Annual French Dinner 2019

Chers Amis,

Have you registered for our annual French dinner?
While the dinner will be on Tuesday 30 April 2019, registrations must be returned by Tuesday 16 April 2019.
See full details of the delicious menu in our members' email.

Don't forget too that our next meeting will be on this Wednesday ..
10 Avril 2019 à 19h30
in Dark Horse Coffee House,
30-34, Hill Street Belfast BT1 2LB (Directions attached)
Topic: Art event: Mirka MORA
Speaker: Felicity Haire

Remember to make sure of your place at the table for our annual French dinner return your registration to …

Ray Largan, CFB Treasurer, 9 Dalboyne Gardens, Lisburn BT 28 3BX to arrive by Tuesday 16 April 2019.

Looking forward to seeing on 30 April and on Wednesday evening.

À bientôt, Philip

Bulletin mensuel : avril 2019

Chers Amis,

There is quite a lot coming up in April so let's begin with our own Cercle events.

The next meeting of the Cercle Français de Belfast will be on …

Mercredi 10 Avril 2019 à 19h30
in Dark Horse Coffee House,
30-34, Hill Street Belfast BT1 2LB (Directions attached)

Topic: Art event: Mirka MORA
Speaker: Felicity Haire

Observations on how this French-Australian artist’s insatiable spirit brought Parisian chic into Australian popular culture. Not only does Felicity draw upon extensive research to paint her portrait of the artist, she will also delight us with her own anecdotes as she knew Mirka personally. This promises to be a very special evening, in English and in French.
Note also that our cine club presentation this month is directly linked to Felicity's talk.

Cercle Français de Belfast's Cine Club.

This month our soirée cinéma becomes a 'cinema in the afternoon' event on ...
Sunday 14rd April
at 2:30pm (Please note the new starting time )
in The Sunflower Pub, 65 Union Street, Belfast (Directions) ...
with a screening of …

Monsieur Mayonnaise

An epic true story adventure starring artists, werewolves, heroes, Nazis, a comic book & baguettes ….with lashings of French mayonnaise!
Monsieur Mayonnaise is an artist’s epic adventure into his family’s secret past. Australian artist and film-maker, Philippe Mora (son of Mirka Mora), investigates his father’s clandestine role in the French Résistance in WW2 and his mother’s miraculous escape enroute to Auschwitz. Philippe, a Hollywood cult-horror movie director and pop-artist, adopts a Film Noir persona to tell his family’s story.

Dîner annuel Cercle français de Belfast ( Tuesday 30 April 2019)

Some folk have reported difficulties in opening the attachments to the 'Dîner annuel' email. I'm sorry about this especially as it seems they were not able to see the delicious, mouth watering menus. Attached is a new version of the email in PDF format which hopefully will overcome any problems. Remember reservations need to be returned with payment to: Ray Largan, CFB Treasurer, 9 Dalboyne Gardens, Lisburn BT 28 3BX to arrive by Tuesday 16 April 2019.

Franco-Irish Literary Festival

Jointly organised by the Alliance Française de Dublin and the French Embassy the 20th Franco-Irish Literary Festival (5thand 7th April) has a its theme “Women”
If you can't make it for the whole weekend, the main sessions take place on Saturday in the beautiful surrounding of Dublin Castle … et c'est gratuit.
The festival programme is online at ...

Bal Feirste's next Workshop/Bal will take place on ...

Saturday 13th April 2019
In The Sunflower Pub, Union St, Belfast (upstairs)
Dance workshop: 17.00-17.30
Bal: 17.30 - 19.00
(this is a free event, donations welcome)
Remember no experience or partner needed. The Bal is a time to practise your moves and guidance will be given at the start of each dance.

Looking forward to seeing you soon.

À bientôt, Philip

Tristes nouvelles : Anne Taylor. April 1932 - February 2019

It was with great sadness that we heard of the passing of our friend and colleague, Anne Taylor on her recent trip to Dublin.  Anne died suddenly, shortly after returning to her hotel following a meeting at the James Joyce Centre there.

Anne organised and led frequent tours in the footsteps of Joyce and his characters.  Her enthusiasm for the author was plain to see when she gave an erudite and delightful talk to the Cercle in 2016, entitled, James Joyce is alive and well and living in Paris.  We had encouraged members to contribute to the atmosphere of the talk by coming dressed in period style.  Anne outshone us all with her elegant attire and feathered headdress.  It was a treat.

She would later reprise the talk at the James Joyce Centre, Dublin and at an event in Lurgan, this time bringing along a period chair to add a supportive touch of gravitas.  Although an acknowledged expert on Joyce, Anne was also passionate about literature and books.  She read widely and among other writers had a special interest in Simone de Beauvoir.  It was thanks to that interest that she agreed to give our upcoming March talk on Feminism in France: Before and after de Beauvoir.  She had planned, using examples from the literary and political spheres, to take a light-hearted look at the position of women in France, from the sans-culottes to the present day.  She had shared her ideas with our présidente, Allison, who reports that Anne had travelled to France last summer to gather pictures and anecdotes about de Beauvoir.  Philip, who worked closely with Anne on her multimedia presentations, additionally noted that Anne was going to mention Room 10a in the Hôtel la Louisiane, where Simone de Beauvoir (along with many other French writers) stayed.  It was also the hotel in which Anne stayed on her visits to Paris.  “What a pity,” commented Allison,”we’ll never get to hear that talk in all its glory!”

The committee plans to proceed with the meeting scheduled for 13 March as a testimonial to Anne.  It will take place in the recently opened Orpheus, close to the Dark Horse Café.  Plans for that special evening are still unfolding but the intention is to pay tribute, through anecdotes, literary readings and song to the energy and wit of such an exceptional person.

Elle n’est plus avec nous et elle nous manquera beaucoup.

CfB committee

Alexandre DUMAS: The Count and the Musketeer

Chers Amis,

Just a little reminder that our next meeting is on ….

Wednesday 27th February at 19h30 
in Dark Horse Coffee House, 
30-34, Hill Street Belfast BT1 2LB (Directions attached)
Topic ... Alexandre DUMAS: The Count and the Musketeer
Speaker ... Ray Largan

Ray explores two of Dumas Pere’s great works for evidence of how he, through the use of his pen, artistically avenged the taunts and racial slights which both he and his father, General Thomas Alexandre Dumas, suffered during their lives.

Cercle Français de Belfast's Cine Club.

Our soirées cinéma continue on ...
Sunday 3rd March
at 7:00pm in The Sunflower Pub, 65 Union Street, Belfast (Directions) ...
with a screening of the 2016 film …

Le Tout Nouveau Testement (English Subtitles)

In this quirky comedy God lives in human form as a cynical writer with his young opinionated daughter in present-day Brussels. She concludes that her dad is doing a terrible job and decides to rewrite the world.

Director: Jaco Van Dormael

Writers: Thomas Gunzig (scenario), Jaco Van Dormael (scenario) 

Stars: Pili GroyneBenoît PoelvoordeCatherine Deneuve

You can watch the trailer here …

Looking forward to seeing you soon.

À bientôt, Philip

Nuit de la lecture - 19 janvier 2019

Un GRAND merci à tous ceux qui ont participé à la 3e Nuit de la lecture ! - Allison

Mai 1968

Speaker, Vikki Nelson, with copy of Paris Match from 1968
Our latest Cercle talk on the 14 November with Vikki Nelson was introduced by Allison through the use of a photomontage going back to the beginnings of their friendship in Paris.
Allison remarked that as Vikki had made an in-depth study of les événements de mai 68 for her university dissertation she was ideally suited to explore this very interesting period in French history and to provide some retrospective analysis in this its 50 year anniversary.
Proudly displaying a copy of Paris Match from the time, Vikki outlined her approach saying that she would provide some political and economical context of 1960s France as well as events further afield. She would then detail the various organisations and key people who took part before describing what actually happened; how protests developed and eventually ended.
To help bring the events to life  (and refresh the memories of some of us) she would display some photos and posters, read some related literature and conclude by sharing some observations on the consequences of mai 68.

In setting the context, Vikki looked back at world-wide protest movements of the time and then charted key periods in recent French history: Les Trente Glorieuses from 1945-75, La Guerre d'Algérie from 1954-62 and The Vietnam War from 1955-75.

She went on to discuss those who were involved in the May events starting with the organisation, Situationist International (Les Enragés) claimed to have written the best leaflets, texts and slogans.  Among the students and workers in the protests, one of the key figures was Daniel Cohn-Bendit, a German national who only very recently obtained French citizenship. Vikki commented that while he was confident and charismatic he had no strategy.  She posed quite a few questions when considering the March 22 Movement. Why, for example, did workers join demonstrations which were initially about students protesting the Vietnam war and educational reform? Why risk a criminal record for these causes?  Next she considered the National Students' Union and the Lecturers' Union introducing us to other key players, Jacques Sauvageot and Alain Geismear respectively. These two and DC-B were shown together in a photo taken at the time. Others involved were Georges Marchais of the Communist Party and of course Président Charles de Gaulle.

The sequence of events was deftly explained, starting with an incident on the campus of Nanterre, quickly followed by a student protest at the Sorbonne to which police were called. Many students were arrested with the help of the CRS - Compagnies Républicaines de Sécurité. There was considerable resistance, tearing up/throwing cobble stones (pavés) and putting up barricades leading to an escalating police response.  The students called for a march to take place on 10 May but this was blocked by police and that night became known as "la nuit des barricades".  Hundreds of students were arrested and many hundreds of students and police were hospitalised.  Public sympathy for the students increased and workers joined the protests - beginning the largest wildcat strike in French history.   Students saw an opportunity for major societal change but Charles de Gaulle sensing that French people were ready to return to stability announced that he would dissolve the Assemblée Nationale and call fresh elections.  Hundreds of thousands marched in support of his call.  The student demonstrations continued into June but momentum had been lost and de Gaulle won a resounding victory.  Ironically, ten months later, his bid to change political institutions further by holding a national referendum of regional reorganisation and reform of the senate failed and de Gaulle's career came to an end.

Vikki then posed a series of questions. Did the protests fail? At least initially but ultimately succeeding? Were too many organisations involved? Was there a lack of long-term strategy?
Why were the students not so concerned about the Algerian war?   Discussion flowed on these points and others raised by members of the attentive audience. Vikki and Claudine read extracts from various publications, some of which were contemporaneous and others more recent drawn from the body of work that marks the 50th anniversary.

As the talk drew to a close we were directed to some archive film about the events and were treated to a different photo-montage, this time using a series of iconic images. Some of the posters and graffiti were very striking - Si on brûlait la Sorbonne? and Nous sommes tous "Indésirables" along with many others.

This was an enjoyable and information-packed talk which while dealing with events 50 years ago holds many lessons for today.
Retrospectives are a bit like that.
More please.

Thank you Vikki - un très grand merci !

There are dozens of videos relating to mai '68 on Ina - site officiel de l'Institut National de l'audiovisuel. If you are not already subscribed there are various packages available.  Why not click on the link here for more information?