This edition: June 2003 edition
Original tape date: June 1, 2003.
Jean Antoine Houdon
American founding father Thomas Jefferson is still in circulation. Just take a look at the nickel in your pocket. There he is. And so is a French artist. The great sculpture Jean Antoine Houdon formed an enduring friendship with Jefferson in Paris. So accurate was the Frenchman's bust of the American diplomat that it became the model for the coin. That sculpture and more are on display at the National Gallery in the first major show of his work Jean Antoine Houdon: Sculptor of the Enlightenment. Nicholas Penny, senior curator of sculpture and decorative arts, talks to CANAPE about this genius among geniuses.
The Practice of Diaspora
What makes a legend? Certainly Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Stein, and Baker shape the legend of Americans in Paris in the 1920s. But the problem with legends is that they obscure other interesting facts. A new study The Practice of Diaspora looks at how another phenomena emerged in the Jazz Age: the first important translatlantic contacts between artists of African descent. Harlem comes to Paris. And vice versa. And more. Scholar Brent Edwards chats with CANAPE about this exciting history.
Trauma can be national as well as personal. For nations some wounds refuse to heal. As the Vietnam War is to America, so the colonial Algerian War continues to be for France forty years later. American theater students had a chance to understand this enduring social injury during the residence of French playwright Olivier Py at New York University. They performed an English translation of his L'exaltation du labyrinthe, an exploration of how a son inherits the guilt of his father. CANAPE looks at the production and talks to the dramatist.
It's hard to say farce without saying French farce. The latest addition to the laugh-out-loud tradition comes from veteran director-screenwriter Daniel Thompson. Jet Lag, like all farce, takes a premise to its extreme. Delayed flights, a closed airport, and wildcat strikes cause a beautician, played by Academy award winner Juliette Binoche, and a businessman, played by American favorite Jean Reno, to meet again and again and again. The consequences are not strictly predictable. Let's just say borrowing a cellphone has comic effects. Director Thompson shares a few trade secrets with CANAPE.
Francois Ozon has a special gift for directing actresses, a fact made obvious by his 2002 film 8 Women which featured three generations of France's greatest actresses. He now returns with his first English language film Swimming Pool and shows no less mastery in drawing great performances from women. A repressed British mystery novelist played by Charlotte Rampling is trying to finish a new book in the south of France when her peace is invaded by the sexually active daughter of her publisher played by Ludivine Sagnier. What follows can only be described as an Ozon film. The director tells CANAPE what that means.
Brent Edwards Author
François Ozon Film Director
Nicholas Penny Senior Curator
Olivier Py Playwright
Ludivine Sagnier Actress
Danièle Thompson Film Director