15 mai 2020

Quelles nouvelles ? mai 2020 Venturing out

Quelles nouvelles ?

In this occasional note from Paris where he lives, Cercle member John Crothers has been in touch to share some observations about his first métro journey in over two months in the City of Lights.  

thought the idea of "fashion masks" would take hold - here it is in evidence today, in a boutique window in St-Germain-des-Prés!

My first time to venture out into central Paris by métro for over two months - everyone respecting seat instructions; very few people on platforms when I travelled at 12 noon; everyone wearing masks - of varying types; finally, a maximum of four people or so in each carriage. 

At Montparnasse, all the RATP staff were wearing visors as well as face masks!
I have a feeling that this is far better than what's happening in the Tube in London... 

My hairdresser strongly agreed with me the other day when I said, "French people like to think of themselves as undisciplined - it's almost a point of honour to proclaim yourself 'Mediterranean'. 
But, when it comes to the bit, they're extremely well disciplined, in fact!"

Take care of yourselves,

John was one of the founder members of the original Alliance Française de Belfast, now the Cercle français. Although living and working in Paris he keeps in close touch with the cercle and we are delighted to hear his news and updates on life in France. 

04 mai 2020

Bulletin mensuel : mai 2020

I hope that you are keeping well. These difficult times have affected us all in different ways but one thing we share is the tremendous debt we owe to the brave men and women on the front line who help keep us safe.
This month's bulletin is longer than usual with news of a new departure for the Cercle and lots of ideas for keeping in touch with France and all things French.
Votre cercle virtuel
Next week we will be launching our first ever virtual talk online. Watch out for an email arriving in your mailbox on Monday next (4th May) giving full information.


French-linked websites

Today some committee members share a few of their favourite French-linked websites they have enjoyed over the last month.

Elaine recommends
MyFrenchFilm Festival
Happily the festival has just announced an extension of its StayAtHome edition to 25 May. As well as continued access to shorts the extension now includes selected feature films.
One of the shorts is a great animation 'Kiki of Montparnasse'.

Jonathan enjoys reading and recommends:
Lire en ligne (Read online) is a phenomenal resource that can be utilised to read on your tablet / computer les œuvres of the most famous French authors, playwrights, philosophers and poets including Balzac, Dumas, Hugo, Maupassant, Pascal, Rimbaud and Rousseau to name but a few. Also included are the works of Andersen, Darwin, Kipling, Nietzsche, Shakespeare, Twain and Wilde and many more - all in French!
Suffering from eye strain? Then just switch on the bluetooth speaker that sits on your mantelpiece / windowsill and listen to their selected works - all in the beauty of the French-spoken word.
Cost: FREE

Take Google's virtual tours of nearly all your favourite French museums to see the works of the painters and sculptors who influenced the world. The list is endless - simply type your request in the search bar.
Cost: FREE

Jonathan also reminds you of our own online presence at ...
Cercle français de Belfast's eponymous blog for French-linked happenings in Belfast
Cost: FREE

And pick up on what's happening in the French-themed world via our very own twitter feed 
Cost: FREE

Henry has produced a Playlist just for us and posted it on both Spotify and Deezer. He writes ...
Here is a playlist of well known French songs for the month of May. It is to get you into the gallic mood of a holiday in France and as you listen you can pretend you are listening to the radio as you speed down the Autoroute du Soleil towards Provence. 
We have given you the links for both Spotify and its French equivalent Deezer which is currently free to download. 

One feature of Deezer not found on Spotify and helpful to those of us still learning French is the little microphone beside the song on the playlist. Click on this and the lyrics come up on your screen rolling with the words sung. This is helpful when trying to make out that lyric and a painless way of improving your French. 

Deezer is different to Spotify in that it has a more French feel to its music choices , and podcasts. 
I personally find the searches on Deezer more " clunky" and less intuitive than Spotify but that may be because we all know and understand better the systems we use most.
This may be a virtue in that it sends you sometimes to somewhere exciting and new, where you can find new music which turns it all into an adventure.

Try both and compare. In order to play you will need to download one or other of the systems to your phone, tablet or computer. If you sign up for the three month free trial of Deezer premium and then shortly after cancel your subscription you still get the free three months. Deezer is also better for learning French with short bite-sized topical lessons again for free.
Happy listening.

CHRIS recommends this couple of sites:

This is a very powerful site, developed by AF and the Institut Français and there is plenty there for hour upon hour of browsing. I've used it before and although it is usually a subscription service it is being offered free just now.  Still need to register but that takes only a few minutes and access is immediate. Navigation with a choice of French or English is very easy. Great material to choose from.

Institut national de l'audiovisuel
This is a great source of audiovisual material. If you have a favourite French personality, actor, poet, singer, writer for example then a simple search of the INA archive is a fruitful source of video and audio recordings. The premium streaming service, Ina Madelen, is only 3€ a month and at present the first 3 months is free. I have already signed up for that. You need to register your card details but you can cancel anytime. As its publicité states : Vous allez voir, madelen va vous surprendre

Member Kevin O'Neill has been in touch to suggest some information on Alsace. 
His own anticipated holiday there this summer has been postponed but he has shared this short video of Le Château du Hohlandsbourg a place that he would like to have visited:

As for myself I have enjoyed exploring Alliance Française Dublin's 'Cultural Activities Online' page at …

The following sections are free ...

Virtual Tours of French Museums, French Concerts and Shows on Youtube
Visit French Landmarks with Google, Explore Science in French
Cooking with a French twist and Short Films in French

So why not ... visit the Musée d'Orsay; see Serge Gainsbourg in concert; stroll Mont Saint-Michel; stand Sur les épaules de Darwin; check out a recipe for Tarte tatin or watch a Trip to the Moon?

Now, for your good selves ...
Have you discovered interesting French-linked websites? We would love to hear about them. If you email links to cfbelfast@gmail.com we could included them in future emails.
Prenez soin de vous et de vos proches,
À bientôt, Philip

01 avril 2020

Bulletin mensuel : avril 2020

Chers Amis,
Tout d’abord, j’espère que vous vous portez bien et que, malgré l’inquiétude, vous arrivez à profiter de quelques beaux moments en famille ou entre amis, que cela soit en vrai ou en virtuel. Pour rester connecter à la langue et à la culture françaises pendant le confinement, j’ai le grand plaisir de vous présenter, grâce à Philip, cette newsletter spéciale ciné, avec focus sur Jean Seberg.
A très bientôt pour notre prochaine newsletter. En attendant, prenez soin de vous.
Bonne lecture et bon ciné !

Dear friends,
First of all, I hope that you are well and that, despite concerns, you are managing to enjoy some beautiful time, whether real or virtual, with family or friends. To stay connected to the French language and culture during the 'lockdown', I have the great pleasure of presenting to you, thanks to Philip, this special cinema newsletter, with a focus on Jean Seberg.
Watch out for our next newsletter. In the meantime, take care of yourself.
Enjoy reading and good movies!

Discovered recently on YouTube …. “Saint Joan”, Otto Preminger's 1957 film of George Bernard Shaw's 1923 play. 
Bernard Shaw's words and the fragile on-screen presence of Jean Seberg, who could resist it?

Jean Seberg was the young American actor who became a darling of the French New Wave, learned to speak French, lived and tragically, in 1979, died in Paris. Below are some links you might like to explore ...

Jean Seberg Interview (1960, French with English subtitles)

Cheapened and neutralized: why the FBI destroyed actress Jean Seberg’s life. (English) 

Jean Seberg, actrice américaine vivant en France, ses derniers jours jusqu'au 30 août 1979
Moving away from Jean Seberg here are some other links to help you keep in touch with France and things French ….

For everything you need to know about French feature films: news, international releases, box office, festival attendance, …

FRANCE 24 English – LIVE – International Breaking News & Top stories - 24/7 stream


Bonjour Paris (Online magazine with lots of interesting articles on life in Paris)

Movies from QFT ...

MUBI (Subscription. Intro. Offer 3 months for £1)
Léon Morin, Priest 

Prenez soin de vous et de vos proches,

À bientôt, Philip