Friday, January 08, 2016

Framing French Summer Viewing: When you love life, you’ve been to the cinema

'When you love life, you’ve been to the cinema' how true especially after swims at the Mahon rock pool,  Bondi Iceberg and Andrew Boy Charlton... Oliver Sacks enjoyed Montblanc fountain pens, Norwegian sardines, and his T-shirt with a fern on it. But above all else, he loved to swim especially in Cold River ...

We are hooked on the French, in awe of their style and the effortless class of their filmmaking.
Cinema is one of the ways a nation entertains itself, but also contemplates its problems, peculiarities and changes. French cinema does this very well and is experiencing a golden period. French cinema has no innate superiority, other than its historic respect for character.  French films are made for grown-ups and, because of the unabashed interest in their own society and their own stories, often have as much integrity as they do charm. The French accept that cinema is more than entertainment, a revenue earner and an employment generator: it is culture.

It is easy to see why The Belier Family is a runaway hit in Sydney: the film has everything family, friends, fun. The Béliers are a salt-of-the-Earth farming family. They are all deaf except young Paula who finds her voice in a choir...
The Belier Family review: Charm and a knockout finale carry French comedy to the end

Like Amerikan (sic) Soprano, TheAntipodean  Rake, Underbelly, or Scandinavian Bridge and Killings, we found the French "Braquo' series so addictive and compelling we watched it in two sittings.
'Braquo” is a French slang word, apparently originating from the suburbs of Paris, which means a particularly violent heist. There are two reasons why it’s the perfect title for the French cop thriller series. First, the show is not for the faint-hearted. It begins with a police officer ramming a biro into the eye of a rape suspect and continues at the same level. But, more importantly, it sums up its unvarnished realism. We are voyeurs, peeking through a window into this story, slang slung at us with an insouciant shrug along with a refreshing lack of glamour, humour or sparkle.
In the first episode, a cop commits suicide after being unfairly blamed in a sensitive case. His four best friends and colleagues in the Hauts-de-Seine's district police department set out to clear his name. Sounds worthy? Well, to get there, they’re not afraid of breaking laws they’re supposed to enforce. It’s a good cop/bad cop situation from the off, with our gang often using extremely violent and illegal methods to achieve justice.
French Wire: Crime Thriller Braquo

The big data of bad swimming or driving, and how insurers plan to track your every turnWashington Post. Matt Stoller warned that this was in the works years ago, at NC.

Earlier this week, Andy Griffiths delivered the manuscript for the next instalment in his Treehouse series, adding another 13 storeys to the 65 he and illustrator Terry Denton have already produced Tall Stories

Meet the Two Brothers Making Millions Off the Refugee Crisis in Scandinavia Bloomberg 

As my cousin Andrej on the day of his revolutionary birthday reminds me:
"All is vanity in human affairs; all that cannot be enjoyed after death. No wealth is kept; no glory can follow. For once death has come, all of these are lost ..."