September 24, 2021
Dear Frenchly Readers,
My name is Caitlin Shetterly and I have accepted the wonderful opportunity to become Frenchly’s new Editor in Chief. Already, I am meeting so many smart and sympa people who are a part of the French Morning team or are regular writers for Frenchly and are stationed all over the United States and across the pond in Europe. I’m dusting off my Franglais!
Part of my mission as I come into this new role is to find more ways to connect with you, our readers.
Today I am sending you the first edition of my new newsletter, Le Weekend. Each Friday, I’ll be sending you something I wish would come into my own inbox, which is a few ideas for the Francophile in all of us of what to watch that’s “cool” (said, bien sur, with a French accent), maybe something to cook, a place to go (or just dream about), maybe a great read or a transcendent piece of music or, perhaps, a poem or a photo that’s made me laugh or well up.
What with Covid and breakthroughs and Afghanistan and the Haitian immigrant border crisis, we can all feel helpless at times. Yesterday, I got an invite from a local community center asking if I would “adopt” a family for the holiday season. I wrote back an enthusiastic, “Yes!” Though I know that this will mean more careful holiday budgeting for my own family, it’s a no brainer to give where I can right now.
When the din of the world gets too much, I am hoping that Le Weekend will give you a moment or two of joy or thoughtfulness.
So, without further ado, Le Weekend:
This week, I read this great piece in the Le Monde about the French actress Sophie Marceau and her new, powerful sounding film called, Tout S’est Bien Passé, or Everything Went Fine, which came out this week in movie theatres in France.
You might remember Marceau got her start from that 1980 movie called La Boum that you were shown in French class. In it, she plays a winsome thirteen-year old, called Vic, discovering first love. I remember my teacher, Anne Fontaine, a wickedly funny, smart, little, round lady who ignited big love for French culture in myself and my classmates, dimming the lights and sliding the VHS into the VCR. It seems like a million years ago now.
This week, I re-watched La Boum on the France Channel, which serves up French TV and movies anywhere you are (by the way, as a Frenchly reader, you can get a 10% discount with this code: FRENCHLYPROMOCODE). As I watched, I found myself glad I hadn’t asked my twelve-year old son to watch it with me. There were too many things that would be unlikely to be found in a pre-teen movie today, like thirteen-year-olds smoking, a boy putting his penis inside a box of chips that a girl is eating, and a father grabbing his wife by the arm. And there’s the whole difficult topic of the father’s affair, which puts Vic’s parents’ marriage on the skids.
But other than all that, there was a lovely timelessness to it and some healthy messages, too, about the power and safety of family, even during turbulent times. I found myself enjoying watching normal kid problems, like choosing a cute outfit to wear to a party (and nary a mask in sight.) I kept wanting to reach into the screen and tap Vic on the shoulder to say, “Wait, you forgot your mask!”
If you aren’t up for a walk down memory lane, you might consider binge watching—as I did last week–French actress Julie Delpy’s new Netflix show about middle-aged women, On the Verge. And on Sunday, how about making some French toast to enjoy, because why not?
For a Long American Read this weekend, check out this great piece about America’s oldest park ranger—she’s 100! Or, how about you run out to your favorite brick and mortar bookstore and pick up a copy of Wes Anderson’s new book, An Editor’s Burial—it’s a compilation of essays from The New Yorker and promises to be an amusing and edifying read. Or this smart piece in the New York Times today that asks whether France is still a great power? (We also covered the fallout from the failed submarine deal here on Frenchly.)
That’s my news for this weekend. I hope you’ll go on Facebook and Twitter, here and here, and tell me where you live, what makes you read the Frenchly newsletter each week, and how you like this first edition of Le Weekend.
À bientôt, Caitlin.