Hello! Welcome to Pichets in Paris Publishing. Here you will find travel stories and photos, the occasional Book Review and fictional piece based in Paris or France. ALL IMAGES ARE BY L'AUSSIE IMAGES (owned by Denise Covey). Contact me for permission to copy my images.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Sitting at a typewriter and opening veins...

There's nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.                        -Red Smith

That's what I'm doing for the next month, opening veins. Sorry, I won't be posting, but I will visit occasionally. I'll be back early April.

I have a lot of writing to do before I embark on my month-long sojourn in mid-June to Paris, the Dordogne, S.W. France, Andorra, San Sebastian Spain, Bordeaux, Morocco, Paris...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Murder in the Palais Royal

I just finished reading a detective book, Murder in the Palais Royal, by Cara Black. How come I haven't heard of her before? Have you? I discover that she's written a whole series of Murder in...
  • Murder in the Marais 
  • Murder in Belleville
  • Murder in the Sentier
  • Murder in the Bastille
  • Murder in Clichy
  • Murder in Montmarte
  • Murder in the Ile Saint-Louis
  • Murder in the Rue de Paradis
  • Murder in the Latin Quarter
So why did I list them all? So I have a record for when I'm looking for another. I feel quite happy that I know all these areas, which is the reason I enjoyed Murder in the Palais Royal so much. I remember spending a pleasant day there, part of my search for the Paris Collette. At the time the fountain was frozen so that was a treat. It was also fun getting photos of the 260 columns of black-striped sculptures by  Daniel Buren which are described in the book.

These books have as their heroine P.I. Aimee Leduc - fearless, risk-taking, all the while dressed in vintage Chanel and Dior and Louboutin heels. I was impressed how she went shopping for vintage shoes while she was facing being arrested for murder! A unique heroine alright!

MURDER IN THE PALAIS ROYAL begins when Aimee Leduc, sharing some, ahem, quiet moments with her newest boyfriend, Mathieu, receives a call from her partner, Rene Friant. One hundred thousand francs have been deposited into the Leduc Detective Agency bank account. Regrettably, no one owes them so much money and Rene is afraid Aimee has done something less than legal. A short time later, Rene is shot and Aimee is the principal suspect...
USA Today says: "No contemporary writer of noir mysteries evokes the spirit of Paris more than Cara Black in her atmospheric series..."

Very true. The stories are pure escapism, a little weak on plot, but tres enjoyable.

Pick one up if you can.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Bonjour! Alliance Francaise French Film Festival March 16 - April 3.

Brisbane is quite a francophile town with a very vibrant French expatriate community. Every year the French take over the South Bank along the river and host a French Festival, replete with real champagne stalls and tastings, French outdoor restaurants, foods to be eaten alfresco and row after row of stalls offering advice on moving to France, owning a B&B etc, with real people to talk to. I'm going to miss it this year as I will actually BE IN FRANCE!  But the one thing that many affectionardos look forward to the most is the French Film Festival.

And it's on again!

One of the hosts is Keanau Reeves, er, the Palace Cinemas, at the Barracks (where I hang out a lot!) It's a brand-new theatre complex selling food platters, wine etc that you take into the movie, tres grown up. Now instead of lemon soda to go with my maltesers, I can drink Prosecco, yum, and nibble on crackers and cheese and olives. And you don't get any teens pelting M&Ms at the back of your head. (Miss that drama don't I?) And while the French Film Festival is on I can dress up in red, white and black every night!

Starting on the 16 March - 3 April, the Alliance Francaise French Film Festival will be a real hoot. It is sponsored by the Alliance Francaise, that wonderful organisation whose teachers have taught me everything I don't know about speaking French (ha ha, hello Michel!). As Michel Filhol, the Ambassadeur de France en Australie says: 'It is focused on first encounters, discoveries and clashes.' The 'first encounters' are between two cultures, two peoples, two destinies, two ways of ife...The 'discoveries' are between men and women, young and old, reality and fiction...The 'clashes' are between political ideas, different desires, good and evil...

There is a great line up of 46 movies from major directors, actresses and actors which illustrate these words by Jean-Marie Le Clezio, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2009: 'Perhaps we could speak of love instead of cinema, and speak of them as if they were one and the same: Love, movement, that which troubles and makes your heart beat, that which awakens you deep inside, that which changes you and makes you somebody else.'

As Michel Filhol says: 'The 22nd AFFFF is a window on contemporary France, an open door to our country for the Australian audience, an invitation for a journey 18,000 kilometres from here, but just next door for we are earth neighbours in this world made smaller thanks to communication.'

Je vous souhaite un excellent Festival 2011!

Opening night film: POTICHE - starring Catherine Deneuve, Gerard Depardieu...

In this film Catherine Deneuve is in a comic role, a housewife who discovers she's a natural born leader...

In 1977 in the small northern town of Sainte-Gudule we meet Suzanne Pujol (Deneuve) an impossibly glamourous neglected housewife - a potiche (decorated object) whose husband cheats on her...she ends up running his company!

This film is based on a play by Barillet and Gredy. It is guaranteed to open the Festival with pizzazz...and will make you want to see the other 45 films!