Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Travel Via Roku Movie Nights

My husband and I went to France twice this week: to an undisclosed village in My Afternoons with Margueritte (yes, two t's--her father could not spell very well, she tells us) and to Senlis, north of Paris, in Seraphine.

Roger Ebert liked the former (and we did too):

Germain is a handyman in a sloppy flannel shirt and overalls, overweight and hulking. Margueritte is a little (85 pounds) old (95 years) lady. They meet on a park bench, where both know that exactly 14 pigeons hang out there, and both recognize them by sight. . . .

This happens in an improbably sweet film that will strike many as too upbeat. Germain is cuddled by his adorable bus-driver girlfriend Annette (Sophie Guillemin), and pals around with his buddies at a local cafe. He suffers through flashbacks to his unhappy childhood, but seems on the whole serene. He loves Annette but he declares himself "in love" with Margueritte.

So are we, a little. She is bright-eyed and high-spirited, and never overplays the heart-tugging. The director, Jean Becker, is the son of the great French noir director Jacques Becker, who was 8 when Gisele Casadesus was born. There's history here. The happy ending lays it on too thick, but what the hell: In for a dime, in for a dollar. Besides, the movie started me re-reading
The Plague.

We enjoyed the upbeat ending and were happy to think about Margueritte, Annette, and Germain being happy. We did not start re-reading The Plague.

Instead, we started watching Seraphine, a 2009 movie based on the life and art of Seraphine Louis, usually called Seraphine de Senlis. We have visited Senlis before, driving there from Roissy to see the Cathedral (of the former diocese of Senlis) and eat dinner at Le Gril des Barbares. I would like to go back to Senlis our next trip to visit the museum that displays her work.

Seraphine does not have a happy ending, except that the title character may have received the care and peace she needed. When she created her beautiful artworks, the artist sang the Veni, Creator Spiritus, and she offers prayers to the Blessed Virgin Mary, painting at the inspiration of her Guardian Angel. Roger Ebert liked it, too, but he did not recognize the Veni, Creator Spiritus!

We might watch The Well Digger's Daughter the next time we have a Roku movie night. We've enjoyed the movies based on Pagnol's works before: Jean de Florette and Manon des Sources; My Mother's Castle and My Father's Glory, so we look forward to it.


  1. Greetings there,

    I just wondered if you would highlight this new site about the Lincolnshire martyrs. I am not asking so that I would get lots of hits, but we are genuinely trying to raise the profile of our martyrs in Lincolnshire.

    I have added music, sound effects, and autostart videos to give it more of a feel of an 'online museum' (if you know what I mean). The Tudor Monastery Farm additions are also invaluable for setting the scene.

    Maybe you could ask your readers to post comments on anything that I have missed, or any mistakes, if they view the site.

    We are in the early steps of organising a short walking pilgrimage i.e. the return route of the Lincolnshire Rising back to Louth.

    (it is not actually a blog, but just a means to creating a simple site).

    I hope all is well and keep up the good work.

    1. Certainly, I'll take a look. Do you share the status of the Cause of the Lincolnshire martyrs?

  2. Oh, and may I use an image or two from your site to illustrate my post?

  3. No problem, use whatever you want on there.

    I'm not sure what you mean by 'sharing the cause', but we will certainly be looking into how we go about getting some of the blesseds canonised. I'm on a bit of a leaning curve at the moment. Hope all is well.