Do you wish you could turn back timpul?

time-clocks

Image from Pixabay.

How is time treating you? How are your relationships faring five, 10, 15 years down the track? Here’s a song about exactly that, entitled Timpul (time) by Romanian singer Feli, whose full name is Felicia Donose.

Feli was a semifinalist in The Voice Romania contest in 2012 and since then she has released a number of singles either as a solo artist or in collaboration with top Romanian singers. But this one is her best yet and has broken into the Romanian Top 20.

So, what it’s all about? It is too difficult and time-consuming to place the Romanian lyrics and the English ones side by side in this space, but luckily the Lyric Translate website specialises in that sort of thing. Click here for the English translation (there are also Russian and Spanish ones).

Below are the first verse, chorus, and second verse, and finally a live clip of the song.

Versuri:
Îmi spuneai că se poate,
Că pot să scap de trecut,
Doar să-mi dau voie
Să iubesc, să iubesc, dar eu nu am vrut.
Plin de iubire şi răbdare,
Eu te vedeam un prefăcut,
Mă luai în braţe şi-mi spuneai cum nu spuneai oricui
„Lasă iubirea să te-mbrace, dă-i timp timpului”

Refren:
Spune-mi, spune-mi ce e de făcut,
Că vreau să fie ca la început,
Dar tu nu mai vrei, tu nu mai,
M-ai uitat, deşi n-ai vrut
Spune-mi, spune-mi ce e de făcut,
Că vreau să fie ca la început,
Dar tu nu mai vrei, tu nu mai,
Tu nu mai vrei tot ce am avut

Versuri:
Câte îmi arată viaţa,
Câte semne să mă prind,
Cum înclină balanţa
Spre instinct, să-l ascult şi să nu mă mint.
Câte amintiri frumoase,
Ce din când în când m-ating,
Tu mi-ai transformat în vară ficare anotimp…

More sultry songs from Coeur de Pirate

pirateHello, me hearties, it’s time we caught up with Coeur de Pirate. So read on otherwise you will have to walk the plank!

Coeur de Pirate (“Heart of a Pirate”) is the nom de plume of French-Canadian singer Béatrice Martin, who has had album and single chart success in Europe as well as Canada. The last time she featured her was in mid-2014 in the post The sultry songs of Coeur de Pirate. Those songs are well worth revisiting.

Since then, in late August 2015, she has released another album, Roses, which went to number two on the Canadian charts, and made the top 10 in both France and Belgium and the top 20 in Switzerland. This time, though, more than half the tracks are in English. Here are some songs from Roses, and you can get translations of her lyrics into various languages from this page on the Lyrics Translate website.

The first single from the album was Oublie Moi, (“Forget me“). It’s jaunty.

Coeur de Pirate did an English version of the song, using the title Carry On.

A good review of the album and interview with Coeur de Pirate discussing the inspiration behind it can be found here.

I really like Crier tout bas, which was the third single from the album. The title’s meaning is contradictory (in the same way that “more haste, less speed” would appear to be) – Crier tout bas means shout in a very low voice, or scream softly. The French lyrics are at bottom.

Crier tout bas

Je t’ai vu tracer le long du paysage
Une ligne des aimés qui détruisent ton langage
Et quand tu chantais plus fort dans ton silence
Je voyais les larmes couler toujours à contresens

Mais quand les saisons attendront ton retour
Ce sera le vent qui portera secours

Et si la terre est sombre, et si la pluie te noie
Raconte-moi qu’on puisse trembler ensemble
Et si le jour ne vient pas dans la nuit des perdus
Raconte-moi qu’on puisse crier tout bas

J’ai voulu calmer ton souffle qui s’étouffait
Des courses vers le vide, ton rire qui soupirait
Si tu mets le cap vers des eaux restant troubles
Je serai le phare qui te guidera toujours

Mais quand les saisons attendront ton retour
Ce sera le vent qui portera secours

Et si la terre est sombre, et si la pluie te noie
Raconte-moi qu’on puisse trembler ensemble
Et si le jour ne vient pas dans la nuit des perdus
Raconte-moi qu’on puisse crier tout bas

Je t’ai vu tracer le long du paysage
Une ligne des aimés qui détruisent ton langage
Et quand tu chantais plus fort dans ton silence
Je voyais les larmes couler toujours à contresens

Et si la terre est sombre, et si la pluie te noie
Raconte-moi qu’on puisse trembler ensemble
Et si le jour ne vient pas dans la nuit des perdus
Raconte-moi qu’on puisse crier tout bas

 

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The foreigners at the BAFTAs

After the recent excitement of the Golden Globes, attention turned today to the BAFTA nominations. The British Academy of Film And Television Arts released its list of 2017 award nominees and, as expected the Hollywood musical La La Land dominated, scoring 11 nominations.

The foreign language film contenders did not include the Golden Globe-winning French film Elle, because it has not yet opened in England, so it will probably be a contender in the 2018 BAFTAs.

But there were French connections. One of the nominees was Dheepan, which looks at the lives of Tamils fleeing Sri Lanka to settle in France. Cheerful stuff!

Spanish is another Romance language that gets a role at the BAFTAs, in the form of Pedro Almodóvar’s Julieta.

I am a great fan of Pedro Almodóvar and will always go to see his films at the cinema, but I must confess  Julieta left me a little cold. That said, I have friends who have raved about it.

Turkish-born French director  Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s Mustang (in Turkish), which was an Oscar contender last year and also won four César awards in 2016, is also a BAFTA contender, as is the 2016 best foreign film Oscar winner Son of Saul (in Hungarian). Completing the list is the German comedy Toni Erdmann, which I will talk about in a later post.

The BAFTA awards will take place in London on February 12.

French triumph at Golden Globes

As well as La La Land (which is an excellent film in many ways), the Golden Globes were a notable success for the French film industry. Isabelle Huppert beat the other (English-speaking) nominees to win the award for best actress in a drama for her role in Elle, which was lauded as best foreign film.

Elle was released in Australia in late October, but it is still showing on some screens in Sydney at least, and no doubt it get more screenings in various parts of the world as a result of its success today. It’s a gritty nail-biter of a movie.

Her win was a surprise, and her heart was pumping as much at the Globes awards ceremony as it might have been when she was first confronted by her attacker in Elle.

Another French film, Divines, was among the five nominations for best foreign film, but it focuses on the dubious deeds of a much younger generation.

For those interested in Romance languages, a Spanish film Neruda, was also nominated, as were films from Iran and Germany. Having recently been in Chile, and being a big fan of Gael García Bernal, I am looking forward to seeing Nerudawhich will get a commercial screening in Australia later this year.

Finally, it wasn’t nominated for a Golden Globe, but if you get the chance to see the French film Rosalie Blum (which opened in Australia on Boxing Day) I do recommend it. It’s got everything I love about the French film industry – it turns real people leading ordinary human lives into the extraordinary, with great wit and warmth, sadness and poignancy.

 

 

 

 

The Andes, Iguazu and La Ley: what more could you want?

Recently I had the chance to travel to South America – mostly to Brazil, so that was great for my Portuguese, and to a lesser extent in the Spanish-speaking part: Chile and Argentina, to take in the Argentinian side of the Iguazu Falls (Iguaçu in Portuguese), which, let me tell you, are spectacular. Below are a couple of pics I took with my iPhone, which got a soaking during the day.

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Iguazu Falls … multi-layered and magnificent . Photo: Bernard O’Shea

I was also very lucky to have a window seat while flying over the Andes mountains at sunset (heading east from Santiago to Rio de Janeiro). At the top of this post, and below, are two of the photos I took on that memorable journey.

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While I was in Chile I was excited to find out that my favourite Chilean band – in fact, my favourite Spanish-singer artists in the whole wide mundo – La Ley, had re-formed and brought out a new album this year, called Adaptación, their first since 2003.

Here’s my favourite track from it.

There are 12 songs on the album, two of which are in English. The opening track is also appealing. Here’s a studio clip of it.

I hope you enjoyed this visual and aural foray into South America.

Latino flavour for new film festival

Great news for film lovers and those learning Spanish (and Portuguese) who will happen to be in major Australian cities in August.

Palace Cinemas has programmed a new film festival, the Cine Latino Film Festival, which will feature more than 30 films from 11 countries – Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Uruguay and Venezuela..

The festival will be held in Sydney (August 9-24), Canberra (August 10-21), Adelaide (August 11-24), Brisbane (August 12-24) and Melbourne (August 17-31).

The opening night film is Neruda, a Chile/Argentina/France/Spain production which looks at the life of the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda (played by Luis Gnecco), in which one of my favourite actors, Gael García Bernal, plays a hapless policeman. There is some stunning scenery in it (foreign film festivals are a great form of armchair travel). There are four other feature films from Chile in the program.

Spanish language dominates, as you would expect given that Brazil is the only South/Latin American country where Portuguese is spoken. There is only one feature film from Brazil, The Violin Teacher (the trailer is below but I could not find a trailer with subtitles). You will also be able to hear that language in a short film Maracanazo: The Football Legend, one of four shorts films in a session entitled Back Four: Four Films About Football.

Argentina supplies the bulk of the films (six features and three short films) but there is also a mini-festival within the festival featuring six Mexican films.

You can see the program and other details on the festival website here.

Colombian films shine at Spanish Film Festival

The Spanish Film Festival is in full swing in Australia and as usual it has been great to go along and catch some of the action. Sydney and Melbourne got the first bite at the olive this year and are in the “back by popular demand” stage, putting on extra sessions of the most popular films. But Canberra, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Hobart still have a lot to look forward to. Here’s the official festival trailer.

One film I was very keen to see was Embrace of the Serpent (El Abrazo de la Serpiente), the first Colombian film to be nominated for an Oscar, in the Best Foreign Film category. If you ever get the chance to see it, go! It was fantastic, visually stunning and very thought-provoking. It’s a must-see film for anyone who wants to know about life on the Amazon river and in the jungle.

It is also a linguistic feast: English, Cubeo, Wanano, Tikuna, Huitoto, Okaina, Latin, Catalan, Spanish, Portuguese and German with English subtitles! I guess not many films can beat that.

Check out the trailer.

GREAT ARTICLES ABOUT THE FILM, DIRECTOR AND ACTORS 

Much as I like a good film, I also like a good review of it to match (there’s nothing more off-putting than a tedious review of a great film). The best review I have read of Embrace of the Serpent is this one by Jordan Hoffman in The Guardian.

There are also two interviews I found that are well worth reading:
  • one with the director Ciro Guerra – “I spent five years on this movie because I wanted to take a trip to the unknown. I was tired of the Western way of life, where humans are virtual avatars instead of people. I wanted to see if there was another way of living, and I found it.
  • and the other with a 30-year-old man of Cubeo origin who plays the younger version of the shaman Karamakate – Nilbio Torres had never been to the cinema before and had never heard of the Oscars, until he acted in a film that got nominated for one.

ANOTHER COLOMBIAN FILM TO LOOK OUT FOR 

While I was watching Embrace of the Serpent, a friend of mine who is the arts editor of a newspaper in Canberra was taking in Breathless Time (Tiempo Sin Aire) in the national capital. She texted me after to say it was “amazing”.

For information on all the films in this year’s festival and screening times, the Festival website is here.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE

Palace cinemas are putting on Cine Latino: A New Festival of Latin American Cinema over a two-week period in August, plus there is the Sydney Latin American Film Festival in September.

Frenchmania – A French night in Bucharest

If you have ever wondered how French sounds when spoken or sung by a Romanian (yes, you have thought about this a lot, haven’t you) well here is your chance to find out.

The Institut Française Roumanie in Bucharest recently held a musical gala to promote the French language, and les meilleurs artistes roumains sont venus chanter (top Romanian artists came along to sing). For some, it was quite a challenge, as Dorian Popa explains in a mix of French and Romanian before doing a cover of Maître Gims’ Bella.

If you are not familiar with Maître Gims, you should be! Read about him on my post Sounds of France via Africa. Here is the original version of Bella.

Dorian Popa is a popular pop-rap singer in Romania  who is also well known for his rippling muscles, bulging pecs and formidable six-pack. I’ve selected this clip of this duet with Ruby because it has a lot of footage in Paris and I prefer it to his solo efforts.

So, who else took part in the French soirée? One singer I really like, Keo (I will do a post  on him shortly) does a great cover of Le Vent Nous Portera (The wind will take/carry us), which was a big hit in Europe for the group Noir Désir in 2001.

Adrian (Adi) Despot, who is a member of the band Vița de Vi, did a cover of one of my favourite songs by the band Indochine, Tes Yeux Noirs (Your black eyes).

Here’s Indochine doing the much loved song at one of their tremendous gigs.

I also really like this version, recorded with an orchestra in Hanoi.

A French concert wouldn’t be a French concert without a really romantic ballad. Cornel Ilie, the lead singer of Vunk, steps up for a rendition of Je Te Le Dis Quand Même (I’ll tell you anyway).

Here is the version released in by Patrick Bruel, a prolific French actor and singer.

This upbeat live version shows how well the song has stood the test of time.

Alexandra Ungureanu came on stage to do I Need You More which has verses in French.

Here is the single version that she did with Crush and Leslie. It’s chirpy!

To finish, here’s Keo again, to say he loved you, he loves you and will love you.

That song was originally a single released in 1994 by Francis Cabral. Here is a clip from YouTube which has Romanian subtitles.

 

C’est fini, bonne nuit!

The French film festival est arrivée!

Belle-sebastian-the-adventure-continues (5)

The adventures continue for big shaggy dog Belle and Sebastian (Felix Bossuet) in the splendid French countryside, and this time they have Gabriele (Thylane Blondeau) to help.

À vos marques, prêts? partez! The Alliance Française French Film Festival 2016 starts today in Australia, so here’s a look at more enticing offerings to add to the great films I’ve already mentioned.

Alpine adventures

A really enjoyable film at the festival a couple of years ago was Belle et Sébastien, a gripping story of the French resistance, dangerous alpine crossings and survival during the second world war, based on the popular novel of the same name by Cécile Aubrey. This year you can see the sequel Belle et Sébastien, l’aventure continue (Belle and Sebastian: The adventure continues). Rather than a battle to outwit the Nazis, this time it is a plane crash in the Alps that triggers the action. If you are a dog lover you must see this (cat lovers, you too!).

Writer’s block and shock

One thriller I will definitely be going to see is Un homme idéal (A Perfect Man). For one thing, it stars the hottest French actor of the moment, Pierre Niney, who won the César Award for Best Actor in 2014 for playing the title role in Yves Saint Laurent. For another thing, it involves a topic close to my heart, creative writing. Niney plays a loser, Mathieu Vassuer, who stumbles across a completed novel manuscript and passes it off as his own and becomes an overnight sensation.

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Ouch, that hurt! Mathieu (Pierre Niney) inspects the damage.

But perhaps stealing someone else’s work wasn’t such a good idea after all – someone might seek revenge. Mathieu becomes more bloodied and bruised as the film progresses, and his world starts to crumble. Plus he has to come up with a second novel. Good writing isn’t easy!

I couldn’t find a trailer with English subtitles on it, but if you don’t understand French, at least the one below will give you some idea of the mounting suspense.

 

A waiting game

It’s always good to see Juliette Binoche on the big screen and she is back in L’Attente (The Wait). She plays Anna, who lives in a beautiful Sicilian villa, and gets a surprise when her son’s supposed girlfriend Jeanna (Lou de Laage) pitches up at her door, having apparently been invited to spend Easter there by her beau. But where is the son, Giuseppe? I guess we will have to wait to find out.

Long live foreign language films!

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

This year the festival will feature 48 films in the following places:

  • Sydney, March 1-24
  • Melbourne, March 2-24
  • Canberra, March 3-29
  • Brisbane, March 11-April 3
  • Perth, March 16-April 7
  • Adelaide, March 31-April 24
  • Casula, April 7-10
  • Parramatta, April 7-10
  • Hobart, April 28-May 4

Film stills provided courtesy of the French Film Festival.

Happy weekend! Take a liking to Like Us

It’s the weekend! Who can’t be happy about that? To perk you up, listen to Portuguese band Like Us‘s homage to the Fim De Semana. and be sure to play it loud. (To help you understand this song a bit, here are the Portuguese days of the week).

Who are Like Us?

Well, they are a Portuguese boy band that has been cobbled together for some reason, but their songs have catchy thumping choruses – surprisingly, as Portuguese music is usually pretty restrained. Apparently their names are João, Daniel, David e Francisco, but don’t ask me which is which. The next video is a rather clumsily cobbled medley of their better known songs (some in English). I’ve included it so you can get a feel for them and see what they look like. But for the rest of the post I will use videos that show the lyrics or letras.

Headbanging in the subjunctive

The next song is full of verbs in subjective mood, including the title Se Tu Quiseres. In English the equivalent would be “if you want” or “if you like“, but in Portuguese it’s the conjuntivo/subjuntivo futuro – “if you will like“, because on a literal time scale the enjoyment is not happening at the moment, it is still to come.

Blown away at a party

Boy goes to  party, sees someone beautiful dancing, goes crazy all of a sudden and wants to abscond with them Longe (literally “long“, but here more like “far way“).

Boy band bonanza bonus track!!!!!

I know that by now you just can’t get enough of Portuguese boy bands, so just to knock your socks off here are Cláudio, Tiago, Valter, Daniel e James – otherwise known as No Stress. They were “a nova boy band portuguesa por quem todos esperavam” (the new Portuguese boy band that we have all been waiting for), remember? But now they are the superseded new boy band, I guess.

So, there you go. Where are all the girl groups?