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This edition: September 2006

Episode Details

Original tape date: September 21, 2006.

1/ NAPOLEON ON THE NILE AT THE DAHESH MUSEUM

When General Napoléon Bonaparte invaded Egypt in 1798, he brought along 167 experts (les savants) in all fields to chronicle the mysterious land that he wished to make France's own. While the French military occupation ended in 1801, the great intellectual enterprise of describing Egypt only appeared in 1829, in 10 magnificently illustrated volumes. They served as the foundational text of Egyptology and the European rush to know the Orient. The Dahesh Museum exhibition Napoleon on the Nile: Soldiers, Artists, and Rediscovery of Egypt tell us the story behind the story. Egyptologist Bob Brier navigates the Nile for Canapé.

2/ MONSIEUR GAINSBOURG REVISITED

Duke Ellington always said that his music was beyond category. The word Jazz wasn't adequate as a description. The same kind of problem follows any attempt to quickly describe the music of Serge Gainsbourg who died 15 years ago. His compositions have had such pervasive influence on contemporary French music that some fear no Gaul can do him justice. At least, that's the take of a new recording “Monsieur Gainsbourg Revisited”, a tribute compilation of cover versions recorded by a dazzling array of international artists. Producer Timothée Verrecchia tunes Canapé to the station.

3/ RETROSPECTIVE OF PRIX JEAN VIGO AT MOMA

The great French filmmaker Jean Vigo died in 1934 at the age of 29. He left behind the masterpieces “ Zéro de conduite” and “L'Atalante”, works that continue to enchant worldwide audiences. He also left behind a spirit of independent filmmaking that has been commemorated since 1951 by the Prix Jean Vigo. Past winners include Alain Resnais, Claude Chabrol, Anne Fontaine and Olivier Assayas. The Museum of Modern Art in New York is offering a rich retrospective of the winners. Curator Véronique Godard and past prize winners Jacques Champreux and Sophie Fillières join Canapé for a chat.

4/ MANU CHAO IN BROOKLYN

A leading artist of world music, Manu Chao plays music that can be heard around the world. Mixing rock with Latin, African, and Middle Eastern styles, his songs address key experiences of two thirds of the world. These are the hundreds of millions of people who live outside economically developed regions. His music travels well because he travels to know the world well. One of his recent stops was New York City where Canapé found him playing for a global audience in a global city.

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