Archive for the ‘France’ Category

And now a break for Spiral/Engrenages

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

A friend recently recommended the French police thriller Spiral, and it’s addictive.

The literal meaning of the French title, Engrenages, is closer to gears (as in the grinding of the judicial system) than to spiral, but Spiral is very apt.

Taking place in Paris, this is not, repeat, not a travelogue (in four seasons, there’s only one shot of the Champs Élysées); it is the Paris of ugly rough neighborhoods, banlieus, and squats. The “French judicial system” means the cops can rough you up, strip-search you, and leave you in the clink for 3 days, and Miranda is the name of some girl, not of a SCOTUS decision regarding your rights.

A combination of Good Wife-type soap opera, CSI, and Law & Order, the characters are perfectly cast and the stories follow an arc through a season. Mostly Film has spoilers, but lists the main characters with great élan,

There’s also all the usual mixed-bag of recurring characters that a show like this gathers over time, including one man who looks so very French it hurts…

My favorite so far is Judge Roban, with his perfect hair,

Mr. Selfridge fans will be happy to hear Grégory Fitoussi plays one of the lawyers.

Warning: Violence, sex, gore, and really foul language.
In colloquial gutter French with English subtitles that sometimes aren’t great, but the show is worth the effort.

The Guardian blogs it.

More Air France shenanigans

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

While you can’t carry shampoo bottles, and have to remove your shoes to get in a plane, last week French authorities seized 1.3 tons of pure cocaine in an Air France plane.

Also last week, also Air France, Gold Worth $2 Million Disappears From Paris-Zurich Flight.

The two incidents have the following in common:

  • the carrier
  • the timing
  • the airport, Charles de Gaulle.


Exit question, whose gold?

Venezuela: France seizes 1.3 tons of cocaine

Sunday, September 22nd, 2013

Because spreading the Bolivarian revolution is costly,
Huge cocaine haul seized on Air France plane in Paris

Air France planesThe 30 suitcases were reportedly not registered to any passenger on board
  • Police at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport have seized 1.3 tonnes of pure cocaine on board an Air France flight from Venezuela, French officials say.

The $270 million worth of cocaine found on Air France flight was the biggest drug haul ever made in the Paris area.

Authorities worked with Spanish, British and Dutch police on the investigation, BFMTV said.

“Venezuelan authorities are also investigating.”

Yeah, right.

Over in Venezuela, Venezuela’s leftist government said Saturday it temporarily seized a major toilet paper factory hoping that it can end troublesome shortages of the staple personal care item.

Because nothing sells cell phones like Che

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

Richard Branson is flogging Virgin cellphones on the streets of Paris wearing a Che outfit,

It’s not clear if Branson went for 100% authenticity and didn’t shower or bathe for a few weeks prior to the stint, but Marc Masferrer is not amused.

Rather than disguise himself as a mass-murdering sociopath communist, next time Richard ought to try something more fitting to his personality,

Certainly le tout Paris will be impressed by his fashion sense.

Saturday night tango: Dijon

Saturday, August 24th, 2013

Showing that it takes 1 to tango, and 1 to hold the camera,

Linked by Dustbury. Thank you!

Venezuela: Legitimizing Maduro, continued

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

As I mentioned earlier this week, Nicolas Maduro’s touring Europe in a grand way.

While the EU terms Venezuela’s political situation “difficult and fragile”

Christian Leffler, the managing director for the Americas of the European External Action Service, hopes authorities engage in dialogue with the opposition to develop a political program in the real interest of Venezuela

The head of the European External Action Service’s delegation to Venezuela, Gustavo Palomares, found that the Maduro regime incurred in enough electoral irregularities to have altered the election’s results.

Here’s the report,

In an article in Spain’s El Pais, Palomares calls Venezuela “a failed state.”

Too bad French President François Hollande didn’t read that article:

French President François Hollande and Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro proclaimed here Wednesday their determination to forge a “strategic alliance” between their two countries.

Whether anything shall come to pass from that meeting remains to be seen. Maybe France will send some toilet paper.

In lighter news, An Idiot’s Guide to Meeting the Pope.

Pro-bono Depardieu

Saturday, May 18th, 2013

The trailer for Welcome to New York is no longer available on YouTube, but Gerard Depardieu played the part of Dominique Strauss-Kahn for free,

He’s doing it for the pleasure of working with Abel Ferrara.

And perhaps a cut of the ticket office, no?

Maybe not.


said he took the role because he does not like Strauss-Kahn. During an interview at the time, Depardieu called the former IMF chief “unpleasant” and “arrogant.”

Considering his current avoirdupois, if I were a casting agent, I’d suggest that he play a nice guy, send him a fleece jacket, & have him star as governor of NJ.

Sarko leaving? For the UK?

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

Taxes must really be awful in France that the UK’s looking good by comparison,
Sarkozy’s plans ‘to dodge new 75% French tax rate by moving to London with wife Carla and setting up £1bn private equity fund’
Fraud police found details of move and business plan in raid on home
Sarkozy is under investigation for corruption in France
He will be latest Frenchman to escape potential top French tax rate of 75%
Couple would become London’s most high profile Gallic celebrities
Sarkozy would hope for fund support from French entrepreneur Alain Minc

I thought a ‘£1bn private equity fund’ would be more of a Villepin thing, but, hey, we’re living in hard times.

No word if the perineum is getting a workout.

DSK: deal or no deal?

Friday, November 30th, 2012

Did he, or didn’t he?

French media reported on Friday that Mr. [Dominique] Straus-Kahn, 63, the former head of the International Monetary Fund, would pay $6 million to the housekeeper, Nafissatou Diallo, who accused him of attacking her at a Midtown Manhattan hotel.

Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s lawyer, William W. Taylor III, said in a telephone interview on Friday morning that the French reports were “completely false” and that the $6 million figure “is off by orders of magnitude,” but he would not elaborate and details of the agreement could not immediately be determined. One of the people with knowledge of the matter had cautioned on Thursday that no settlement had yet been signed.

The only lesson so far is that the priapic are likely to get sued.

France: Charlie Hebdo strikes one for freedom of the press and freedom of expression

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

The guys who were firebombed last November over a Mohammed cartoon are at it again,
Charlie Hebdo, Satirical Weekly, Publishes Cartoons Of The Prophet Mohammad. The French government ordered schools and embassies to close on Friday.

This is what the cover looks like,

Gateway Pundit has the definitely-not-suitable-for-work inside cartoons. More NSFW here. It already sold out.

The government issued a statement,

Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault reaffirms that the freedom of expression is one of the fundamental principles of our Republic. This freedom is exercised within the framework of the law and under the supervision of the courts when a case is referred to them.

He also reaffirms the principle of laicité [secularism] which, along with the values of tolerance and respect for religious convictions, is at the heart of our Republican Pact.

And this is why, in the current context, the prime minister would like to express his disapproval of any excesses. He urges everyone to demonstrate a spirit of responsibility

Certainly the cops won’t be showing up to take away CH’s editor for questioning.

Taranto says that Paris is defending American values more vigorously than Washington is:

Free speech does not mean government-sanctioned speech, and Fabius’s criticism of the magazine’s editorial decision is an entirely reasonable and prudent one. The qualification, however, is crucially important–and, as we noted last week, it was missing from the statements of President Obama and Fabius’s counterpart, Hillary Clinton, about the YouTube film that the Obama administration blames for the recent anti-American violence in North Africa and elsewhere (though the Washington Examinerreports that the White House press secretary today put in a word for “the freedom of expression that is enshrined in our Constitution”).

Particularly since the riots are not about the video.