Friday

French Film Noir? French Film Non!



It's impossible for me not to despise the figure of Jean-Paul. Lank of hair, hispid, pouty and distinctly waspish in appearance, an odious character in both shadow of night and light of day. He is arguably the quintessential unintelligent, not to mention foolish, foppish ox in a very crowded French field. His mistress, Veronique, doesn't fare much better. You would think that one's sympathies would have to be with the thoroughly miserable Beatrice, the uglier of the seemingly constant chain-smoking siblings, but no. Not in this case. Portrayed by yet another one-dimensional unknown actress, possibly Belgian, Beatrice was listless, flat, and so vacuous that you really cannot blame Jean-Paul for looking for action elsewhere. Veronique, who self-medicates with heroin, unfulfilling sex, and by repeatedly slamming her hand in a kitchen drawer, has a strange affixiation for clipping her toenails for a combined period of forty three minutes during the first 2.5 hours of the film. That was pretty much it when it came to the action sequences. You know those cramps you get if you eat undercooked chicken wings at your pals barbecue? Like an endless twisting pain as though the diarrhoea you're moments away from experiencing decided to have a knife fight with your ever expanding colon? Then welcome to French film noir.

The plot? I have no idea. I would much rather have spent another wet Wednesday evening in the rank-smelling city of Edinburgh, listening to Siobhan's other passion of indulging laborious ephemeromorph student artistes, fresh off the coach from yet another impoverished third world city (Brussels?) reading dreadful poetry from assorted crinkled cardboard shittery held aloft on cue cards for the serial unintelligent. Last month's dreadful subject matter included claims that the once prestigious University of Cambridge now debate such topics as how to make dead dish shine, how to speak calmly when encountering demons deep within a Welsh coal mine, and whether American sperm are actually fully formed small humans that expand like a child's bath sponge on contact with the innermost workings of a female. Unigravida, uterus's, undeniably utterly unmentionable I say. I'll end there. What goes on inside a lady should never have to enter into the sensitive minds of the more sociable members of the human race. Men.

Admittedly I spent a good 15 minutes reading the back of my orange juice carton by the light of my cell phone. Something may just have happened that I neglected to recall. But I doubt it. Just when the bulk of the film appears that it cannot possibly sink any lower into an ominous gloom, which consisted mainly of Veronique, Jean-Paul and Beatrice moping, clipping toenails and many precious interludes of supposedly sensual smoking, along comes cousin Yvette, a serial moper of course, and the crying really begins. And that was just me.  When people say that they cannot abide foreign cinema nights, this is exactly the sort of film that they are thinking of. And, in this case at least, their sentiments are more than justified. I went, I saw, I slept. My husbandly duties complete for another mid week rectalgia 'date night', we left early and ate steak. No french dressing was required. Next week I get to choose the venue. I'm thinking an evening of culture, artistic movements, a deep psychological delve into two men and their innermost abilities. So boxing it is then.

Chefs Steak Dinner

1 large, thick T bone steak cut directly from a succulent premier Scottish bovine.

Rub steak with fresh garlic, oregano and a dusting of white pepper. Throw on a wood-smoke griddle or an open flame for no more than 3 minutes per side. Serve with thick cut potato wedges, crispy salad and at least 3 bottles of a good Italian red wine, plus an even dozen bottles of chilled lager. Always best served with friends of course.

60 comments:

  1. And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads. And the beast that I saw was like a leopard; its feet were like a bear's, and its mouth was like a lion's mouth. And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority. One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal wound was healed, and the whole earth marveled as they followed the beast. And they worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?” And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months.

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    1. Oh aye, someone's been to the zoo today.

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    2. What on earth prompted this latest outburst? Or was it another strange voice from someone outside of this earth perhaps?

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  2. And so began the Story of Doctor Dolittle, a magical doctor who shuns human patients in favour of animals, with whom he can speak in their own languages after realising that religion was invented by foolish old men with nothing better to do than sit around in the sun, drink aged camel urine and talk pish.

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  3. So that would explain the steer with a limp.

    The film sounds dreadful, and personally I am not into dreadful at all. Call me a small minded Colonial, if you like, but... no.

    The T-bone, on the other hand, is right up my alley. Give me a ring when you're lighting the fire and I'll pop right over. My barbecue is under a few inches of snow at the moment.

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    1. There is never a limp dear Ponita, Scottish beasts are as hard as nails. The missing haunch would have grown back by the morning.

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    2. Hopefully that steak wasn't as hard as nail, then. Regenerating limbs, you say? Are your Scottish beasties perchance related to those lizards who can regrow their tails?

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    3. Och hen, no. Scottish beef is tender as butter due to the lushness of the grass. It is the people that are tough as old boots, we refuse to get sick, be injured or visit the doctor unless we are half dead and the bars have closed. Although, I have noticed that my postman has an uncannily long lizard-like tongue. Quite popular with the ladies as it happens.

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  4. Les Diaboliques? (Excuse my French.)
    Steak & wedges? Usual portion please and half a lager.

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    1. Actually, no. Les Diaboliques was released much earlier than this last load of shite. But full marks for trying sir!

      Have you banged your head? Since when have you ever drunk a half of anything, not counting of course the half a fish tank full of water back in 89. Tis the Friday, pint so?

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    2. I need it, mon then.

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    3. I need it, mon then.

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    4. I heard you the first time!!

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  5. As long as it's not a French film noir version of boxing....on the lines of that appalling film about the bullfighter Manoleto which had me wishing that the director had been the one standing in the shoes nailed to the ground as the bull approached.

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    1. I doubt that Manolete could have realised that the final 'suerte de matar' of the day would be his own. This is what happens when you grow over confident about your own mortality. As for boxing, sadly the French do not have the stomach for unarmed combat. They much prefer to kill a man with a delicious ripened, unpasteurised stilton. But what a divine way to go!

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  6. Jean-Paul sounds like your ordinary, run of the mill Republican politician. These guys are a dime a dozen.

    Are you sure Yvette wasn't American? We have a lot of mopers here.

    That's maybe the best photo you've posted yet. And that's saying something.

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    1. Jean-Paul's hair was much too down-country to be an American, as was Yvette and her stubbly underarm jungle. They each had the charm of horse dung on your hosts new rug. The rest of the world may regularly unite in their hatred of the American people, but at least they know how to have a good time. Plus they invented baseball, so you have to love them for that.

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  7. And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads

    Mr Pew went to see Jason and the Argonauts.

    Sx

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    1. Either that or he found where Looby keeps his stash.

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  8. Hey wait a minute here, I've just noticed the link to me. For the record there was nothing wrong with my chicken wings or my cooking ability or the rest of the cuisine that I put out for your mob. Cheeky big beggar.

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    1. The missing link finds the link...eventually. Talk about being slow, eh?

      Your chicken was foul, your utensils dirty and your cooking ability is about as good as my attempt at doing a handstand against your garage door.

      So, pure shite all round then.

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  9. You probably wont pritnt this one either but just to let you know that the offer is still on for next week if you wanna come down. Ok?

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  10. You are correct, I probably won't publicise any comment from you unless you behave yourself with a certain decorum and not as though you are attending a Geordie wedding somewhere in deepest darkest Walker.

    Even I have rules. See you Sunday night...late!

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  11. See, I'm that thirsty tonight!

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    1. Aye, I'll order you another coke. Sit outside on the step and try and behave yourself for a few hours.

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  12. What was the name of the film, Chef? Not that I am interested in it, just curious to skip it when I go to the cinema. Should I presume that Jean-Paul =Belmondo? Yvette=Mimieux? Beatrice=who? Véronique=who?

    In all honesty, I prefer your delicious-looking steak dinner! :)

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  13. I have no idea Leni, I had already lost the will to live long before the title appeared on screen. Something along the lines of 'La longue nuit des fumeurs'.

    The steak was perfect! Unlike the movie.

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  14. Which is worse? French Film Noir or Angsty Student Poetry? BOTH of these make me lustfully eye sharp objects and fantasize about the feel of the metal against my arteries. Have to believe the poetry readings are far worse, as i can at least sleep through horrid films. Or have a subtle wank...

    Two of the best dates i've ever had involved 'battle' -- one a 'battle bots' competition at the local trade school, and the other a celebrity boxing fundraiser, featuring a few friends. In both cases, we ate rare steaks beforehand and behaved like animals afterwards. i can honestly say that would NEVER happen after such a film, or poetry reading...

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    1. Something tells me that the night before our next tryst I will be pulling out your chair at a table laden considerably with humongous portions of raw meat. There will be no recitals that night, rest assured!

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  15. That movie falls in the same category as "Black Friday" shopping in America...not on my To Do list. :)

    Steak looks wonderful! But I still have a turkey sandwich with my name on it. Family thinks I'm nuts because I love a cold turkey sandwich more than the entire Thanksgiving spread which precedes it. Hey, someone has to appreciate simple pleasures. ;)

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    1. Turkey, best in my opinion when served cold, makes a delicious sandwich when nestled between tomato, lettuce and cold cured bacon. Throw in a slathering of cranberry sauce and you have instant heaven on a plate.

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  16. Sorry, off-topic, but ...

    The news are reporting about a police helicopter that crashed into a Glasgow pub called Clutha Bar. 32 people have been injured I couldn't help thinking of you, family and friends. I hope everybody's doing well and dismissed from hospital soon.

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  17. Dear Chef, I hope the alarming news coming from Glasgow have nothing to do with you and yours...

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  18. Jeepers that steak looks looks good.

    Presenting that to the locals would make you an honorary citizen; braai the Beloved Country and all that.

    Open flame or die! They get a bit open kimono when given braai tongs.

    You'd fit right in.

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    1. Ah now Eileen, open flame certainly brings out the testosterone in a man. What better way to become the Alpha male at parties than to produce a charred flesh delight bursting with succulent flavour?

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  19. i had the most delicious steak frites at this place in younteville, california. the MITM and our pals, Big Shelly and MissK, couldn't understand why of all the delish bistro food i could have had, i chose steak...i think you understand, sugar! ;~) xoxoxox

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    1. Perfectly understood dear lady. Nothing pleases the stomach more than the anticipation of the joy of meat juices soon to commence.

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  20. Holy hell big man, I've just seen the BBC news about the crash up the road, is everything ok?

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    1. Alas, no. Fatalities already reported, more when I have it.

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  21. All good with mine, doing what we can to help. More later.

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  22. Really glad to know you're okay. We'll be waiting for your updates.

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  23. Our thoughts are with ye, from your family here.

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    1. Appreciated little brother, I have seen your blog, much respect to you.

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  24. Phew...first thing I thought of when I saw the news was checking in here. Horrible stuff.

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    1. Thank you Mr Earl, please see comment below.

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  25. Thank you for your concern. We will all know more hopefully in the next few days as the emergency services (all departments) do their very best to reach those still inside. At this moment we can only wait for further news alongside everyone else and hope that amongst the debris some may still be alive. My highest respect goes to those who battled without thought for their own safety to assist those injured moments after the crash. The true Glasgow spirit is there for the world to see, regardless of sides.

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  26. I have also been thinking of you too, and the people of Glasgow. All the best to you all.
    Sx

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  27. Anonymous9:30 pm GMT+5

    So good to see that the strength of the people of Glasgow overcomes all sectarian barriers when the chips are down. My thoughts to all those caught up in such a terrible tragedy. Best wishes - Belfast reader.

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  28. Belfast, a city that holds many happy memories for both Siobhan and myself. Hands across the water my friend.

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  29. My thoughts to your mob from my mob.

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  30. Appreciated, we're good again.

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  31. So glad all is well with you darl.
    I thought of you and yours when I saw the news but was unable to check as I had no access to the inna'webs till today.
    Stay safe .....

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    1. Thank you hen, staying safe is the plan. You too, eh?

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  32. I pray that none of your family or friends were involved in the tragic accident in Glasgow.
    Back later.

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    1. Nearly everyone knows someone who is in some way connected to this tragedy Pat, a big city, but close factions.

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  33. See if you can't get them to show 'The Wages of Fear.'
    All those years ago - I loved it.

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    1. Le Salaire de la peur. Yep. Did Siobhan put you up to this comment Patricia my dear? This apparent box office smash is on her list of movies to see. I can only hope that it is less painful than the previous bilge. Produced in 1953, you cannot have been much older than 2 or 3.

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Thank you, the chef is currently preparing an answer for you in the kitchen. Do help yourself to more bread.