les films américains sont plus émotifs avec des sous-titres français

Fannie-Face,

An Oscar, indeed! What a film! Tears ran from my ducts like we did from Corfu when I watched it for the 15th time in a row on high volume in the no-English-allowed school library at Reid Hall. The Frenchies unanimously approved, as they are obsessed with any film that elicits dubious emotion and unresolved endings, and they take the whole movie-going experience very seriously (for 10 Euros a pop, I would hope so). There is a cinéma on every corner playing about 10 festival winners and one or two American blockbusters a few months late; I shall submit yours for public viewing immediately.

To elaborate, I saw Invictus at that same sumptuous red velvet theater a few nights ago, and even though there was hardly a moment of actual conflict in the entire film, no one left their seats until the end of the credits. Just like when I saw Bright Star! Perhaps these were two of the greatest films of the century and verily necessitated a moment of mediation au dénoument, or maybe it was just typical Francophile reverence for the high art of cinematography. Who can say. Either way, I made like an American and bolted when the names started rolling.

Clint, don't you think it's time to retire?

Not that Incivtus is bad (it’s hard to insult Nelson Mandela and Morgan Freeman is, as always, heart-breakingly spot-on—since I’ve personally met Mandela and can tell you that they’re just alike); it’s just that the whole story line is a steady and gradual crescendo without interruption. Besides early flashbacks to the Apartheid and persistent concern that Old Nelly is going to die of oldness or kindness at any moment, truly nothing ever actually goes wrong for the good guys once momentum gets going (not a spoiler because that’s not the point of the movie – go see it). Besides, of course, the proliferation of bruises and heroically-placed scratches incurred by one steroid-jacked Matt Damon and his rugby teammates.  As a French man said to me in that sports bar the other day when I “Ouch!”-ed out loud at a rough tackle: “American football is for [demeaning expletive which I would never say out-blog] – they don’t even wear pads or helmets in rugby.” Ever-patriotic, I took a gulp from my orange Tennessee koozie and scoffed at his comment and also at his tight jeans, though he had a point.

just wheaties, eh?

All of this is to say, go see Invictus with your most politically correct friend or your parents who won’t mind when the music is more Grey’s Anatomy than South Africa (the music director’s name was Kyle Eastwood – a fledging nephew of the director who was given a family favor, perchance?) and who don’t watch the History channel frequently enough to get upset about inevitable and major discrepancies (none of the Haslams, all of the Sims). However, this is not a movie review blog, so I’ll stop that babble, though I cannot promise it will be the last time.
But what of ma vie a Paris, vous me demandez? In a victory comparable to the Sprinbocks’, I called France Telecom, EN FRANÇAIS, and set up a new phone line, cable and wireless, which should all be running by next week (Skype lessons needed). Shortly thereafter I detailed this feat of genius to every one of my contacts on Blackberry Messenger and considered updating it as my Facebook Status and also as a fresh Tweet, though I refrained in an uncharacteristic surge of humility. In the past couple of days, I [read: my father] have also paid to print a 1000-page reader (yes, une mille feuilles) for UNE COURS d’histoire and grazed a few of its articles for class today.

More excitingly, our first studio assignment is to assemble/depict/design/write/explain our impression of the site we’ve been assigned for the semester, a new “artist’s-colony-building-making-space” (for lack of a better translation) out in Monmartre called 104. It’s essentially a giant series of indoor/outdoor studios that artists can apply to work in for 6 month tenures, piled together and joined to a larger building that houses other installations and events. Apparently, it hasn’t exactly taken off in popularity, though we were fortunate enough to visit when they were doing a walk-through of the Louis Vuitton fashion show (it is ALWAYS fashion week in Paris) scheduled for later that night (spotted: the Sartorialist, if you care. xoxo -gg).

Perhaps it’s the sort of depressingly banal architecture that is supposed to match some historic buildings in Paris but looks instead kind of cheap and awkward way far out in the ghetto, or the gangster neighborhood it’s a part of, or maybe they cleared it out so that we’d have a reason to design something new there. Either way, the powers at be (our archi-teachers) are calling on us to design “micro-architecture” that both depends on the space and also enhances it in some way. No, I don’t exactly understand it either, but I’ll keep you posted.

male models practicing their walk: priceless

the new highline in my life

And for anyone that feels awkward raising their hands and asking, RIEN qu’on makes in architecture school is ever actually built. NEVER. This is a fallacy the administration creates by asking students to spend an entire semester designing and defending their ideas; i.e., pretending to be architects. Last Fall in New York, I created a bodega-café entirely out of stairs and risers, and this past summer, an installation entirely out of pieces of letters and a model from the binding of books.

1 part 4 comprising an all-stairs bodega-cafe. just *try* to build this, Caroline Nettles

a model made of book bindings (gulliver's travels?) that I destroyed in a rage of summer anger

Just call me Amanda PracticAlexander Sims. As with Annie GarrEfficient Haslam – how smart of you to send me the pieces of a letter, one at a time, for me to assemble, one at a time. Twenty postages to Europe for one note when we write these loving letters every couple of days… Oh, the beauty of intercontinental friendship.

Love,

Fred

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~ by soleilsphere on January 27, 2010.

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