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This edition: October 2005 edition

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Episode Details

Original tape date: October 20, 2005.

It may have been George Bernard Shaw who said, “If I want something truly new, I always go back to the classics.” That's the strategy of first time feature filmmaker Lucile Hadzihalilovic. She's taken a late 19th century novel by Frank Wedekind and turned it into a dreamy meditation on passing from childhood to woman hood. Set in an isolated boarding school that would frighten Harry Potter himself, the film develops in a haunting poetic style. The director guides Canape into her kingdom.

The Legacy of Homer
Homer's legacy in Western literature stretches from Virgil to James Joyce and beyond. Less well known is his influence upon the visual arts. An exhibit and events at the Dahesh Museum and the Princeton University Art Museum document the spell cast by the blind Greek poet upon French artists of the 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. The art works are drawn from the immense collection of the Ecole National Superieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris. Ecole curator Dr. Emmanuel Schwartz tells Canape about art influenced by the epic imagination.

Amadou & Mariam
Some say that losing one sense heightens the others. In the case of French speaking world music superstars Amadou & Mariam, known as the blind couple from Mali, the senses that take over are all musical. Their latest CD Un Dimanche a Bamako has been on the charts around the world. Their producer is famed French rocker Manu Chao who brings his cosmopolitan curiosity to their roots music base. Canape takes a look and a listen.

Paradise Now
Suicide bombers, it's sad to report, are as common as a headline. But what, in fact, do the headlines report? What do we know of the human drama behind those who choose terrorism as a means of martyrdom and political struggle? The new French co-production by Hany Abu-Assad Paradise Now follows the last twenty four hours of two young Palestinians on their way to Tel Aviv as human bombs. Avoiding an easy drama of good guys versus bad guys, the director reaches into the milieu of Palestine today to explore how his characters feel and think. The director talks about what it means to take on a subject more often sensationalized than understood.

Marie France Pisier
Famous for her roles in the New Wave films of Jacques Rivette and Francois Truffaut, Marie France Pisier has never rested on her laurels. She has published four novels and remains an active feminist. She visited New York in fall 2005 as part of the festival of new French theater called Act French. At the French Institute / Alliance Francaise she performed the one woman show Liaison Transatlantique: Letters of Simon de Beauvoir to Nelson Algren. Canape visits with the multitalented madame during a rehearsal.

The Rabbi's Cat
Americans are only now learning what Europeans and Asians have known for quite awhile: comics are literature too. The latest example to prove the point is The Rabbi's Cat by Joann Sfar. Set in Algeria and Paris in the 1930s, the book tells the tale of an Algerian Jewish family whose cat swallows a parrot, begins to talk, and wants to be considered a Jew. Eventually, the rabbi and his sidekick the talking cat go to Paris for a visit with his daughter's in-laws. Drama and adventure follow them. Canape listens as the author tells the tale of his tale.

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