Afternoon Cordial

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.


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.

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