‘Möbius’

Written and directed by Éric Rochant

I loved the French TV series “The Bureau” (“Le Bureau des Légendes”) created by Éric Rochant. I’ve started exploring Rochant’s other work hoping for similar entertainment.

Rochant wrote and directed a 2013 spy film called “Möbius” starring Jean Dujardin and the stunningly beautiful Belgian actress Cécile de France.

Dujardin portrayed George Valentin in the 2011 award-winning silent movie “The Artist”. Dujardin won numerous awards for that work including the Academy Award for Best Actor. That was the first time a French actor won that award.

Rochant relies on familiar actors in both “The Bureau” and “Möbius.” Brad Leland portrays a senior CIA official both in both pieces. And the wonderful Ukrainian actor Aleksey Gorbunov, who plays Karlov in seasons 4 and 5 of “The Bureau,” plays a similar role in “Möbius.”

So if you can’t get enough of “The Bureau”, check out Möbius. “Möbius” isn’t in the same league as “The Bureau” but it’s an enjoyable spy story filled with intrigue and romance.

‘The Kindle Chronicles’

Keeping up with Amazon – especially the Kindle

I enjoy keeping track of developments at Amazon.com. My primary source of information is The Kindle Chronicles podcast.

Len Edgerly is the creator and host of the podcast. Len is a bright fellow with a background in journalism. He graduated from Harvard College in 1972 and the Harvard Business School in 1977.

Before retiring he was a business journalist at The Providence (R.I.) Journal-Bulletin, an editor of an energy magazine in Casper, Wyoming, and an executive at a natural gas company based in Denver.

Len has been podcasting since 2006, when he launched the Audio Pod Chronicles and Video Pod Chronicles. He began the weekly Kindle Chronicles podcast in 2008. New podcasts generally appear each Friday and last about 40 minutes. The podcast is a labor of love and is blissfully free of advertising. Each podcast consists of four parts:

  • Amazon related news
  • Kindle Tech Tips
  • An interview
  • Book recommendations

Len loves to read and I have come to value the book recommendations he includes in his podcast. I also have learned a lot about the fast changing publishing business by listening to The Kindle Chronicles.

But what I enjoy most is Len’s intellect and curiosity. I look forward to each new episode.

Lara Fabian

Lara Fabian sings beautifully. Fabian is best known for the dance pop song “I Will Love Again,” which was released in 2000 and peaked at number 32 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Fabian was born in Belgium in 1970 to a Flemish father and an Italian mother. She speaks four languages: French, Spanish, Italian and English. I especially love her French music.

I saw her perform in Washington, DC in 2018 at the Warner Theater. Her voice knocked my socks off.

Lara Fabian performing at the Warner Theatre, Washington, DC © David H. Enzel, 2018

Fabian’s music is in the same genre as Laura Pausini with whom she has performed. Together they are an exceptional treat.

You can hear her passion for life — and her fluent English — in this interview:

‘The Honourable Woman’

The Honourable Woman’ is a 2014 British political spy thriller miniseries in eight parts. It was directed and written by Hugo Blick for the BBC and SundanceTV.

Maggie Gyllenhaal is the beautiful, immaculately dressed star of the series. She portrays Nessa Stein, a London heiress whose father was a big-time arms manufacturer and Zionist. Gyllenhaal, an American, does a convincing job of portraying an English woman.

Most of Nessa’s family perished in the Holocaust. She and her older brother, Ephra (Andrew Buchan), are dual citizens of Israel and Britain. On top of this, their mother died in childbirth and their father was murdered in front of their eyes in Jerusalem when they were young children.

The story includes the Holocaust, the Arab-Israeli conflict, kidnapping, rape, chronic trauma and high stakes philanthropy and investment.

The New York Times called the series a “smart, moodily complex thriller” and a “lavish homage to John le Carré.”

I had to watch the series more than once to follow all the twists and turns and loved every minute.

Discovering Great European Television

The Euro TV Place is an excellent source of recommendations for great European television. Linda Jew, the founder of the site, regularly publishes detailed reviews.

I enjoy French television because it helps me keep up and improve my French. Modern television lets you hear the way people speak in everyday life, which often is different from what is taught in foreign language classes.

I’ve enjoyed great television I learned about at The Euro TV Place including:

  • Le bureau des légendes, a great spy series (one of the best pieces I’ve ever watched)
  • Call My Agent, a very funny French TV series about a top rung Parisian talent agency on Netflix
  • No Second Chance which is in French but written by Harlan Coben, a famous American writer, also on Netflix
  • Deutschland 83, a funny German spy story
  • Engrenages (Spiral in English), a wonderful series now in its eighth series

If you’re interested in exploring new television, The Euro TV Place is a great resource. The blog discusses many new shows each month.

‘The Bureau”: A Great French Espionage Series

The Bureau” is a French spy TV series (“Le Bureau des Légendes”) on Canal+ created by Éric Rochant. The series concerns the daily life and missions of spies within the French Direction générale de la sécurité extérieure or DGSE. The DGSE is the French equivalent of the CIA. Its head office is in the 20th arrondissement of Paris.Variety reports that the creators of the series had the cooperation of the DGSE and that the DGSE liked the series. The series won Best TV Series from the French Syndicate of Cinema Critics.

The series begins with the return to Paris of French intelligence officer Guillaume “Malotru” Debailly ( Mathieu Kassovitz) after six years as an undercover agent in Syria. Guillaume struggles to reconnect with his former life. But after learning that his lover in Syria (Nadia, played by Zineb Triki), is in Paris, Guillaume breaks agency rules and approaches her as the man he was in Damascus: Paul Lefebvre. As Guillaume begins living a double life, he opens himself up (and the DGSE) to serious dangers.

Henri Duflot ( Jean-Pierre Darroussin) portrays the head of the French clandestine service. He’s never himself been an undercover agent and this bothers him because he fears he lacks the respect of his operatives. At the same time, he’s very likable and down-to-earth. He wears garish neckties, which makes him seem more normal.

The beautiful Léa Drucker plays a DGSE psychiatrist with a top secret clearance. Marina Loiseau ( Sara Giraudeau) portrays a naïve but determined young undercover operative.

The acting is first-rate and the spying seems realistic. This is among the best espionage stories I have seen on TV or in the cinema.

The series concluded after five magnificent seasons. It’s available on Sundance Now including the Sundance Now channel on Amazon.