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French News Round-up Posted by on Sep 14, 2021 in Culture, Film & Theater, News

Keeping up with the news is a great way to expand your cultural knowledge and practice your vocabulary. This week we take a look at some of the latest headlines in a little French news round-up.

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French News Round-up

It’s been a while since we’ve looked at what’s happening à la une des actualités françaises1the headlines in French current events. The past week’s highlights include a death, a trial, and a slowdown while the week ahead is culturally rich.

Jean-Paul Belmondo

The great French actor Jean-Paul Belmondo passed away last week. Bébél, as he was sometimes known, was a giant of French cinema whose career exploded with À bout de souffle2Breathless, in English, though a more literal translation might be closer to ‘Out of breath de Jean-Luc Goddard … ushering in the genre known as la nouvelle vague3the new wave de French Cinema.

Over the course of his career he worked with many great French réalisateurs4réalisateur is the term for a director on films. You may also encounter the expression metteur en scène which is also a director, but comes from the theater. The two terms are often used interchangeably when speaking of film. (including Louis Malle and Francois Truffaut), actors (notably another giant of French cinema, Alain Delon), and actresses (from Catherine Deneuve, Jeanne Moreau, and Sophia Loren to Sophie Marceau, Merlene Jobert, and Mia Farrrow).

Le 9 septembre5September 9th, a national ceremony was held for Bébel at which President Emmanuel Macon à prononcé l’éloge funèbre6delivered the eulogy.

Slow it down

As part of its ongoing efforts to réduire la place de la voiture à Paris7reduce the role of the car in Paris et améliorer la qualité de l’air8improve air quality la Marie de Paris has been making moves for some time now to reduce car traffic in the city.

Initiatives have included la fermeture des quais de la Seine aux voitures9the closing of the quais along the Seine to cars, the establishment of une Zone à Faible Émissions (ZFE)10a Limited (weak) Emissions Zone, and plans to create more pedestrian zones in the city. The latest move to make the city more people friendly is a 30 km/h speed limit for cars within the city limits which went into effect le lundi 30 août11Monday, August 30th.

While I’m all in favor of safer driving, less cars, and less pollution, I have to admit that the news made me nostalgic for the days when my French host brother would race me around Paris – including les quais – in his Peugeot 205 at speeds that would have made my mother cringe!

According to a recent IFOP survey, “Les Parisiens et les Parisiennes se révèlent largement favorables à l’entrée en vigueur d’une limitation quasi-générale de la circulation à 30 km/h (61% d’entre eux y sont favorables dont 29% y sont même « très favorables »)12The Parisians (male and female) show themselves to be largely in favor of a near-global reduction in speed to 30 km/h (61%, with 29% “very favorable”)\. The survey also reveals that “[l]a majorité des Parisiens demeurent favorables à la politique de réduction de la place de la voiture dans Paris (58%)13the majority of Parisians remain favorable to the idea of reducing cars in Paris (58%).

You can see what else the current residence of la région parisienne think about the latest developments here.

Ailleurs à la une14Other headlines

Almost 6 years after the horrific events of le 13 novembre15November 13 2015 in Paris, le procès16the trial against those accused of perpetrating the terrible terrorist attacks “qui ont fait 130 morts et des centaines de blessés à Paris et Saint-Denis17that left 130 dead and hundreds injured in Paris and Saint-Denis has begun in Paris.

Ce week-end (le 18 et 19 septembre)18This weekend (September 18 and 19) is the 38e édition des Journées européennes du patrimoine1938th edition of the European Days of Patrimony. You can explore the events planned in France (and accros Europe) here.

This weekend will also see the official unveiling of the wrapped Arch de Triomphe, an event that not everyone, it appears, is happy about. L’architecte20The architect Carlo Ratti feels, among other things, that the time is wrong for a wasteful display of this kind. While that may be a valid point, the material is already cut, the work is under way, and I, for one, am excited to see (sadly only virtually!) what it will look like!

Zazie dans le métro . . . et ailleurs !*

Ever-changing Paris

French Culture – What do the French think

Featured/cover photo by Kaboompics .com from Pexels

  • 1
    the headlines in French current events
  • 2
    Breathless, in English, though a more literal translation might be closer to ‘Out of breath
  • 3
    the new wave
  • 4
    réalisateur is the term for a director on films. You may also encounter the expression metteur en scène which is also a director, but comes from the theater. The two terms are often used interchangeably when speaking of film.
  • 5
    September 9th
  • 6
    delivered the eulogy
  • 7
    reduce the role of the car in Paris
  • 8
    improve air quality
  • 9
    the closing of the quais along the Seine to cars
  • 10
    a Limited (weak) Emissions Zone
  • 11
    Monday, August 30th
  • 12
    The Parisians (male and female) show themselves to be largely in favor of a near-global reduction in speed to 30 km/h (61%, with 29% “very favorable”)
  • 13
    the majority of Parisians remain favorable to the idea of reducing cars in Paris (58%)
  • 14
    Other headlines
  • 15
    November 13
  • 16
    the trial
  • 17
    that left 130 dead and hundreds injured in Paris and Saint-Denis
  • 18
    This weekend (September 18 and 19)
  • 19
    38th edition of the European Days of Patrimony
  • 20
    The architect
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About the Author: Tim Hildreth

Lise: Maybe not always. Paris has ways of making people forget. / Jerry: Paris? No, not this city. It's too real and too beautiful. It never lets you forget anything. It reaches in and opens you wide, and you stay that way. / An American in Paris


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