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    « In France, where they *really* enjoy their breakfast cereal | Main | Marathon-thon »


    hahaha, thanks for that, elizabeth. although i have to say french new wave cinéma leaves me cold (i tried so hard not to fall asleep during pierrot le fou, to no avail), jean seberg is too damn cute in breathless although if i watched the film again i'd probably be dégouté by her accent, too.

    qu'est-ce qu'on peut faire? (on sait pas quoi faire.)

    The first ones I saw (just after college) left me cold. (La Peau Douce I really hated the first time). But I can't believe it was not until this summer that I saw 400 Coups and Jules et Jim, both of which tie for my favorite.

    He's not quite New Wave - more of an influence on New Wave - but any film by Jean-Pierre Melville is worth watching.

    Love your blog BTW.

    I love Breathless. One of my favorite movies and Seberg's hair in that film was the inspiration for my very short pixie cut. And an ill-advised purchase of some cat-eye sunglasses that look terrible on me.

    Another favorite French film of mine is "Cleo de 5 a 7" directed by Agnes Varda. It's wonderful.

    I absolutely loved this post.

    too funny -- I'll have to have my husband look at this post. He had to learn French for work (he's a Canadian snr. civil servant) and it took a long, long, time with 8-5 days of private instruction in which he'd try to hear the difference between two sounds and then try to reproduce the correct one.
    At our local Blockbuster, and probably at most of them, we always get warned that the film we're choosing is, oh no, subtitled! And to be fair to the employees, they probably do the warning because they've had outraged customers come back complaining that they have to read while watching their film, on top of having to listen to another language! Double the bad, I guess . . .

    Yes, yes, the horror of the subtitled film! My town of Charleston SC has a charming little independent theatre, and many of my friends look at me in disbelief, or sometimes not even that strong an emotion (more like it's not even something within the realm of possible) when I mention that I'm going to see a film in ANOTHER LANGUAGE.

    I've always loved Seberg's hair in this film, and wish that I had the head to have mine cut that short.

    ha! too funny!

    La nouvelle vague had such an incredible impact on French cinema and world cinema in general. Great period in film history.

    Oh and speaking of anglophones speaking French...I came across this woman who is an Anglophone but sings in French. Yes she has an accent when she speaks but the accent is somehow lost when she sings.

    Delphine, She's so cute! I loved that!

    a technical explanation: I think the reason the accent disappears when Andrea Lindsay sings is this: it sounds like she has an accent when she speaks because the voice is placed really far up on the back of the throat when it has been trained to speak English, as opposed to French, which resonates in the facial palate (any singers out there will know exactly what I mean). But when she sings, her voice is naturally placed further forward in the palate than when she speaks, so that element of foreignness is gone, and the only clue to a possible accent is in the pronunciation of the consonants.

    jean seberg speaking french, to me, is only moderately more annoying than jane birkin speaking it: "soixante-neuf, année eeerrrohtique"...

    Hee. Adorable post.

    I hate that thing about hearing your own voice or someone speaking with the same accent and wanting to rip their tongue out.

    The VERY WORST is when I accidently hear my cell phone messagerie. I couldn't bear it, so ALL I said on the message was my first name. With a French accent. Yet even that is enough to make me cringe and want to throw my cell phone against the wall, smashing it into a thousand pieces.

    Like that would help. No, then I would have 2 problems, a bad accent AND a broken cellphone.

    hee, I love this post and A Bout de Souffle. Jean Paul Belmondo is gorge in it, even though he's supposed to be all shady and corrupting and all that. Nice, sensible men are so boring?! I always thought him saying c'est degueulasse (just had to scroll up twice to spell it correctly) was about her shopping him to les flics...

    too funny. I love breathless.

    I, too, was a frequent renter of "She's Out of Control" but could never figure out the deal with the tights pulled over the knees with a short skirt. Not ever a good look. But a funny movie.

    Nice and mythical film.
    I also think to the remake "breathless" with Richard Gere.

    You back in town. Me too. Have to catch up. You call me. Me happy.

    This made me laugh. I've learned over time to giggle at the bad accents of anglophones speaking French (and not only because I have one too!), since I work in close proximity to senior civil servants and politicians in Ottawa-- I'd be cringing all of the time if not laughing my silly little head off. :)

    Now you're ready for "Bonjour Tristesse," in which Seberg's English is almost as flat as her French.

    I saw Jean Paul Belmondo in a restaurant in the 6th once. I was sitting with two Americans who spoke French as you describe. Having seen a fair amount of these New Wave films, and after 10 years in Paris (at the time, now its 15 years), I felt my French was moving into a new phase. Then I asked the waitress if she would get me Belmondo's autograph. It was a moment of weakness, but in rapid French she declined with a half-smirk, it was not appropriate. My American friends said, "Wha'dshesay?" "Not her table," I told them. "Eat your salade niçoise."

    Seberg's hair or Farrow's hair in Rosemary's Baby...whose is chicer?? Love Breathless...

    I am so happy you've discovered the pleasures of French New Wave. You should watch Godard's A Woman Is A Woman, starring his ultimate muse Anna Karina -- her outfits are so impossibly chic and French -- and My Life to Live (also with Karina, in her own chic cropped hair-do). Godard's Masculin/Feminin is lots of fun... all sex and socialism. Melville's Le Samourai is very stylish, sexy, and existential... The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, a New Wave musical starring Deneuve, is absolutely beautiful (and again has great outfits).

    Your observation about Seberg's accent is very funny. It doesn't seem fair that she gets away with it, does it? Or maybe her fellow storymates are very nonplussed and postwar and just not bothering to give her the old "where are you from?" everytime she opens her mouth.

    A Bout De Souffle is such a wonderful movie. So slow and poetic. It's funny I remember having the same xperience when i was little back in Madrid ... going to the biggest video rent place, alas Blockbuster, with the hope of finding some gem and coming back home with Pretty Woman for the umpteenth time .. ^_^

    Love your blog <3

    Well at least you know there is a difference, even if you don t hear it , thta s the beginning of frenchification ;-)

    I love this movie and Jean Seberg is SO CHIC .
    I like the song of Claude Nougaro about this movie

    "Poule, pouuuuule."

    I LOVE! your photos of that outdoor screen with the fragments of their heads...

    Ahhhhh, I too saw A bout de souffle for the first time several years after moving to France and was stunned by how marvelous it was... I had already bought a copy of it on DVD for my boyfriend, after he raved about it, but then insisted on seeing it one random day in a cinema in St. Germain des Près -- boy, was that a great decision!

    'Course, I couldn't get over Jean Seberg's accent too! And oh, how I love her hair... I sported a pixie cut for years but it never looked anywhere as chic as that! (not nearly so...)

    How fab it must have been to see this en plein air... But I was far from Paris at the time.


    Just wanted to let you know that 'La Coquette' is one of my 5 picks for 'Blog Day 2007'

    Here is the link to my Blog Day 5

    Bon week-end

    'The French Guy from New Jersey'

    great blog!

    You're getting outdoor French New Wave cinema at the Jardins?...

    They had an outdoor film here at the Place de la Comedie about two weeks ago, The Sixth Sense, with French voiceovers, and let's just say that I was not at all pleased.


    Clearly, I'm in the wrong part of France. :0l

    How perfectly right that last bit was. How many times have I heard - "non pas bous, bus, u, u." Its utterly frustrating...

    great post! i loved breathless in college...though i dare not see it again lest it lose its charm and sour the sweet memories :)

    i also grew up in florida--land of men in sleeveless shirts and girls in cut off shorts. thank god for video stores and tattered issues of vogue.

    Ah, ah, great post indeed!
    This film as a lasting charm, and as a die hard fan of Jean's I can watch it again and again.
    One point though:
    In my memories the exact line is "C'est vraiment dégueulasse" — and then Patricia asks "Qu'est-ce que c'est 'dégueulasse'?"
    So I'll watch it again to fix the point.
    One more point: American girls speaking french with an accent are A-DO-RA-BLE. Please don't improve yours too much!

    This post made me laugh so hard! Whenever I speak French I always think about how everyone is secretly rolling their eyes over my "American" accent. I have trouble believing that the French *really* find it charming!!

    xox Girl and the City

    i met jean seberg in San Francisco just after she had made St. Joan for Otto Preminger. Her first movie. She was lovely. very fresh. She told a woman from her home town, Marshalltown, Iowa. "I am not v. good in the movie." It did not matter because she LOOKED lovely in the movie.

    When I first saw Breathless....I was so touched, happy for her. She and Belmondo were knockouts. So was the movie.

    Lovely post! But I think the line you quote is actually: "I don't know if I'm unhappy because I'm not free, or if I'm not free because I'm unhappy." Big difference, non? :)

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    Ha, I'm less charitable—as a French-speaking American, I always feel frustrated because "HEY I could have pronounced that better than her!" Because, I suppose, I am jealous. Of her celebrity? Of her attention as an American who OMG speaks French? Who knows?

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