Jane Birkin Gives Us a Wakeup Call

Translated as “Oh! Sorry you were sleeping…” the forthcoming album from Jane Birkin, Oh! Pardon tu dormais… was initially inspired by a theatrical play Birkin had written, but “gradually, we moved away from this and more pressing, urgent themes emerged,” the 74-year-old singer, actress and fashion icon says. “Little by little, we drifted towards other… Continue reading Jane Birkin Gives Us a Wakeup Call

Les Misérables

Ladj Ly's 2019 film Les Misérables opens on an ecstatic scene — France has just won the World Cup and happy Parisians are celebrating in the streets.

The original Mad Max was set in the late 1990s, but Les Misérables – filmed in the same Parisian district where Victor Hugo set his novel – won’t need to adjust its timeline if there are any sequels to France’s latest Oscar contender for Best Foreign Film. Sadly, modern times allow this grim crime drama to bring in all… Continue reading Les Misérables

Synonyms

“I can play a machine gun like Pink Floyd.” The minute I heard that line I knew I’d stumbled into a MAD movie satire populated by Mort Drucker caricatures! Yoav (Tom Mercier), an Israeli ex-soldier newly immigrated to Paris, staggers into a vacant apartment, disrobes and begins masturbating before he hears a commotion and finds that someone… Continue reading Synonyms

Shannon Wright Puts Trust in Providence

Sometimes you just have to wonder what keeps Shannon Wright in Atlanta, when clearly the bulk of her fans are centered in Europe, primarily France. She’ll readily admit her oft-times gloomy, minor-key heavy music doesn’t fly with many folks in the States, where she doesn’t even have a label anymore and where she’ll usually only… Continue reading Shannon Wright Puts Trust in Providence

Salt – The Loneliness of Clouds

Salt’s origin story is a fascinating one, even if it’ll likely resonate with only a select demographic. The Paris-centric band’s formation is a thin silver lining to emerge from the 2013 suicide of Game Theory/Loud Family mastermind Scott Miller. Miller’s widow enlisted Ken Stringfellow for an unusually heavy lift as producer – interrogating hundreds of… Continue reading Salt – The Loneliness of Clouds

Jean-Michel Jarre

Space is the Place: On Planet Jarre, the Future is the Past is the Future is Now A towering figure in music, Jean-Michel Jarre pioneered styles of music that didn’t even have names when he started making them. Musicians working in EDM, ambient and electronica all owe a debt to the French multi-instrumentalist who started… Continue reading Jean-Michel Jarre

Bicycle Eaters Pedal Forth, Peddling Petals

Jeffrey Bützer’s Bicycle Eaters, a seven-piece (and two-wheeled?) vehicle for the multi-instrumentalist’s eclectic pop songwriting, play the rare show (apparently their last, for the foreseeable future) on Sept. 28 at Kavarna. The release party for new album Petals of Youth doubles as a homecoming for singer Cassi Costoulas, who now hangs her hat in Tennessee.… Continue reading Bicycle Eaters Pedal Forth, Peddling Petals

Custody

The traumatic effects of a custody battle are the subject of director Xavier Legrand’s first feature film about a family whose individual members want to have their way all the time. Julien Besson (Thomas Gloria) is the ragdoll pulled between his vindictive and cautious mom, Miriam (Léa Drucker) who has been the victim of his father’s… Continue reading Custody

Back to Burgundy

After 10 years, eldest wayward son Jean (Pio Marmai) returns to rebuild a world he left behind when he rejected the family vineyard and relocated to Australia. First, his goal was to see the world; now with his dad near death, the world has constricted around him when he learns that his two siblings, Juliette and… Continue reading Back to Burgundy

The Midwife

Living out of a suitcase, the impoverished Beatrice (Catherine Deneuve) turns up after a 30-year absence looking for her ex, the father of Claire (Catherine Frot), the daughter of the man who committed suicide when his mistress left. With debts and a brain tumor in tow, the boozy, gambling but energetic Deneuve seeks atonement for abandoning… Continue reading The Midwife

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Dane DeHaan (Valerian) and Cara Delevingne (Laureline) had to be the two most unpleasant looking heroes in all of film history and yet, the pleasant surprise is the movie itself is unique, not connected to Star Wars, Star Trek or the Marvel Universe, which means the sky is literally the limit and it’s a throwback… Continue reading Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Moka

Based on the novel by Tatiana de Rosnay, Emmanuelle Devos plays Diane, a distraught mother who walks out of an institution in Lausanne, Switzerland, to cross Lake Geneva to Evian, France in the hopes of finding the two people responsible for the hit-and-run accident that killed her son. After contacting a detective, using his circumstantial evidence,… Continue reading Moka

Personal Shopper

Director Olivier Assayas’ Clouds of Sils Maria gave Kristen Stewart a much needed career twist. Here, he reunites the actress with elliptical art-house abandon as she plays Maureen, a displaced American who comes to Paris to contact her recently deceased brother’s spirit. He died from a heart ailment that she also suffers from but this… Continue reading Personal Shopper

Shannon Wright

The Division Belle Shannon Wright has called Atlanta home for the past 18 years, yet she remains something of an outsider in the local music scene. A self-described recluse, Wright keeps a low profile and plays out infrequently – for the past decade the Jacksonville native has focused on the European market, where her raw-nerved… Continue reading Shannon Wright

April and the Extraordinary World

In a paradise that’s a prison, hurting industry curtails science. In other words, environmentalism is not necessarily what’s best for human progress. That’s what I got from April and the Extraordinary World, an alternate reality animated science fiction tale from directors Christian Desmares and Franck Ekinci. During the Napoleonic era, an inventor, Gustave Franklin, creates… Continue reading April and the Extraordinary World

La Femme

An Art-Pop Amalgam for the Masses: Elucidating the Enigma That is La Femme Trying to get a better understanding of La Femme is difficult, and not based on the effect of co-founder and guitarist Sacha Got’s somewhat limited grasp on English and his heavy, intermittently indecipherable French accent. No matter their native language, they’d still… Continue reading La Femme

Daft Punk – Random Access Memories

It’s the gayest album you’ll encounter this year, and I mean that in the most rainbow-hued sense. Youngsters can’t possibly understand how, once upon a time, disco music represented a line in the sand. It’s tragic but true that subtle elements of racism and overt elements of homophobia rendered it anathema to rock ‘n’ roll;… Continue reading Daft Punk – Random Access Memories

Melody’s Echo Chamber – Melody’s Echo Chamber

Melody’s Echo Chamber is among the most aptly named bands/albums in recent memory. Its guitars and vocals are draped in layers of reverb, and the overall production (courtesy of Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker) tends toward the cavernous. But the real echo chamber exists the way the group compiles and spits back of-the-moment influences: dream pop,… Continue reading Melody’s Echo Chamber – Melody’s Echo Chamber

Crusaders of Love – Take It Easy…But Take It!

Crusaders of Love Take it Easy…but Take it! [FDH] It’s a little weird that the leadoff track on Crusaders of Love’s second LP bears the name of their two-year-old debut Never Grow Up. To say the band embodies that phrase, however, would be an understatement. The power-pop flag these Lille-bred Frenchies wave is emblazoned with… Continue reading Crusaders of Love – Take It Easy…But Take It!

Charlotte Gainsbourg

Whisper of the Heart: Charlotte Gainsbourg, In a Melancholia Mood On a beautiful cloudless afternoon in early autumn, a mother gracefully, joyfully spins a half-step under the shady trees of MacDougal Street, embracing an infant in her arms as the world passes by. Walk a block in any direction and Manhattan feels half-mad, but only… Continue reading Charlotte Gainsbourg