Francophiles’ Guide to Quarantine

Francophiles’ Guide to Quarantine

March 18, 2020By Heidi EllisonWhat's New Art & Culture
"Haystacks, End of Summer" (1891), by Claude Monet. Collection of the Musée d’Orsay, Paris. Wikimedia Commons.
“Haystacks, End of Summer” (1891), by Claude Monet. Collection of the Musée d’Orsay, Paris. Wikimedia Commons.

For those of us in quarantine (all of France, Italy, Spain and many places in the rest of the world), there is no shortage of entertainment online. Here are some resources for francophones or francophiles looking to polish their French.

What could be more soothing in these stressful times than to soak in the light from the Impressionist paintings in Paris’s Musée d’Orsay? Revisit your favorites (I’m especially fond of Monet’s haystacks) here. Or choose nearly any museum your heart desires from this list

Ludmila Pagliero in the Paris Opera’s production of Giselle. Photo: Yonathan_Kellerman
Ludmila Pagliero in the Paris Opera’s production of Giselle. Photo: Yonathan_Kellerman

The Opéra Bastille’s production of Jules Massenet’s Manon this month was canceled, but it was filmed on March 10 without an audience. It can be watched in replay online through March 22 – in France only, unfortunately – here. The Paris Opera is also making the ballet Giselle (through August 5, 2020) and the opera Les Indes Galantes (through October 9, 2020) available in France (and Germany for Les Indes Galantes). Future performances will be made available everywhere in the world.

Still from Luis Buñuel’s L’Age d’Or.
Still from Luis Buñuel’s L’Age d’Or.

A site called Apar offers 700 rare films online for free. One example: L’Age d’Or, directed by Luis Buñuel and written by Buñuel and Salvador Dalí, one of the first sound films made in France. There are many interesting nuggets in various languages here.

The magazine Les Inrockuptibles has put together a list of eight sites that stream films d’auteur. They are not free, but cinéphiles may find some treasures. 

For a selection of over 8,000 audiobooks in French to stream or download for free, check out Literature Audio. I noted Marcel Proust’s Contre Sainte-Beuve, but there are all kinds of books here, from Alexandre Dumas’ Le Comte de Monte-Cristo to Chateaubriand’s Mémoires d’Outre-Tombe.

Finally, a plug for our partner, Frantastique, which offers amusing online French lessons in cartoon form that take only 15 minutes per day. What better time to improve your French?

This should keep you busy for a while. We’ll be back with more ideas next week. And please let us know if you have any suggestions.

One Comment

  • Overwhelming! I don’t know what to choose. Maybe you should highlight one or two museums per post. Wonderful information, though!

What do you think? Send a comment:

Your comment is subject to editing. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe for free!

The Paris Update newsletter will arrive in your inbox every Wednesday, full of the latest Paris news, reviews and insider tips.