Categories
Video

‘Talks with a Spy’

Talks with a Spy‘ is a YouTube channel created by Olivier Mas, a former member of France’s foreign intelligence agency, the DGSE.

Mas left the DGSE in 2017. He speaks in French. Some episodes are available with English subtitles. When he is interviewed, the questions are in English.

He covers topics such as top spy novels and films, the five best intelligence services in the world and how to recruit a source. All the episodes are first rate.

Mas also dedicates an episode to discussing how he sees Le Bureau des Légendes, my favorite spy TV series.

In addition, Mas has a book, written in French, and a website. A podcast is in the works.

If the world of espionage is of interest, this is highly recommended.

Categories
Travel

Air France’s New Safety Video Shows Off the Best of France

And a quick look at how this stylish video was made:

Categories
Photography

Photography Books

Over the years, I have collected books filled with images that have moved me in a lasting way. I am sharing a list of them here. I will update the list over time.

When I arrived in Paris twenty-five years ago, at the age of nineteen, the city I encountered sang to my senses. My heart and mind were immediately stimulated by its light, vibrancy and texture. The French language entered my ears like music, and suddenly communication seemed not merely functional but a celebration of feelings. I quickly grasped that in order to understand Parisians I would have to speak French well; otherwise, I would never be able to get to know the beautiful, mysterious women I was seeing everywhere I looked.

Peter Turnley, An Affair of the Heart, (page 13) 2000

I have been a witness, and these pictures are my testimony. The events I have recorded should not be forgotten and must not be repeated.

James Nachtwey
Categories
Movies

‘The Art Dealer (L’antiquaire)’

The Art Dealer (L’antiquaire) is a beautiful 2015 French film about a young Parisian woman portrayed by Anna Sigalevitch. She’s searching for paintings stolen from her Jewish family during WWII.

Louis-Do de Lencquesaing who is in the hit French series Spiral does a nice job portraying the woman’s husband.

The cinema-photography is excellent and the slow uncovering of unflattering facts reveals what war brings out in human nature even among those not in power.

Categories
Movies Podcasts

‘White Noise’: A Poignant Look at the Alt-Right

This chilling documentary offers an inside look at white nationalism in the United States (the alt-right), including Richard Spencer, Lauren Southern, and Mike Cernovich:

The documentary was directed by Daniel Lombroso. Lombroso was interviewed on this episode of People of the Pod podcast, which is produced by AJC.

Facts matter.

Categories
History

Nuremberg War Crimes Trial Recordings Now Online

The complete recordings of the Nuremberg War Crimes trials are now online for the first time. The International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands, the custodian of the original materials, arranged the digitization of its archive, collaborating with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington and the Mémorial de la Shoah in Paris. There are 775 hours of recordings so this is not for the casual listener.

Edward Rothstein writing in The Wall Street Journal explains that the recordings aren’t easy to listen to in part because the recordings do not translate the German, English, French and Russian spoken at the trial. Even so, Rothstein concludes that:

what is heard, even now, seems remarkable: a rough first draft of judgment, beginning just five months after the war with Germany ended and unfolding over nearly a year as its arbiters strained to fit minimal forms of existing law to maximal forms of moral degradation.