Dear Reader, I cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to hosting my first blogathon this coming January! I want to thank all the lovely individuals who have signed up so far. I am so proud of this event and my marvelous participant roster, check out it out by clicking here.
Before I get started I wanted to take a moment to say how deeply saddened I am by the current events, and as a staunch supporter of all things French, the country and her people are in my thoughts and prayers!
The Countdown to The France on Film Blogathon starts now!
To honor the upcoming event, I thought I would kick things off with a lovely list “30 Reasons Why France is Completely Awesome”. Being the consummate hostess I am, I will not cover any films in this post because I want my wonderful participants get the spotlight on that topic.
Hey guess what? France totally rocks.
I apologize in advance for this post, it is random weird and goofy, like me. I promise you will learn more about me in this post than a Liebster nom.
Let’s get crackin’! This stuff is in no particular order, just as it came to me.
We would not have cuisine without France, food would be mere fuel, not an art form. In the 17th century, François Pierre La Varenne wrote Le Cuisinier françois which is the first super-awesome cookbook introducing the world to preparation staples such as roux, bechamel, and bouquet garni. In my opinion, Western food without French influence is a sad un-garnished plastic plate.
Let’s cover France’s culinary delights.
30) Chèvre, a lovely tart and creamy goat cheese and excellent with mixed baby greens and balsamic vinegar.
29) Gruyère on sourdough makes the best grilled cheese sandwich ever.
28) Brie paired with baguettes and grapes, maybe some fancy olives.
27) Baguettes because my goodness carbohydrates are lovely, and lovelier with butter.
26) Éclairs, chocolate creamy carbs, anyone? Who can say no to an eclair?
25) Crepes, savory crepes are my favorite.
24) Fondues, oh we get to dip bread in the melty cheese?
23) Soupe à l’oignon because nothing garnishes soup like bread and cheese, right?
22) Crème brûlée, oh my god! How can you not love burnt vanilla custard? And you can crack it! I love food that wants to be played with!
21) Maille mustards are all fantastic, but their black truffle mustard is truly magical. At $48 for a 4oz. jar it had better be, right?
Apparently I am really into bread, butter, cream, and cheese. Good thing I do not live in France. I know what you are thinking, “Summer you could list 100 French dairy products if given half the chance, back away from the kitchen! Put those French dairy products down!”By the way I talk about food, I guess you can tell:
A) I enjoying cooking and entertaining and I would throw you an opulent dinner party if you were local.
B) I am a Cancer (if you believe in astrology and how it affects the personality).
C) I have dated more than one professional chef in my lifetime, no not a cook, there is a difference, a huge difference.
D) I have a teeny crush on Bobby Flay. Hey, come on! Every female cooking fan thinks he’s cute! How can you resist a guy with a fun personality and a New York accent who likes spicy food?
E) All of the Above!
Look, reader, we’re sharing! I hope you guessed E because you are so right.
Okay, I have other interests, for example because I have a subconscious drive to ensure there is minimal opportunity for long term gainful employment, I have an advanced degree in Theater.
So let’s examine France’s contribution to the stage!
20) The French Farce, nothing is funnier than overdone innuendos, double entendres, slamming doors, and people running up and down stairs. My favorite French comic playwright is Molière! I love his plays, and they are written in Alexandrines which means you need serious elocution skills to pull it off and make it sound natural! That trumps old Billy Shakespeare and his puny Iambic Pentameter any day of the week! Tartuffe is by far Molière’s best, but I may be partial since I played Elmire in a production several years back.
And what about some of the longest running plays in musical theater?
19) Les Miserables & The Phantom of the Opera
Okay, these are both technically British productions. What can I say? Hey, the source material is French.
Or things that are so wonderfully French while not French at all?
18) New Orleans, a former French colony in the US, but still very French, in a creepy-voodoo-gothic-vampire-Mardi Gras way?
17) Who doesn’t love Miss Piggy and her Faux Français? Inspector Clouseau with his poor elocution? Pepe Le Pew the most adorable romantic skunk ever? Gambit from the X-Men? Belle, the Disney Princess I always get in online personality quizzes, therefore, the best Disney Princess ever created?
See? I told you even fake French things are grand!
Apparently, at some point in my misguided youth, I decided transferable skills are for mere mortals who value things like money. My education concentrated on interesting subjects. Let’s cover my favorite Philosophy branch, French Existentialism!
Existentialism is the belief that existence is prior to essence. In other words, the physical plane is what matters. In general, French Existentialism is more nihilistic than German, but it varies from theorist to theorist. French Existentialism was in vogue during the mid 20th century and is a response to World War II.
Here are three absolute must reads for any student of French Existentialism these books will give a spectrum of thought under the French Existentialist umbrella.
16) Jean-Paul Sartre- No Exit an excellent one-act play about three people trapped in hell, each needing the one who despises them.
15) Albert Camus- Exile and the Kingdom a fascinating collection of short stories including a woman who leaves her husband and falls in love with the desert night.
14) Antoine de Saint-Exupery- The Little Prince a charming little book if you have not read it, you must read this book! You will understand what is important in life. Of course, this book transcends normal classic French Existentialism, but this discussion is too long of a topic for a list.
Apparently I had a subconscious drive to make sure I was unemployable with no transferable skills whatsoever, so I minored in Fine Art. Let’s cover my favorite French movements.
13) French Impressionism- I am really into perception, I will steal your glasses to see how you see the world. I love impressionism.
12) Dada & Marcel Duchamp- Anyone who considers passing off a urinal as art and paints a mustache on the Mona Lisa must have an awesome sense of humor, no matter what the work responds to politically.
11) Art Nouveau- Lovely feminine, gorgeous art. Here’s a random French doorway.
But no conversation about France is complete without a discussion of fashion, because Paris is the fashion capital of the world!
9) Rose Bertin- Marie Antoinette’s fashion designer, no woman in history was better dressed than Marie Antoinette.
8) Hubert de Givenchy, his adorable muse Audrey Hepburn would get second place for the best-dressed woman in history.
7) Anna Karina & Jean Seberg – Okay neither actor is French, but they starred in French films, and together they define the peak of French 1960s fashion with their great style, they still influence fashion today! I once cut my hair like Jean Seberg. More on that in a bit.
6) Berets with red lipstick are a cute combination making the worst haircut glamorous instantly.
Seriously this combo saved me from several bad moments during my punk years, or the first time I saw Breathless and cut my hair like Jean Seberg and I asked this guy I thought was cute if he liked my hair and he told me I looked like a baby chicken. Oh, the shame of it all! Oh, the horror! I still cringe 15 years later.
New Subject! Books!
5) Tintin Comic Books- Okay yes, Tintin is technically a Belgian product and neither Belgians, nor French people will thank me for the confusion (which is why Hercule Poirot is missing from this list) BUT Tintin was written in French and he lived in France!
4) The Arthurian Legend would be sad without French influence, we would have no Lancelot, no Lady of the Lake, no Perceval, no Holy Grail, and you could forget that whole African Swallow bit in Monty Python and the Holy Grail because that came from a French poem.
More about me. I am not a pet owner, but I love dogs!
3) Especially French Bulldogs- these dogs are absolute cuties! In France, people bring their dogs in restaurants.
2) French music. In my fantasies I run away to 1920s Paris and sing in smoky nightclubs, I won’t ever do it because it’s not the 1920s, and my French is horrible. But if I went for it here is the start of my set list.Click the links to hear each song:
1) Jean Reno. No explanation needed COOLEST FRENCH MAN EVER.
Again, I apologize for the weirdness of this post, I just felt like having some fun and getting you guys excited about the blogathon!
Ciao for now dearies!
And don’t forget to mark your calendars!
Silver Screenings said:
Oui, Jean Reno est un tr
Silver Screenings said:
Ack! Premature send! Let’s try this again…
Oui, Jean Reno est très beau, et chic aussi.
Il me tarde de voir le “blogathon”.
(Oh dear, my French est très mal…!)
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Summer Reeves said:
ha-ha! I love the attempt, you totally rock, my French is not fantastic. But yes, Jean Reno is very lovely. 😀
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Peter Putzel said:
Very well done. I, too, enjoy all things French a great deal, so your post is a really fun read. I spent a week there 15 years ago (I went to find my inner Henry Miller, of course, because that’s what you do), and had a total blast…especially since I went by myself!
I agree with you on: Exile and the Kingdom (and all things Camus), Saint-Exupery, inter-war Paris, and Reno.
The one thing you forgot: Bernard-Henri Levy’s kick-ass hair.
Don’t apologize for this post, it’s wonderful!
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Summer Reeves said:
I am glad you enjoyed this post, it was tons of fun and difficult to whittle down to the 30 items.
And you are so right about Bernard-Henri Levy’s hair, that is now officially my #10. Luckily no one noticed my over-zealous editing!
As for channeling Henry Miller, getting some serious writing under the belt is always a great time, and writing is a fantastic excuse for repeating trips to Paris. But who needs the excuse, right?
Sooooo…you are saying we ALL shall be gaining weight during your blogathon. Sacre bleu. There goes my waist line. Have a Merry Christmas…and a Healthy Happy New Year.
Summer Reeves said:
Ah, goodness, no!
Hope you had a wonderful holiday, too. 🙂