Afternoon Cordial

More

As I make my way through the French language, I've been watching a ton of flicks mostly to work on my hearing. Again, I've been rather shocked by how much learning a language really means. Being able to hear and understand French isn't the same as being able to read French which isn't the same as being able to write French which isn't the same being able to speak in French. I've actually found "hearing" to be one of the most difficult, but the more movies I watch, the better I get.


A few points arise from this avocation. First, I did not realize that "I'm in love with Juliet Binoche and\or (in my case "and" always "and") Audrey Tatou" was a normal phase for the Francophone in training. I imagine thers is an accompanying "I'm in love with Romain Duris or (Gad Elmaleh or Roschdy Zem  if you are my wife)"  for those of another gender or orientation.

Second, it's one thing to intellectually understand the power of American music. It's another thing to see how much it just dominates in a lot of french films. It's really weird to go into a film where no one speaks English, and suddenly hear this burst of Otis Redding or, in this case, Oscar Brown Jr (remixed.)

This is from Hors de Prix, which I enjoyed. It is kind of a modern homage to Breakfast At Tiffany's. I was only familiar with Abby Lincoln's haunting rendition of this. Brown's is just as beautiful.


Jump to comments

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

What's the Number One Thing We Could Do to Improve City Life?

A group of journalists, professors, and non-profit leaders predict the future of livable, walkable cities


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

From This Author