Nick Hammond

Nick Hammond, Professor in French at Cambridge University, regularly writes reviews for "The Times Literary Supplement" and is a former member of the Birmingham Symphony Chorus under the baton of Simon Rattle. His books include "The Cambridge History of French Literature" (Cambridge University Press, 2011, as co-editor), "Gossip, Sexuality and Scandal in France 1610-1715" (Peter Lang, 2011), and "The Powers of Sound and Song in Early Modern Paris" (Penn State UP, 2019). 

Le Voyage du Ballon Rouge

Length before Strength

February 19, 2008 | By Nick Hammond | Film

Inspired by Albert Lamorisse’s celebrated 34-minute film dating from 1956, Le Ballon Rouge, the Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-Hsien has made a considerably longer movie on the same subject: a small boy is followed through Paris by a mysterious red balloon. … Read More

Mélac Bistrot à Vins

December 18, 2007 | By Nick Hammond | Archive

Through the Grapevine No shortage of wine here. With the smoking ban in French restaurants about to take effect on January 1, 2008, it is well worth praising a pioneer like Jacques Mélac, who has had a no-smoking policy for … Read More

Ce que Mes Yeux Ont Vu

Free Inspiration

December 4, 2007 | By Nick Hammond | Film

This is a film full of good intentions. In his first full-length movie, Laurent de Bartillat has assembled a top-class cast, led by the wonderfully versatile Sylvie Testud (how many other young actresses are willing to be portrayed in unglamorous … Read More

Troyes

November 13, 2007 | By Nick Hammond | Daytrips From Paris

Treasures of Troyes Inside the Troyes cathedral. If you are considering a day or two away from Paris, Troyes is the ideal town to visit, only an hour and a half away by train and full of pleasant surprises. In … Read More

L’Heure Zéro

Overbaked Christie

November 6, 2007 | By Nick Hammond | Film

Take an Agatha Christie novel, transport it to an old-fashioned house on the Brittany coast in the 21st century, throw in a few actresses who have even more famous parents (Laura Smet, daughter of Johnny Hallyday and Nathalie Baye, and … Read More

Un Secret

Don't Mention theWar

November 6, 2007 | By Nick Hammond | Film

French filmmakers seem to remain as obsessed as ever with the German occupation of France during World War II. As one French friend of mine remarked recently, from the number of films about the subject, you would think that the … Read More

Vélib’

September 4, 2007 | By Nick Hammond | What's New Potpourri

Bicycles Built for Two? Is the the Vélib’ dating service just around the corner? Photo © Paris Update Something extraordinary happened in Paris this summer. Normally surly Parisians were smiling at each other in the street. Some were even doing … Read More

Almost French

Better Than a Guidebook

May 24, 2005 | By Nick Hammond | Books

Sarah Turnbull’s book Almost French has reportedly been flying off bookstore shelves in the United States. Some readers might well have been reading the book in the hope of finding some appropriate frog-bashing in the aftermath of the Iraq war, … Read More