Photo of the Week

Paris-Update-Giverny

Cherry blossoms in Giverny. © Paris Update

 

Paris Update What's On

Links to events happening this week in Paris.

Contemporary art fair

ArtParis300

 

"Le Port de Carnon" (2016), by Vincent Bioulès, at Galerie La Forest Divonne, Art Paris.

> Art Paris: 144 galleries. Grand Palais, Paris, March 30-April 2.

Celebrating crafts
> Artisans open their studios, hold exhibitions and give demonstrations of such crafts as jewelry-making or woodworking for Les Journées des Métiers d'Art. Various locations, Paris, March 31-April 2.

African culture festival
> The 100% Afriques festival showcases dance, theater, music, fashion, design, art, food and more from all over the continent. La Villette, Paris, March 23-May 28.

French film with English subtitles
> Lost in Frenchlation shows Thierry Fremaux's Lumière, preceded by a themed cocktail party (€4.50). Studio 28, Paris, March 31.

Documentary film festival
> Cinéma du Réel showcases documentaries from around the world. Various venues, Paris, March 24-April 2.

Suburban blues
> The Banlieues Bleues festival brings major French and international jazz acts to the Paris suburbs. Various venues, through March 31.

Before and after ecological disaster
> The Chic Planète festival presents two types of films, those celebrating the bounty of the earth and science-fiction views of what will happen after an ecopalypse. Forum des Images, Paris, through April 13.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

 

Hot Topics - Flash News

 

paris_update_flashnews

GOOD FRENCH TV:
NO LONGER AN OXYMORON

les_beaux_mecs_france2

Tony le Dingue, played by Simon Abkarian.


The French love American TV series, whether schlocky or great. There used to be a regular TV show devoted to American series, and the cable channel Série Club shows nothing but. For some reason, however, the French have never been able to produce a series that lives up to the standards of the American variety, and there has been much hand-wringing and publishing of analytical articles about it lately.

All that seems set to change, however. The series “Pigalle,” which runs on Canal+, has won kudos, and now the state-owned channel France 2 has produced an excellent gangster series called “Les Beaux Mecs,” written by Virginie Brac.

The name means something like “wiseguys” – a term familiar to all Scorcese fans – in the world of French gangsters, and indeed there are some similarities between Scocese’s film Goodfellas and this series: the main character, Antoine (a.k.a. Anthony or Tony le Dingue – Crazy Tony, certainly an homage to a certain New Jersey mob man we all know and love), played by Simon Abkarian, grows up on the streets running errands for the local wiseguys before graduating into their ranks as an insider/outsider. After serving 24 long years in prison and becoming an accidental escapee just before he is paroled in the brilliant opening scenes, Tony throws in his lot with a bunch of young hoods from the suburbs, which makes for many amusingly fraught confrontations between youth and experience.

The show then alternates present-day scenes with flashbacks to the past to show us from whence Tony sprung and why he is as vicious as he is. Unfortunately, Abkarian doesn't have the charisma that made James Gandolfini so lovable as Tony Soprano in spite of his sadistic, brutal side, but Les Beaux Mecs is a real winner, with its excellent production values, original concept and fine writing. Bravo to France 2, a public television station not previously known for its high-class series. Unfortunately, there are no plans to continue the story beyond the eight-part series already made, but let's hope there will be more such efforts. Les Beaux Mecs airs on Wednesdays at 8:35pm on France 2. Heidi Ellison