Paris in July 2013 Blogging Event: My kick-off post

Paris in July 2013Paris in July is a new-to-me blogging event co-hosted by Tamara of Thyme for Tea and Karen of BookBath. To quote from Tamara, Paris in July is “a month purely dedicated to reading, watching, eating, listening to and enjoying all things French.” Karen made the lovely button you see above.

My high school offered three languages: French, Spanish and Latin. I wanted to take Latin but it conflicted with my other courses. My older sister was taking Spanish and I wanted to be different from her, so I took French. I was later able to take a Latin course in college, but by then I also enjoyed French and took a semester of that too.

I studied abroad in England for one semester and during our spring break, my friend and I took off for France and spent two weeks hopping around from place to place: Paris, the Loire valley, Strasbourg, Lyon, Provence. As novice international travelers, we had more than our share of misadventures, and were a little ambitious in our itinerary, but it was still amazing to be there.Someday it would be cool to go back and retrace parts of that trip, and see the difference in myself and those places.

In the decade or so since that trip, I’ve grown rusty in the language, but have kept up with French language ‘things’. I’ve especially been enamored by French film. Spurred on by an online movie discussion forum, I once created a review thread of just French films and watched about 25 of them for that project, from Battle of Algiers to the Double Life of Veronique to La Haine. And I’ve watched a number of other French films besides. (In fact recently, I saw the lovely M. Hulot’s Holiday and highly recommend it for summer film watching: it has almost no plot but its charm rests on its gentle observational humor of people at a summer beach resort.)

So my plans for this Paris in July blogging event will swing heavily toward film, because I know that is what I love. I’ll rewatch four favorites from my own collection: La fille sur le pont / Girl on the Bridge (starring Vanessa Paradis), Paris Je T’aime (collection of short films set in Paris), Le Quai des brumes / Port of Shadows (classic film starring Jean Gabin) and Les Demoiselles de Rochefort / The Young Girls of Rochefort (a thoroughly, ridiculously 1960’s French musical).

And yes, I also own and love Amelie but it’s so well-known, I thought I’d go for these lesser known films instead.

I’ll also watch four new-to-me French films. I have some ideas for those (a Max Ophuls film, Truffaut’s Jules et Jim, a Rohmer film), but suggestions are welcome!

As far as reading, I went medieval French and picked up a translation of the Complete Romances of Chretien de Troyes from the public library. I may try making or eating some French food and posting about French music, as time allows. I definitely look forward to reading the posts by the other Paris in July participants.

From my favorite scene in Amelie.

From my favorite scene in Amelie.

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9 Comments

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9 responses to “Paris in July 2013 Blogging Event: My kick-off post

  1. joyweesemoll

    What fun plans for Paris in July! We watched the Young Girls of Rochefort last night — what a hoot! So thoroughly 60s and so thoroughly French at the same time.

  2. Jody

    This is my first `Paris in July` challenge as well !

    Very excited to join in and learn and experiment with the French genre` in literature, films, food.

    I will be following your posts, and thanks for the good list of French film recommendations. I hope to watch several this month.

  3. Ciara_H

    I’m also a Paris in July newbie! 🙂 I plan to focus on books set in France & compare them at the end of the month.

  4. Nan

    I do love Amelie. I hope you watch Jules et Jim. I’ll be interested in your take. I think I first saw it in my early twenties, and there are whole scenes I recall. I’m sure I’ve watched it since, but it may be time to see it again.

  5. Also love Amelie. Might watch it again this afternoon. Will check out your choices too. Thinking of re-watching The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and anything currently available on Netflix or Amazon Prime. I always neglect to have fun with the film possibilities of this annual event.

  6. So glad you’re looking into the film genre – I find that the easiest way to get a french fix. I’ve not heard of some of your choices so I’m going to add them to a ever growing list…. this month is bad for me like that – so many great recommendations. thanks for playing!

  7. Joy – Isn’t it fantastic? I haven’t watched the whole thing in a little while so it will be fun to revisit.

    Jody – thanks for stopping by. I will be sure and check out your blog as well and see what French discoveries you make.

    Ciara H. – that sounds like a great idea. I find comparison posts to be hard work sometimes but they are usually worth it, just to let your reads kind of interact with each other.

    Nan – I’m slightly intimidated by Jules et Jim, as it’s considered such a classic. I hope I like it. I liked the one other Truffaut film I’ve seen, so that bodes well.

    Frances – hello! good to see you. 🙂 I took a peek at Netflix Instant’s offerings and saw a couple French films I’ve seen and liked: The Red Balloon, Young Girls of Rochefort (if you like that kind of movie), Forbidden Games (kind of dark wartime film), and The Taste of Others.

    Tamara – Yeah, the films seemed like the thing I’d actually get done. I want to read Les Miserables, but this is not the month for it.

    • I will look forward to these, Christy. I love French film, though I don’t see many because we just don’t get them here!

      And thanks for stopping by The Marmelade Gypsy — I know I’ll be back here, too!

  8. I haven’t seen any of those but I’d like to get to Amelie this month!

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