Tuesday, April 1, 2014

No. I do not speak french.


I haven't seen a whole heap of french movies, but what I have seen ranks pretty highly in my collection. I only own like two albums in french. It's not much, but it's enough to make me seem weird if I ever bring it up. I'm not trying to sound sophisticated either. I don't speak french. 

I stumbled upon french movies and french music accidentally. One morning before my afternoon shift at the department store I decided to pull out this movie I bought and watch it. It was called 'La Vie En Rose' and all I knew was that it had won some awards and that it was starring the famous Marion Cotillard of the fashion world. To my surprise it was french. I understood it via subtitles and I loved that it was a little bit left of centre. 

Reading something off of a screen takes a while to get used to, but after a while you don't even realise you are doing it. Having to read a movie means that you give it your full attention. I especially liked watching 'La Vie En Rose' because it introduced me to Edith Piaf and I liked learning about her life and reading the interesting lyrics to her songs. 

All the other movies I have seen are Audrey Tautou movies and the other CD (one is Edith Piaf) is a 'So Frenchy So Chic' film festival compilation. When I listen to my french CDs I don't understand anything. Sometimes I look up the translation of the lyrics and get a gist of what the song is about. Sometimes I sing along to Edith Piaf in my car and know that I am probably butchering the words and really singing something that doesn't quite make sense because I can't pull of that accent.

I don't mind not understanding the words. There is something about a french accent that sounds really good and I think sometimes not understanding is just as beautiful as understanding. It's like connecting to a song through empathy or something. And not understanding, clears your mind and allows you to really enjoy the music. I also like some of the instruments used. In Edith Piaf's music there is a lot of Accordion and piano. The film festival soundtrack has a lot of Kooky acoustic tunes on it with a few interesting instrumental choices. One of my favourites features a saw. 


I chose the french, because french came to me and because what I have seen so far fits into the genres that I usually go for. I think too that I have been subjected to too many movies where the characters go to Paris that I have been taught to love it. I don't know if I will ever learn the language or visit though. I think if I did it might be like that 'Monte Carlo' movie for me. My expectations would be too high and I'd be disappointed that there was no Gene Kelly tap dancing in the streets, giving candy to all of the children and singing about Lise. And, I think sometimes learning about something can take a lot of the fun out of it and it becomes more like a chore. Even if it is a beautiful language.

I know this is a random post, but I just thought I would share some of my thoughts about listening to something in another language. I don't really know anyone else's thoughts on it...

If you are going to watch a french movie I highly suggest 'Amelie' starring Audrey Tautou. This is one of my favourite movies. It is a feel good movie and is good for a laugh. Amelie has a very cool sense of style and she is the most interesting character ever. 

Have you ever watched a film in another language? Do you like the music of Edith Piaf?

Your Favourite Blogger,


Jessica Cangiano said...

That is a really astute and beautiful way to look at connecting with a language that you're not fluent in (re: empathy). I too have felt that way with both French (which I know a bit of, but am by no means truly fluent in) and my husband's native tongue, Italian, in particular.

♥ Jessica

*PS* Thank you deeply for your immensely touching comment on today's post. I think you're an engaging, intelligent, lovely writer, sweet dear, and always very much enjoy reading your posts.

*PSS* My secret plans are awesome!!! I'm bursting at the seams to share them on my site, but it's a touch too soon still (and no, as some have asked, I'm not pregnant).

Lorna Sharp said...

La Vie en Rose is great, but I really prefer la Foule, if not listened yet you should ! I assume you ' ll like as much as I do ;)

But unfortunately, I live in France and it is not at all like they want us to see it... Its not Pretty women and béret wearing boys, eating bread and speaking le langage de Baudelaire ! Haha
But Still we have a high culture of littérature, even among our famous artists, Music and everything...
So no this wasnt a spoiling comment!
Just a remark :)



Natalie_vintage_girl said...

@Jessica such sticky-beaks aren't they ;) Aww thankyou so much! I always look back on my blogposts a little regretful and proud at the same time. I spot so many typos :/

@Lona yes I have heard it. I have an Edith Piaf Compilation CD. I also really like 'La Goualante du pauvre jean'(I had to google just to spell it!) and 'padam padam'. Her voice is just glorious.

Thanks for your comments guys. It means so much to know that someone reads this.