Tag: Jules and Jim

May 22, 2012 / / Main Slate

Jules and Jim – 1962 – dir. Francois Truffaut

I think I am not far off-the-mark in saying this country has never been as French as it was in the 1960s. The election of John F. Kennedy to the White House as the decade began introduced the beautiful and very French Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy to our culture and our world. Who wasn’t seduced by her pouty, French whisper, her tres chic chignon and French flips, her preference for French fashion designers over American? The Kennedys, it was known, employed a French, not an American, chef, and we citizens were treated to a French Chef of our own in the person of Julia Child who boldly brought French cuisine into our dining rooms. Traveling to Paris was all the rage for students in those years, and it was a big deal to be able to say you spent a semester or a summer in Toulouse or Bordeaux.  The innovative movie critic, Pauline Kael, let us know that a tantalizing, new world of French and foreign-made movies was out there, fresh for the tasting.  As Mathew White, an ex-patriate writer living in Paris at the time, wrote in his luminous novel, “Cigarette”, “If it’s French, it must be exciting.”