Monday, 31 December 2012

Making the Biscuits

 On Christmas Eve Simon suddenly went into a baking frenzy and produced crispy thin gingernuts, walnut studded chocolate brownies and sugary macaroons.

Watching a French movie is a great way of gently improving your French language and cultural comprehension. Ideally, I like to watch the movie in French with no subtitles, then read a review of it to see how much I understood. Generally there will be some subtlety of the relationship between two characters that I won't have got. If I remember, I like to watch the movie again in 6 months time. It's fun to feel like you are understanding much more of the dialogue second time round.

Movie Suggestion: Les Visiteurs, a time travelling comedy from 1992 which I'd never heard of before, but seems to have become a bit of a cult. The costumes are great, the story is amusing, the characters clear (although Jean Reno did strongly remind me of our friend Stéphane -- fortunately only mildly disconcerting).


  1. Well said, Susan...
    something Pauline and I miss greatly as we have no TV here is Tayvaysank... TV5, which we used to get on cable in the UK.
    It became our most watched channel very quickly.

  2. Wow, love the biscuits.....put the kettle on, I'll just get my coat !!

  3. Recipes for the Brownies and the Ginger bix please!!

  4. Jean: Trop tard !

    Tim: Both are Delia. I already linked to Simon's version of the ginger bix.

  5. I used to watch the news...and was quite chuffed when I could turn to and understand the jokes on the Guignols, etc...

    I've tried films in Spanish...but the news still works best for me.

    Those biscuits look rather moreish...

  6. Happy New Year to you two, from us too!
    And also Happy Mew Year from Baron and RonRon... may this year be 'Appy, 'Ealthy, and Prosperous.

  7. Susan, those biscuits look yummy.... Hang on Jean, I'll come with you!

  8. Susan, I recommend the movie called Nelly et Monsieur Arnaud (1990s vintage) as one that has clear dialogues and interesting situations and settings. The director is Claude Sautet. Another good film of his is called Une Histoire Simple.

  9. Ken: Thanks for the movie suggestions -- I'll see if I can get hold of them.

    Colin: (as I assume it's you and not Elizabeth) you are way too late, and they were yummy :-)

    I'm sure Simon would happily don the baking apron regularly now that he knows it will entice our friends to visit.

  10. I agree with Nelly and Monsieur Arnaud. One of the problems with French films is that they have a tendency to be "intimiste" and even French people don't understand everything that's said. I certainly don't after living here for 35 years! I just watched Audrey Tatou in "La Délicatesse" which is an excellent film but it took me quite a while to understand what she was saying. The Swedish guy was fine! Using French subtitles can be useful. Do you listen to "France Info"? Because they keep repeating the same things all day, it's very useful for improving comprehension and vocab.

  11. Fraussie: I may inadvertently have got round the tendency for whispering and mumbling by almost exclusively watching comedies, so the words have to be distinct so people get the jokes.

    I try not to use subtitles, as I just read them and ignore the rest. I don't know France Info. I watch France 24 and listen to France Inter a bit.