This edition: December 2002 editionTweet
Original tape date: December 26, 2002.
There's great pleasure in adventuring around the world. But there's also much to be said for staying at home. The French painter Pierre Bonnard might be called the greatest artist who stayed at home, a fact that caused his reputation some problems during his lifetime. The current exhibit Pierre Bonnard: Early and Late defends his intimisme and demonstrates the virtues and continuity of his aesthetic. Art historian Judy Sund tells CANAPE about the accomplishment of this master of color and composition in intimate spaces.
What happens when a teenager in the Bronx starts reading the French poet Rimbaud? In one case, he grows up to be the American writer Frederic Tuten who has set four of his playful, verbally rich, post-modern novels in France. Francophile Frederic visits with CANAPE to talk about his most recently acclaimed novel The Green Hour and to describe his enduring fascination with the City of Light and its history.
The Battle of the Casbah
Some wounds to the national body heal with great difficulty. What the Vietnam War was to America, the Algerian War forty years ago was to France. Its repercussions still inform daily life in France. An important work in this French national debate is the recent memoir by General Paul Aussaresses, a key player in French counter intelligence operations during the war. The book's American publisher Robert L. Miller talks to CANAPE about the relevance of France's past to America's present.
In 1981 the French journalist and documentarian Christophe de Ponfilly made his first trip to Afghanistan where he befriended the charismatic Massoud, then a leader of the fight against the Soviet invasion and later a fierce opponent of the Taliban. The Frenchman returned eight times to capture on film this remarkable hero. In 1998 the documentary Massoud, the Afghan appeared and won multiple international awards. In 2001, shortly before 9/11, Massoud was assassinated. CANAPE offers an excerpt from the documentary which is now available in the USA.
France makes more than great films. It makes great magazines about great films. By everyone's count, one of those publications is Positif. A current exhibit organized by the Film Department of the Museum of Modern Art celebrates 500 issues and 50 years of the journal. While 50 films championed by the magazine unspool in December and January, the exhibit also marks the publication in English of the anthology Positif 50 years: Selections from the French Film Journal. Editor Michel Ciment talks to CANAPE about the pleasures of cinephilia. (Alternative version: Curator Lawrence Kardish talks to CANAPE about the importance of Positif.)
Seven Ages of Paris
If you were an overworked Roman conqueror two millenia ago, you could take some time off at a little river resort affectionately called “muddy Lutetia.” If you went there today, you'd call it Paris. The remarkable evolution of Paris as one of the leading cities of the world is chronicled in a new book by British journalist and historian Alistair Horne Seven Ages of Paris. The native Londoner visits with CANAPE to discuss his passion for Paris. He asks, “Has any sensible person ever doubted that Paris is fundamentally a woman?”