Sex, Racism, and (Gasp!) Taxes Plus More Highlights from this Week’s French News

Curious about what’s in the French news these days but having trouble deciphering paragraphs of jargon à la française? Here are some highlights of the past week’s French press (with links to the original articles if you feel like stretching your brain).

 

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Sex and the movies: a match made (and made, and made) somewhere

Lars Van Trier fans will be able to start the year off with a (ahem) “bang”: the first installment of his 4-hour film with the self-explanatory title  Nymphomaniac will be in theaters in France as of January 1st. The film, which comes out in the US later in the year, features actual (non-simulated) sex acts. A piece in Rue89 takes a look at films, authors, and actors obsessed with sex.

Read the full piece in Rue 89.

 

Anelka: “I’m neither an anti-semite nor a racist”

When French footballer Nicholas Anelka scored a goal in a game in Britain on Saturday, rather than celebrate with fist-pump, he gave a hearty “quenelle,” a crude-looking gesture coined by the controversial French comedian Dieudonné, who is famous for making anti-semitic remarks. Anelka and his supporters claim the gesture is nor racist, but rather “anti-system.” Later that evening, French Interior Minister Manuel Valls caused a stir of his own when he announced he would try to ban performances by the artist.

 Le Figaro‘s front page links to many stories on this theme. This one has Anelka’s latest statements.

 

Millionaires beware!

Remember that brilliant campaign promise that got François Hollande all of that attention? It went something like this: the rich are too rich, so let’s tax any yearly income over and above 1 million Euros at 75%. Even though that turned out to be much easier said than done, the project got new life yesterday when the constitutional council found nothing unconstitutional about it.

Read the full piece on Le Monde.

 

Famous Formula One driver hospitalized in France

He may have survived the deadliest races in the world, but a ski trip in the Alps has German Formula One star Michael Schumacher in critical condition. The seven-time champion is in a hospital in Grenoble after falling on the slopes and hitting his (helmeted) head on a rock. The news is front-page across French papers and fans are gathered outside his hospital awaiting developments.

Read the full piece on Le Parisien.

 

French fête the New Year with frozen freestyle

Dirk be damned, the Gauls are out in full force this week to freeze their butts off with mid-winter swims in celebration of the New Year. Ouest France has a fun little dossier on this tradition including photos of smiling human icicles and a map of the best events to court hypothermia en masse.

Read the full story on Ouest France.