but la Fondation de l'Abbé Pierre is never one of these. L'Abbé Pierre was not only a résistant, but also helped set up one of the most important and active charities in France.

In the context of this charity, a series of web-documentaries were made on the topic of different sorts of what France calls "mal-logements" (dodgy, or bad, housing). In 2010, 3.6 million French people were living in substandard conditions.
This series approaches the issue from a number of angles ranging from evictions, unhealthy or unsafe conditions to issues relating to social housing.

Director Samuel Bollendorf, uses an innovative narrative technique in order to get the message across, combining photos, videos and 360° interactive viewing of the houses with a faceless, factual voice-over from the residents, thereby managing to avoid personal or emotional voyeurism.

The documentaries are in French, with French subtitles.

Tue, 15 Mar 2011 14:34:09 +0000
Soirées lyriques de l'Opéra de Paris - Thursday 26th May at the Institut français audio Following the success of the first Soirée lyrique in January, the Institut français is delighted to welcome back young professional soloists from the Opéra de Paris for a second concert at Ciné lumière.

Tue, 03 May 2011 19:20:08 +0100
Researching social, human and regular sciences in French journals without leaving your home (almost) learn These journals are great for students and researchers.

Persée is great tool that's available anywhere in the world. It was set up by the University of Lyon who regularly digitilises thousands of scientific journals.

Cairn is only accessible from the Institut français in London and a selection of other libraries in the UK. Cairn gives you access to hundreds of human and social science journals.

Thu, 10 Mar 2011 16:56:59 +0000
Christine Angot will read from her latest novel Les Petits on Tuesday 17 May 2011 in London book The Contemporary Women’s Writing in French Seminar is delighted to welcome French author, Christine Angot, who will read from and discuss her latest novel Les Petits (Paris: Flammarion, 2011) on Tuesday 17 May 2011, at the Institute of Germanic & Romance Studies, University of London, Senate House, 5.30-7pm, in Room G37.

Angot will also answer questions from the audience and sign copies of her books (which will be on sale). The event will be in French.

Mon, 09 May 2011 17:20:39 +0100 and Dailymotion team up for Le Salon Du Livre video's Dailymotion channel is, as Charlie Sheen has been saying, "winning." Anissa enthusiastically told me about it this morning, because they just made a chunky new playlist to welcome Le Salon du Livre (the one in Paris).

This is what she told me:
"The "Institut national de l'audiovisuel" offers, during the whole session of the Salon du Livre and until the end of the month of March, free and integral viewing of the programmes led by Bernard Pivot between 1975 and 1990, i.e. 724 programmes.
Internet users can view free of charge interviews of French and international thinkers such as Sojenitsyne, Nabokov, Yourcenar, Levi-Strauss, Bernard-Henri Lévy etc."

Yes, you can go and watch Milan Kundera and a man obsessed with spelling (Bernard Pivot) talk about Kafka and Orwell. I know you had a dream about it back when you were sixteen. Or was that just me? Oh.

Thu, 17 Mar 2011 18:49:04 +0000
23RD MAY: WATCH "HOME" ON CULTURETHEQUE video A feature-length documentary, here on Culturethèque.

Tue, 10 May 2011 11:59:46 +0100
Studying in France: an open day in London learn CampusFrance is a non-profit national Agency serving the public interest and acts under the supervision of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs and the Ministry of Higher Education and Research.

Dedicated to the promotion of French higher education, CampusFrance offers international students a path to success and assists them with college counselling, information, and application procedures.

In partnership with the Coopération Universitaire Service of the French Embassy (student-services agency), this open day will serve to better familiarise representatives from UK universities with the resources and benefits open to those studying in France, by covering subjects ranging from education options to research facilities. Guidance regarding student transfers and general mobility will also be provided.

Click on the title of this blogpost for details of this open day.

Mon, 04 Apr 2011 18:09:12 +0100
Algeria in Manchester all Set against the backdrop of recent social turmoil and a complex colonial and political history, New Cartographies: Algeria – France – UK showcases the work of ten emerging and established artists from the three countries, charting the influence of family, memory, migration and cultural heritage on identity, and mapping an intricate web of connections across the Mediterranean and beyond.

Tue, 05 Apr 2011 16:35:41 +0100
Booksale in London, Saturday 21st May. book For months now, we've been turning our fingers grey in preparation for the enormous booksale this Saturday. The library of the Institut français plans to buy new books, and so we need you to help us get rid of the old ones. We librarians have been finecombing shelves of art books, graphic novels, books about film, history books, cookbooks, novels, children's literature, taking out slightly damaged or slightly old ones. We're also putting all our VHSes on sale.
Click on the title of this blogpost for details.

Tue, 17 May 2011 17:17:09 +0100
Baz Baz and Winston Mc Anuff at the Favela Chic 18th May all On the 17th, they'll be playing at the Notting Hill Arts club.

Mon, 09 May 2011 15:39:32 +0100
Le Journal de Delacroix - find it online book I was behind the desk in the library today, the physical one, not Culturethèque (I'm always behind the Culturethèque desk), and a man came to me with a very specific request.
"Do you have Delacroix's Journal?" he asked.
I looked it up in the library catalogue and found the Institut Français only has an audiobook of selected extracts. The eventually decided to borrow the CD but seemed disappointed. I asked him whether he'd searched online yet.
"No, no, that hadn't crossed my mind."
He put the audiobook in his bag and I carried on looking for open source versions of Delacroix's Journals. I found plenty.
I looked him up in the lists and found his email address, I emailed him my findings, but the email bounced.
That made me sad.

I have copy-pasted the email and links below, so that my brief frenzy of research was not in vain.

Tue, 08 Mar 2011 18:55:05 +0000
Bob Dylan ... in French audio Call it a travesty, or call it what you will, this website translates all of Bobby Dee's lyrics into French. Under the picture is a complementary "Ecoute dans le Vent," the French version of "Blowing in the Wind."

Thu, 24 Feb 2011 13:21:17 +0000
Oui Love Tour: it's the French Invasion! audio Team Ghost and Anoraak, two of France's hottest new talents will be on the Oui Love tour in May this year, supported by a band selected from the UK's music academy Access to Music student network.

The remixes will be released on a limited edition 7" out in collaboration between Oui Love and Sonic Cathedral.

Sat 14 Brighton, The Great Escape.
Mon 16 Bristol, The Louisiana.
Tues 17 Birmingham, Hare & Hounds.
Wed 18 Manchester, The Castle.
Thu 19 Liverpool, Liverpool Sound City.
Fri 20 London, CAMP (with after-party DJs until 4am)
Not only is the tour going happening, but the bands have remixed each other. You can stream and download the tracks here.

Thu, 17 Mar 2011 11:24:07 +0000
A Casual Pick of French language Vimeo videos. video I can't get over how generous people are on Vimeo. The quality of content is often professional, but vimeo also has a strong sense of community, keeping it friendly and lo-fi. Comments are never offensive (unlike youtube!) and there is a great deal of respect among users for each others' work.
This is a link for a group on vimeo called Courts Métrages Français.
Below are three videos I picked out this morning.

Tue, 01 Mar 2011 12:43:38 +0000
Sonia Wieder-Atherton, Exclusive Event at the Institut français audio Cellist, interpreter of a very broad repertoire reflecting her imaginative world, a designer of projects, and a musician sought after by many contemporary composers, Sonia Wieder-Atherton occupies a special place on today's musical scene.

Prior to her residence at Kings Place on 17, 18 and 19 March 2011, the French cellist Sonia Wieder-Atherton introduces three of her creations: Chants Juifs, Vita (Monteverdi's madrigals and Giacinto Scelsi’s Trilogy for cello solo) and D'Est in Music, with images taken from Chantal Akerman's film, D’Est. Sonia will discuss her upcoming programme, perform some extracts from her new CD Vita and talk around some images. This event is a unique occasion to discover the richness of this great musician and the links she creates between art forms and different worlds. There will be a Q&A and CD signing.

Tue 15 Mar 7.00pm | £10, conc. £8 | in English | Institut français du Royaume-Uni

Sat, 05 Mar 2011 16:59:12 +0000
Serge Gainsbourg died twenty years ago audio He's had a film in his honour, plenty of anthologies, a large amount of musical references, but Anissa and I just wanted to remind you of this cheeky little song he wrote in his early days.

Thu, 03 Mar 2011 18:14:20 +0000
Eugène Labiche’s "Edgard et sa bonne," 22nd - 23rd March in Manchester. video Cosseted mummy’s boy Edgard realises the time has come to contract an advantageous marriage… all that stands in the way is his ongoing dalliance with the housemaid, who has no intention of finding herself jilted! A mordant satire of class, money and sexual mores, Labiche’s sparkling comedy remains utterly contemporary and utterly hilarious.

Fri, 04 Mar 2011 11:10:47 +0000
Live: Keren Ann @ Jazz Café - London - on 6th April audio Keren Ann was in Lady and Bird, she collaborated with the Symphony Orchestra in Reykjavik. Then she made this song, and she was saying on the front page of the Guardian website how she wrote it. This song (click on the title of this blogpost to find out which one) was produced by EMI France.

Fri, 01 Apr 2011 11:22:28 +0100
Gallimard book 2011 is the centenary year for the French publishing house Gallimard.
The Bibliothèque Nationale de France is celebrating this anniversary in an exhibition that goes back through the history of Gallimard.
You can view some exceptional pieces, as well as unpublished documents, such as manuscripts, photographs, correspondence, reading cards, posters and audiovisual archives from the 22nd of March until the 3rd of July 2011 at the National French Library in Paris. For English residents, you can see what's on offer here.

Fri, 25 Feb 2011 11:03:54 +0000
'Do Not Abandon Me' : Louise Bourgeois and Tracey Emin at the Hauser & Wirth all This is what they say it's about:
"Hauser & Wirth is proud to present ‘Do Not Abandon Me’, a collaboration between Louise Bourgeois and Tracey Emin consisting of sixteen intimate works made over the past two years. These drawings articulate physical drives and feelings, candidly confronting themes of identity, sexuality and the fear of loss and abandonment through joint expression."

Wed, 23 Feb 2011 15:39:01 +0000
La Caravane Passe and Le KKC Orchestra all the Favela Chic (in London) on the 25th February.

Fri, 18 Feb 2011 18:15:37 +0000
London, February, Gigs. audio Pick of the crop: some French gigs in London this month.

Tue, 15 Feb 2011 11:44:47 +0000
Eight Women at the Southwark Playhouse until 9 April video Eight Women can be seen at Southwark Playhouse until 9 April.

Read a review here.

Mon, 21 Mar 2011 19:28:21 +0000
Parisian duo I AM UN CHIEN playing Wednesday 26 January at the Favela Chic in London audio Vive La France presents the Parisian duo, I AM UN CHIEN, “Two human dogs playing with electro sounds”. Imagine The Prodigy meeting Rage Against the Machine and having a party. Electro heavy, dance heavy, head banging bliss.In partnership with the French bureau music export and Eurostar, and now, Ricard, the “Vive La France” series of gigs launched in early 2010 at Favela Chic in Shoreditch London.
Restaurant and bar open 6.00pm
Music from 7.30-1

Mon, 24 Jan 2011 17:56:40 +0000
My French Film Festival - 1st Worldwide Online Film Festival in January! video For the first time, an entirely virtual French film festival enable everyone, wherever they are in the world, to have access to a selection of films and vote for their favourites. From 14-29 January 2011 film buffs worldwide will be able to access all the films proposed in the 1st edition of the online French Film Festival.

Mon, 10 Jan 2011 19:04:21 +0000
Albert Camus' The Plague at the Barbican London. video Albert Camus' The Plague at the Barbican London, 8pm Saturday 15 January 2011.
Crouch End Festival Chorus.

Fri, 26 Nov 2010 11:13:12 +0000
Joyeux Noël et Bonne Année: Alliance française de Manchester. audio Discover some of the wonderful events taking place at the Alliance française in Manchester over the holiday season and into the new year! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Wed, 15 Dec 2010 16:12:55 +0000
Film Documentary Month: Children and the environment! learn Combining the Youth Festival and our previous celebration, the European Film Documentary Month, this blog offers you some children's resources to discovery and enjoy learning about environmental issues in a fun and accessible way.

Fri, 12 Nov 2010 10:34:47 +0000
The Environment - Documentary Film Month! learn November is documentary film month in France and all French médiathèque libraries all over Europe are celebrating this fantastic event! The Institut français is proud to present the 11th edition of the European Documentary Film Month and Culturethèque is pleased to offer you all you need to know about this year's theme: the environment.

Fri, 29 Oct 2010 14:40:14 +0100
Hubert Reeves - Conteur d'étoiles video Discover this documentary portrait of the Franco-Quebec ecologist, Hubert Reeves, a humanist, an astro-physicist and a scientific thinker. He fights to allow the future generations of the human race to live on a habitable planet. In his opinion, the hours is now to make a change. He reminds us that scientific discovery renders us responsible for the upkeep and care of planet earth. If we don't fight for the same cause, our home will soon become a hell of our own making...

Watch the full film here on Culturethèque!

Fri, 29 Oct 2010 14:45:16 +0100
Art, Art and More Art! book If you're an art history and painting fanatic, now is the time to indulge! There are so many exhibitions on at the moment between Paris and London that you'll be spoiled for choice! Find out all you need to know about the Gauguin exhibition at the Tate Modern, the Foire Internationale d'Art Contemporain at the Grand Palais and the Frieze Art Fair. Enjoy!

Fri, 15 Oct 2010 13:09:14 +0100
On the Catwalk: Paris Fashion Week! video Maybe you couldn't be in Paris for Fashion Week! That doesn't mean you can't enjoy all the action from afar! Discover all the Spring/Summer 2011 trends from Chanel in the following videos!

Fri, 08 Oct 2010 16:05:53 +0100
Paris Fashion Week! book Fashion Week has just finished in London but the fun is not over yet. Paris Fashion Week is in full swing on the other side of the Channel and we are celebrating all that is 'fabulous' here on Culturethèque! Below, find links to events, fashion shows and blogs to discover all you need to know!

Fri, 01 Oct 2010 11:03:10 +0100
Daniel Pennac and poet Michael Rosen at the book launch of School Blues. audio Listen to the conversation between Daniel Pennac and poet Michael Rosen at the book launch of School Blues.

Thu, 30 Sep 2010 12:44:27 +0100
Le Français par les peintres: an exciting new online language-learning resource learn Le Français par les peintres is a new resource lauched by the Courtauld Institute of Art in 2010. This project was co-founded by the Centre de Langues at the Institut français du Royaume Uni and The Courtauld Gallery, London.

Fri, 24 Sep 2010 11:53:00 +0100
Prix Littéraires: Actualités book Keep up to date with the 'Rentrée Littéraire' and the various nominees for the French Literary Prizes with the following links:

Première sélection for the Goncourt Prize 2010

Première sélection for the Renaudot Prize 2010

Premiére sélection for the Wepler Prize 2010

Fri, 17 Sep 2010 13:04:46 +0100
Yann Tiersen touring in UK in October and November audio Fresh from releasing a new single, “Palestine”, from his eagerly-awaited album, Tiersen hits the road in a show which will push musical boundaries, and examine his repertoire under a renewed musical light.

Thu, 22 Jul 2010 11:50:53 +0100
Jean Michel Jarre "2010" Odyssey in October in UK audio The French composer, performer, and producer Jean Michel Jarre, regarded as a pioneer in the electric, synthpop, ambient and New Age genres, return to the UK for the second leg of his “2010” tour.

Thu, 22 Jul 2010 11:50:53 +0100
Archives on Moubarak video Reading today's papers, this depiction of Moubarak when he came to power, is startling.

Fri, 11 Feb 2011 17:35:04 +0000
Bastille Day on Culturethèque book Celebrate Bastille Day on Culturethèque with our selection of documents and join the bal at the Alliance française of Manchester

Mon, 12 Jul 2010 17:16:41 +0100
Ici France Inter Londres @ Institut français all France Inter is getting organised for 18 hours of live broadcasting at the Institut français. A joyful Landing

Fri, 18 Jun 2010 10:59:26 +0100
Map of Festivals in France this Summer video Find the festival next door when in France during this Summer

Thu, 29 Jul 2010 17:42:13 +0100
Jazz in Marciac Festival (Midi-Pyrennées): 30 July - 15 August audio Treat yourself at the 33rd Jazz in Marciac Festival. Food and Music, what else?

Thu, 29 Jul 2010 17:42:13 +0100
Virtual Exhibition: Free French in London and the Institut français during the War book With the Appeal of June 18th, General De Gaulle came to the fore as a national hero for Free France. In light of the significance surrounding this historical appeal which is commemorated across London and in France, the Institut français has decided to focus on the role of famous as well as everyday Free French during the Second World War.

Mon, 14 Jun 2010 14:49:14 +0100
Mina Agossi @ Tron Theatre, Glasgow on June 21st audio The Glasgow International Jazz Festival, the Alliance Francaise and the French Music Export Bureau have teamed up to enable French-Beninese Jazz Singer Mina Agossi to perform to her growing UK audience. Mina Agossi will be performing at the Tron Theatre, Glasgow on June 21st, 8pm.

Tue, 08 Jun 2010 13:28:32 +0100
Intense Intimacy: The Cinema of Claire Denis video A Watershed programme touring the UK and Ireland in June and July 2010

Tue, 08 Jun 2010 13:13:20 +0100
Yes, Oui Love! Four french Bands touring in UK in may 2010 audio In may 2010, the The French Music Export Office in London set up a tour with four talented french bands: The Bewitched Hands on the top of our heads, Curry and Coco, Revolver and The Shoes. Watch some sounds and words from them.

Tue, 08 Jun 2010 10:08:41 +0100
Your Digital Photo @ Culturethèque Launch Party all Get your digital Photo shot at the Culturethèque Launch Party! Simply email with the subject "Culturethèque Launch Party" and we will provide you a link to access and download your photo. All artwork by Marko93.

Tue, 01 Jun 2010 16:49:14 +0100
L'Académie française book Get closer to the pre-eminent French learned body on matters pertaining to the French language.

Thu, 27 May 2010 12:57:49 +0100
Back in England: Charlotte Gainsbourg @ Shepherd's Bush Empire on 22 June audio The daughter of British actress and singer Jane Birkin and French singer-songwriter, actor and director, Serge Gainsbourg, Charlotte Gainsbourg represents a true triple-threat: singer, songwriter, and actress.

Tue, 25 May 2010 17:51:48 +0100
Use Culturethèque to prepare your French courses. learn Find all the books you need to prepare your French lessons on Culturethèque and browse for more.

Mon, 24 May 2010 18:21:51 +0100
London call to France: The 18 June 1940 appeal Anniversary all On 18 June 1940, as the French government prepared to sign an armistice with the Nazi invaders, General Charles de Gaulle broadcast on the BBC to France.

Sat, 22 May 2010 19:08:25 +0100
"HOME" by Yann Arthus-Bertrand - Watch in English and/or French! Copy video Home is a 2009 documentary by Yann Arthus-Bertrand. The film is almost entirely composed of aerial shots of various places on Earth. It shows the diversity of life on Earth and how humanity is threatening the ecological balance of the planet. The movie was released simultaneously on June 5, 2009 in cinemas across the globe!

Discover this formidable documentary here on Culturethèque in the original French version or in English below:

Fri, 29 Oct 2010 14:45:18 +0100
"HOME" by Yann Arthus-Bertrand - Watch in English and/or French! video Home is a 2009 documentary by Yann Arthus-Bertrand. The film is almost entirely composed of aerial shots of various places on Earth. It shows the diversity of life on Earth and how humanity is threatening the ecological balance of the planet. The movie was released simultaneously on June 5, 2009 in cinemas across the globe!

Discover this amazing documentary here on Culturethèque in the original French version or in English below:

Fri, 29 Oct 2010 14:40:08 +0100