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This edition: November 2002 edition

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Episode Details

Original tape date: November 21, 2002.

Somethings are never easy. And one of them is definitely ballet. The new film by Nils Tavernier Etoiles: Dancers of the Paris Opera Ballet gives an inside glimpse at the training of the extraordinary dancers, the career professionals in the background no less than the stars in the foreground, who dedicate their lives to an artistic obsession. As the New York Times observes of this beautiful film, “The images of the dancers straining through warm-ups and rehearsals suggest the clinical realism of Degas' paintings.” CANAPE visits the ballet.

Some people call him the French Bobby McFerrin. But even the best analogies go only so far. Gino Sitson is his own stand-alone musical phenomenon. Born in Cameroon and trained in ethnomusicology and languages at the Sorbonne, he first made his name on the jazz and world music scene in Paris. Now based in New York, he continues to expand his musical horizons from the natural beauty of Africa to the concrete jungle of Manhattan. The acrobatic vocalist talks to CANAPE about what tickles his curiosity in music and life.

For most Americans, the phrase femme fatale evokes sultry crime movies from Hollywood in the 1940s. Those dames, however, had French ancestors, a fact demonstrated with verve by the exhibit Femme Fatale: Fashion and Visual Culture in Fin-de-Siecle Paris at the museum of the Fashion Institute of Technology. Curator and historian Valerie Steele explains to CANAPE the sexual politics of an era in which courtesans and actresses set the latest styles and in which femininity became erotic and powerful in a modern way. CANAPE is shocked by it all.

Just when you thought it was safe to assume that all documentaries were about endangered species or corrupt politicians, along comes Derrida, a film that combines philosophical investigation with sly stoytelling as it investigates the work, life and personality of Jacques Derrida. The master French philosopher is perhaps best known for his concept of deconstruction, a word coined in French but now common among literary types in English. Directors Amy Ziering Kofman and Kirby Dick talk to CANAPE about the eight year quest that became their surprisingly delightful film.

It's tough being 20 years old, particularly if you're Michele as played by France's newest international star Audrey Tautou, best known to Americans for he role in Amelie. In a screenplay structured as entries in her diary, we see her quest for something to hold on to. A few choices later, the object of her affection becomes Francois, 12 years her senior, a veterinarian, and a non-practicing Jew. Soon his religion becomes as attractive to her as he does. And so develops an inter-religious romance. Director Pascale Bailly describes for CANAPE the adventure of following a character find herself.

Guest List

Pascale Bailly Director

Kirby Dick Director

Amy Z. Kofman Director

Gino Sitson Singer

Valerie Steele Chief Curator, Fashion Institute of Technology, NYC

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