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This past month has had its share of news. Some of it happy, some sad, but as we say au revoir (good bye) to janvier (January) and look towards le mois de février (the month of February), a few in particular are worth pausing on in this week’s review of recent news out of l’Hexagone.
Tintin a 90 ans
Our first story isn’t really from France, but since his arrival on January 10 il y a quatre-vingt-dix ans (90 years ago), le petit reporter belge (the little Belgian reporter) has been a part of French culture around the globe. Like Asterix and other great French-language BD (bandes dessinées / comics) they are a great tool for new language learners with their (relatively) simple stories, recurring characters, and pictures. Les albums de ses aventures (the comic books recounting his stories) were a key part of my learning French 30 years ago when I lived in France.
France selects its next Eurovision star
Samedi soir, le 26 janvier (Saturday evening, January 26) France selected 19-year old Bilal Hassani to represent France at this year’s Eurovision competition. Hassani’s winning song Roi (King) was coécrite (co-written) by last year’s French Eurovision entrants Madame Monsieur. In a combination of English and French, Hassani, who likes to incorporate wigs and makeup into his wardrobe, celebrates diversity and being true to who you are.
Mort de Michel Legrand
On the same day that Bilal Hassani won his ticket to Eurovision, Oscar-winning composer Michel Legrand passed away. Know for his scores of Les parapluies de Cherbourg and Les Demoiselles de Rochefort, Legrand also composed for English-language films including The Thomas Crown Affair, Summer of ’42, and Yentl (for which he won Best Original Song and two Best Original Score Oscars respectively).
An update on les Gilets Jaunes
Malheureusement, les affrontements entre les Gilets Jaunes et les forces de l’ordre continuent. The confrontations which have roiled France since early November have left 11 people dead and resulted in over 3,000 injuries (1,900 civilian, 1,200 law enforcement officers). And sadly, the two sides seem further apart than ever as the escalating use of force by les forces de l’ordre (law enforcement officers) angers protestors.
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