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This edition: February 2005 edition

Episode Details

Original tape date: February 17, 2005.

This month's edition features the following five segments:

Agnes Varda
An image that lasts longer than five seconds is rare in today's mall movies. It's almost as if there were no confidence in the image. Quantity, not quality, makes right. Luckily, the great French filmmaker Agnes Varda has always disagreed. She began as a photographer, made her mark as a feature filmmaker, and now leads the digital revolution in documentary. Her new film Cinevardaphoto offers a trilogy of short films drawn from three periods spanning over forty years. The godmother of the French New Wave, as some people call her, visits with CANAPÉ.

Michel Butor
The movement known as the New Novel -- Le nouveau roman, as the French say -- first appeared on the scene in France fifty years ago. How nouveau can these works be half a century later? Can a literary work retain its revolutionary spirit as its reception reaches middle age? The novels of Michel Butor are a good place to look for the answers. In his Degrees a high school teacher begins an obsessive quest to record in complete detail his own life and that of his students and his colleagues. Of course, it's an impossible task. And there lies the story. Butor's brilliant translator Richard Howard chats with CANAPE about the adventure of the French novel.

The glory of Coca-Cola is that from Boston to Beijing, from Los Angeles to Luanda it always tastes the same. That's not the idea with wine. The glory is the difference. The best palettes can track a kilometer's difference in Bordeaux, much less a continent's difference from California to Australia or from Spain to Argentina. Is globalization turning it all into the same grape juice with a kick? Jonathan Nossiter's new documentary Mondovino globetrots to ask the question of wine makers, critics, and drinkers. Does the state of wine give us a taste of who we are now? Director Nossiter pours an answer for CANAPÉ.

Paris Combo
What comes from France, Australia, Madagascar, and the Mediterranean? What sounds like Parisian cabaret, gypsy jazz, big band swing, cocktail music, and various Latin styles. One group answers it all: Paris Combo. Celebrating a decade of high energy music making, the group is back with their fourth recording Motifs. Fourteen numbers keep the toes tapping and the bodies swaying to a very contemporary - and need it be said, multi-culti - French sound. It's what Piaf and Montand would be doing today. CANAPÉ drops in for a video jam with the group.

Quebec Carnival
The snowbirds may be in the south in February but the smart folks head north. Quebec City turns itself into a winter playground for toddlers to grandparents during its famous carnaval. Parades, games, sports, arts, and more fill the calendar. Afraid of the cold? A response is fast from this friendly French speaking world heritage city. “Le carnaval s'enflamme!” “The carnival is firing up!” There is no one better to explain it all than everyone's favorite bilingual snowman Bonhomme, whose fame in Quebec rivals that of Celine Dion. The jolly figure took time from his ultra-busy agenda to talk to CANAPÉ in front of his ice palace.

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