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The French Flock to a Feel-Good Movie "Untouchables"
The New York Times ^ | December 10 2011 | MAĻA DE LA BAUME

Posted on 12/11/2011 6:54:59 PM PST by Cincinna

 When it was released last month, “Intouchables” seemed an unremarkable, lowbrow French comedy, a small-budget film with actors little known outside France hamming it up in a story about a stodgy, disabled aristocrat and the good-humored ex-con whom he hires as his aide. 

But only four weeks after its release the movie has attracted 11 million viewers, almost 17 percent of the French population.

“Intouchables,” is based on the true story of Philippe PozzodiBorgo, a wealthy businessman who was left a quadriplegic after an accident, and his aide, an unemployed, Algerian-born resident of a lower-class banlieue. (The film recreates the aide as a young black man from the housing projects.)

The script is centered on the bond that grows between the two.(sn)

  For different reasons the characters are lost and lonely, and they end up helping to enrich each other’s lives.

“This epic of the tall black and the little white guy is tenderly funny and a true achievement,” said a recent editorial in Le Monde. Some commentators even compared the buoyant humor of “Intouchables” to Frank Capra’s movies.

“It’s well written and well told,” a sociologist who specializes in cinema and is president of the University of Avignon, said “It tells a lot about the permanent value of living together in harmony”(sn)

  “Intouchables” has also been criticized for its idealistic vision of a world without social gaps, where an aristocrat can befriend an ex-con. The newspaper Libération denounced “the dictatorship of emotion as a camouflage to the total absence of thought,” while Variety pointed at what it called the film’s primitive racism, describing Driss as “a role barely removed from the jolly house slave of yore.”

The movie, Variety’s writer added, “flings about the kind of Uncle Tom racism one hopes has permanently exited American screens.”

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: cinema; france; racism; whiteliberalguilt
White liberal guilt strikes again! The movie has been a huge flop with Americal audiences.

*** FRENCH POLITICS AND CULTURE PING LIST *** 

*** FREEPMAIL ME IF YOU WANT TO JOIN  ***

1 posted on 12/11/2011 6:55:07 PM PST by Cincinna
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To: Cincinna

They also considered “Le Jerry” to be a genius.


2 posted on 12/11/2011 6:58:12 PM PST by Larry Lucido
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To: Cincinna; afraidfortherepublic; mojo114; seenenuf; LucyT; Miss Didi; Think free or die; ...

French cinema goes PC. I found it interesting to notice that the left wing mouthpiece for the Socialist Party drooled over this trash, while more right wing papers were critical.

The French “Driving Miss Daisy”, a few decades later?

This is a patronizing movie that assuages white liberal guilt, which the French left is submerged in.


3 posted on 12/11/2011 7:02:41 PM PST by Cincinna ( *** NOBAMA 2012 ***)
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To: Cincinna

Just look at Rwanda, if you want to know the real French attitude about blacks.


4 posted on 12/11/2011 7:04:01 PM PST by Jonty30 (If a person won't learn under the best of times, then he must learn under the worst of times.)
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To: Cincinna
The best movies ever made before world war 2 were French with few exceptions.

The Nazis under Goebbels took propaganda on cellulose to great heights.

They made awful flicks and they made up for it by making lots of people dead. You cannot honestly say the same about the French.

Quentin Tarentino demonstrated this to the acclaim of almost nobody via his amazing work “Inglorious Basterds.”

Want to watch a movie?

Cinema Francais s’il vous plait.

5 posted on 12/11/2011 7:07:57 PM PST by Radix ("..Democrats are holding a meeting today to decide whether to overturn the results of the election.")
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To: Cincinna
They should've showed The Untouchables, that would've gotten their knickers and berets in an uproar. (This movie is from a time when Kevin Costner could still pick roles and act competently. Not a bad flick even though Robert Stack was MUCH better as Elliot Ness.)


6 posted on 12/11/2011 7:09:24 PM PST by Excuse_My_Bellicosity (Liberalism is a social disease.)
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To: Cincinna

What’s the unemployment rate in France?


7 posted on 12/11/2011 7:11:35 PM PST by matt1234 (Bring back the HUAC.)
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To: Cincinna

“Driving Miss Daisy” was what occurred to me, too. That was a movie I skipped, but couldn’t help hearing about from all sorts of breathless commentaries.


8 posted on 12/11/2011 7:18:03 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Cincinna

>>>”The French Flock to a Feel-Good Movie “Untouchables””<<<

Given the state of economy in La France, I guess they wanted to take a break from Les Misérables.


9 posted on 12/11/2011 7:38:26 PM PST by odds
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To: Radix

Ironically though, most of the best movies I’ve seen over the past few years, have been German movies: Goodbye, Lenin!, Sophie Scholl-The Final Days, to name a few.


10 posted on 12/11/2011 7:42:09 PM PST by dfwgator
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To: Cincinna
Sometimes a story with a yin-yan characteristic just passes right over American heads ~ now you do that with a boy and a dog and a horse, we get the point but that just makes the French hungry.

Here's how you do a story with universal appeal. First, destroy the world. Render it uninhabitable and everybody is miserable. Then, bring it back, or stop the destruction. That's a comedy (happy ending). Or, everybody is happy and bad things happen, and at the end everyone is worse off than their wildest fears. That's a tragedy (sad ending).

I think I'll watch this movie. A healthy man helps a horribly wounded man and they achieve spiritual victory. What's not to like.

11 posted on 12/11/2011 7:48:35 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: odds

In France, even cinema is an entitlement! The unemployed & students get in free or half price. What an incentive to look fir a job!


12 posted on 12/11/2011 8:01:09 PM PST by Cincinna ( *** NOBAMA 2012 ***)
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To: dfwgator
Das Leben der Anderen (The Lives of Others) (2006)
13 posted on 12/11/2011 8:03:21 PM PST by reg45 (I'm not angry that Lincoln freed the slaves. I'm angry that Franklin Roosevelt bought them back.)
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To: matt1234

Current rate (September 2011) is 9.9%


14 posted on 12/11/2011 8:04:18 PM PST by Cincinna ( *** NOBAMA 2012 ***)
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To: reg45

Yes, I mean to mention that one as well.


15 posted on 12/11/2011 8:11:23 PM PST by dfwgator
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To: reg45

One of my favorite moves EVAR..!!!


16 posted on 12/11/2011 8:11:25 PM PST by gaijin
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To: Radix

>>>”Cinema Francais s’il vous plait.”<<<

Oui, bien sûr.

French Cinema is one of the best. The French don’t make good “action” movies (compared to Americans). However, they are good at high quality, innovative movies, together with some of the classics. La Mome (La Vie en Rose) about Edith Piaf, La Belle et la bête, Les Diaboliques (Diabolique), and Le Fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain, are a few that immediately come to mind.


17 posted on 12/11/2011 8:11:38 PM PST by odds
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To: Cincinna

Don’t think the unemployed here in Australia can, but students (I think) can get a discount here too. Though I believe it may only apply to limited movie theatres.


18 posted on 12/11/2011 8:17:51 PM PST by odds
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To: odds

Early French cinema us amazing, new movies, not so much.
Some of the best:
Which ones have you all seen?

400 Blows
Shoot the Piano Player
Grand Illusion
Les Enfants du Paradis
La Reine Margot
Diabolique
Au Revoir Les Enfants
Jules and Jim
Story of Adele H
Camille Claudel
Les Visiteurs
Breathless
Jean de Florette
The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie
Babette’s Feast


19 posted on 12/11/2011 10:15:12 PM PST by Cincinna ( *** NOBAMA 2012 ***)
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To: Cincinna

From your list: Diabolique, La Rein Margot, Camille Claudel, and Les Enfant du Paradis. In addition to the ones mentioned in #17. I agree, older ones are more amazing.

In Australia we have a tv station called SBS. It often shows foreign movies (with subtitles) which helps me keep up my linguistic interests in European languages (French, German & Spanish). Since, unlike living in Europe or the UK, one isn’t easily exposed to & doesn’t get the chance to practice a different language, unless it is an Asian one.

We also have a number of cinemas here which mostly show foreign movies (w/ subtitles), particularly French ones. Naturally, actors/actresses such as Juliette Binoche, Jean Pierre Jeunet, Isabelle Adjani, Gérard Depardieu, Catherine Deneuve, and Jean Reno are some of the more popular & well-known ones in an English speaking country like Australia.

In the late 1970s when I was a kid I do remember thinking Alain Delon was really handsome. Louis de Funes was incredibly funny, in the same decade. But, I wasn’t living in Australia then.


20 posted on 12/11/2011 11:00:01 PM PST by odds
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typo = La Reine & Les Enfants


21 posted on 12/11/2011 11:28:28 PM PST by odds
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To: Cincinna

In the actual Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Uncle Tom was beaten to death, and yet doesn’t seem to have suffered half as much as these miserable liberal malcontents that are ever likening trans-racial comity to said avuncular figure.


22 posted on 12/11/2011 11:37:24 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (Sometimes progressives find their scripture in the penumbra of sacred bathroom stall writings (Tzar))
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To: Cincinna

Wasn’t the Piano Player one, more like Ne Tirer le Pianiste? (Don’t shoot the pianist?) Which immortalized the modern reproduction of Wild West bar signs, “Don’t Shoot The Piano Player.” (Oddly enough, I’ve had a very hard time trying to locate one today, even on eBay. Could shooting itself be too un-PC a thing to mention anymore, even as an obvious joke?)


23 posted on 12/11/2011 11:42:31 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (Sometimes progressives find their scripture in the penumbra of sacred bathroom stall writings (Tzar))
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To: HiTech RedNeck; Cincinna

>>>”more like Ne Tirer le Pianiste? (Don’t shoot the pianist?)” Which immortalized the modern reproduction of Wild West bar signs, “Don’t Shoot The Piano Player.”<<<

The expression in French is “Ne tirez pas sur le Pianiste” (don’t shoot the messenger).

But you can buy “Tirez sur le Pianiste” (shoot the piano player) - (DVD, 1999) on ebay! :) - http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=Tirez+Sur+Le+Pianiste


24 posted on 12/12/2011 12:56:26 AM PST by odds
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To: Cincinna

When I went to school in France I would get accosted with “oh, you Americains, you are so cruEL to the blacks and the IndiEns!”. I had to hear over and over how racist I was. So I would say, look how you all treat the Arabs. I actually got, a few times, “Mais c’est different! Ils sont ARABES!”. (But that’s different. They’re ARABS!”) The last word said with emphasis and disgust. And this was long before the 9/11 era.


25 posted on 12/12/2011 7:15:51 AM PST by Yaelle (Excuse the mobile device errors please.)
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To: Yaelle

Shall we also mention to the French their treatment of the Jews during WWII? It’s not like the Germans had to twist their arms very hard to comply.


26 posted on 12/12/2011 7:17:45 AM PST by dfwgator
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To: Cicero

“driving miss daisy” was still a good film. Several great actors, and until that movie I didn’t understand there was a huge and very old Jewish community in the South. With glorious old synagogues. Fascinating.


27 posted on 12/12/2011 7:19:24 AM PST by Yaelle (Excuse the mobile device errors please.)
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To: Cincinna

I’ve seen about half of those. We used to go to an art movie theater just over from Harvard Square when I was in college and grad school. They showed a lot of French and European films. Some with subtitles, some without, and as I recall just about all in black and white.

All of the Bergman films, too.


28 posted on 12/12/2011 8:08:39 AM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

I’m sorry I left out “Shoot the Piano Player “ (Tirez Sur Le Pianiste) It is still considered one of the great classics of cinema. It is widely available on eBay & Amazon.
Truffaut was one of the founders of La Nouvelle Vague (New Wave) cinema. This film along with Les Quatrefoil Cent Coups (400 Blows) are his earliest films.
I also like very much “le Dernier Metro” The Last Metro, one of his last successes.
Truffaut left us far too soon. He was only 52.


29 posted on 12/12/2011 10:02:44 AM PST by Cincinna ( *** NOBAMA 2012 ***)
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To: Cincinna

Speaking of French movies, the movie “Hugo” was a nice tribute to the legacy of Georges Meiles.


30 posted on 12/12/2011 10:06:32 AM PST by dfwgator
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To: Cincinna

Of the films you listed, I’ve seen all but La Reine Margot, and have most of them on DVD. The French film industry is a pipsqueak compared to Hollywood’s massive output; perhaps that’s part of the reason that French cinema seems to me to have a higher percentage of good and great films.

I’d add:

Manon des Sources (can’t mention Jean de Florette wihout Manon!)
La Maman et la Putain (unobtainium on DVD or tape - but oddly enough, the entire film is on YouTube)
Zazie dans le Metro
Le Grand Blond avec Une Chaussure Noire (I think I’ll throw the LD in the player tonight)
La Chevre
Les Comperes
La Vallee
La Règle du Jeu
Z
Le Salaire de la Peur
Le Genou de Claire - heck, anything Rohmer directed
L’Armée des Ombres
Everything Truffaut

...and a ton more. Can you tell I’m a BIG fan of French films? :-)


31 posted on 12/12/2011 7:49:57 PM PST by TrueKnightGalahad
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To: Yaelle; Cincinna

Just my assessment that “racism” is historically specific to a country or nation. Overall, imo, Americans are much less “racist” than Europeans, or non-Europeans such as the Japanese.


32 posted on 12/13/2011 5:48:31 PM PST by odds
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To: Yaelle
You are so right. The French are incredibly racist and anti-Semitic; it seems to be almost in their DNA. There us a dessert called "Tête du Nègre" on Café & ice cream parlor menus all over France. A meringue, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top covered in dark chocolate sauce.



The way they dealt with Arab immigrants, by putting them in housing project ghettos in the suburbs (bainlieus) around Paris, creating a circle if bombs ready to explode is disgraceful.


33 posted on 12/14/2011 3:13:05 PM PST by Cincinna ( *** NOBAMA 2012 ***)
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To: odds

Agree. Since American culture us based on individualism, most of us, especially we conservatives, tend to judge people as individuals, not as a group.

FWIW The Japanese are probably the most racist of all. In a monolithic culture, there “superiority” is inbred for centuries. This is a generalization, but my experience with the Japanese they disrespect all non-Japanese.


34 posted on 12/14/2011 3:21:02 PM PST by Cincinna ( *** NOBAMA 2012 ***)
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