Paris 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.