Frantastique and Francophone culture

Every day, you'll hear a citation with different accents, film clips, songs and more to help you explore the richness of Francophone culture around the world.

À bout de souffle, Jean-Luc Godard, 1960

À bout de souffle

« Si vous n’aimez pas la mer, si vous n’aimez pas la montagne, si vous n’aimez pas la ville, allez vous faire foutre ! » À bout de souffle , Jean-Luc Godard, 1960

The clip of the day comes from À Bout de Souffle (Breathless), an emblematic film of the Nouvelle Vague (New Wave) of French cinema of the 60's. Breathless is the story of a car thief (Jean-Paul Belmondo), who falls in love with a young American student (Jean Seberg). This New Wave manifesto establishes a major departure from traditional cinema at the time, exploring many different types of editing, using handheld cameras, jazz music, natural lighting and a modest budget. The film is a modern illustration of life's tragedies, in which a breathless man is betrayed by a woman, and where only art can transcend life.
Diva, Jean-Jacques Beineix, 1981


« Le zen dans l’art de la tartine. (...) Y’a plus de couteau, y’a plus de pain, y’a plus de beurre. Y’a plus qu’un geste qui se répète... » Diva , de Jean-Jacques Beineix, 1981

Today's clip comes from Diva , a 1981 film by French director Jean-Jacques Beineix. This police film is characteristic of 1980s art house cinema. It's set in Paris in the early hours of dawn. In this clip, the character Serge Gorodish (played by Richard Bohringer) introduces Jules, the protagonist, to the sacred French art of the 'tartine' (spreading things on bread).
Jules et Jim, François Truffaut, 1962

Jules et Jim

« On s’est connus, on s’est reconnus, On s’est perdus de vue, on s’est r’perdus d’vue On s’est retrouvés, on s’est réchauffés, Puis on s’est séparés. » Jules et Jim , de François Truffaut, 1962

The song of the day, Le tourbillon de la vie ('The whirlwind of life'), comes from the film Jules and Jim directed by François Truffaut and adapted from a novel by Henri-Pierre Roché. It is the story of a love triangle: Jules and Jim are two friends who fall in love with the same woman, played by Jeanne Moreau. Wishing to experience unconditional love, this liberated woman imposes her rules and creates a constant 'whirlwind of life' around her. Generally considered to be a masterpiece, this film has become a classic of French cinema.
La Haine, de Mathieu Kassovitz, 1995

La Haine

« C’est à moi qu’tu parles, mec ? » La Haine, de Mathieu Kassovitz, 1995

The clip of the day comes from La Haine , a powerful French film written and directed by Matthieu Kassovitz. The film deals with issues of violence in the Parisian suburbs, difficulties of social integration, and the relationships between troubled youth and the police. La Haine has greatly influenced cinema as a whole, as well as French society. This film received the award for Best Director at the 1995 Cannes Festival, as well as three César award, including best film. French actor Vincent Cassel (1966- ) plays the main role, Vinz. The scene shown in today's lesson is directly inspired by Robert De Niro's classic sequence in front of the mirror in Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver ('You talkin’ to me?'). La Haine 's take on the scene has also become a catchphrase in French culture.