Tuesday, 19 November 2013


Originally known as Paul Van Haver, Stromae was born on the 12th March 1985 in Brussels. He is a writer-composer-performer of hip-hop and electronic music.

His mother is Belgian while his father came from Rwanda where he got killed during the genocide. His mother raised her 4 sons and her daughter on her own in the capital city.
When he was only 11, Stromae attended to music theory and drums at Musical Academy of Jette.

In 2000, he takes the pseudonym Opsmaestro to launch his career in hip-hop. But then he changes his nickname to become the most famous ever Stromae. (Maestro in backward-slang)

CHEESE, 2010
He begins by releasing some lessons on the internet to teach people how to compose electronic songs.
Then, he releases his first single Alors on danse in 2009, thanks to it he wins NRJ Award and he also attends to MTV Europe Music Awards 2010 on the 7th of November in Madrid.

The first song of this new album was released in May 2013. Papaoutai quickly became a hit.
His second album is as famous as the first one or maybe more because Stromae is now getting known by the whole world!
This year he won the award of the Best Belgian Artist at MTV Europe Music Awards.

I really love his songs because he is avant-garde and I love the way he blends electronic music with powerful and meaningful lyrics. Moreover he is really gifted to perform, he was impressive in Le Grand Journal where he performed his new song Tous les mêmes few days ago.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013


The Reader is a movie released in 2009 by Stephen Daldry. Originally based on German writer Bernhard Schlink's novel (Der Vorleser), the movie is about a relationship between a woman and a younger boy.

The movie is actually divided in different parts.

          Neustadt, West Germany, 1958.
Mickael is getting back from school and his whitish face makes the member of the audience that this young boy is sick. Few minutes later, he just vomit on the floor before taking refuge in block of flats hall. Hanah rescues him and take him to her appartment, then she leads him to his house when his conservative family is waiting for him.
The doctor comes, Mickael must keep into his bed for three months because he's contagious. After his quarantine he brings flowers to Hanah, to thank her but she's distant... But in the end, they kiss each other and make love. The young boy can't wait to see her again and he goes very often to her home, she decides that before making love, he has to read her a part of the book he's studying.
They go on trip together, it's an idyllic relationship but Hanah gets a promotion and she leaves without telling him. He's totally upset and destroyed by his Passion.

This part deals with the power of Love. Indeed, we can see the genesis of love through the character of Mickael, he's totally in love with her, he's burning of Passion whereas she feels less passionated than him. She's older and more mature. We realise that love is not easy at all, Everything is not black or white but on the contrary, love is a mix of different shades.

          Heidelberg, Law School, 1966
Mickael is now studying law, he has forgotten, he has tried to...
With his class, he goes to a Court of Justice of 6 women accused to have sent to death hundred of women in concentration camp. Hanah is part of them, she joined the SS because they were looking for guards. Each guard had to choose 10 women each week, Hanah chose differently, she chose the weaks, the sicks and asked them to go to her room to read her books...
During the Trial, the 5 others convicted denounce Hanah and tell that she is the culprit because she's her who wrote the reports. The judge want to check it, he gives Hanah a piece of paper and a pen and request a handwriting sample to check. Hanah refuses to give it, she says it's true she's guilty. But in fact, Mickael understands that Hanah is illeterate that's why she asked him to read her book etc. She's sentenced to prison for life.

In this part the reference to Judicial Power is more than clearer thanks to the trial and jail. But this power is controversial because we can discuss the sentence. It's easy to sit in judgement on someone when you don't know the truth. The judge only based his judgement on one source, the one of the 5 others culprits. It's certainly an error among many in Justice. Moreover this court wouldn't have taken place if there wasn't Hitler's totalitarian government led by Nazism ideology which is another form of power.

          Neustadt, West Germany, 1976
Mickael is older now but he's still thinking of her. He decides to record his voice and send Hanah some tapes of him reading. On her own, she booked The lady with a little dog and starts learning how to read and write.

We can link this part to the power of language, the power of words. Thanks to this movie I got aware of how important to be literate is nowadays. It's natural for us to read and write everyday during class but for some people it's difficult and they feel ashamed of it. What's more, some bad persons abuse of their power and prey on these illeterate persons like the 5 women did with Hanah Schmitz. We can related this form of power to the power of honnor because even if she risks the prison for life, Hanah keeps quiet about her illeteracy instead of proclaimig her innocence. That's a deseperate act of courage.
I also realised that, nowadays, we are not aware how lucky we are to be able to communicate throught any support we want to. The fact of speaking, of singing is beautiful on his own but we can't see it if we are not "disabled"...

         West Berlin, 1988
Hanah will be revealed and Mickael is the only one she knows, he finds her a job and a place to live in but she hangs in prison.

         January 1995
Mickael brings her daughter where he went when he was younger with Hanah, she's buried there.

By bringing his daughter on Hanah's tomb, Mickeal perpetuate Hanah's Memory. Obviously, the power of Memory is important to not forget our past but also to consider the future in a better way!

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

THE NOTION OF POWER as exemplified in Brian De Palma's Redacted movie.

Redacted (2007), released by Brian de Palma, aims to make people aware of what the situation was in Irak. Indeed through hard realistic pictures, Brian de Palma tells us how the real situation was in the country. He shows how scared the soldiers were about dying, they are even wondering what they're doing there in Irak. We can hear screams and shots in addition to watching horrible things like dead corpses, raping scenes... The director makes people see what they don't want to see.

The intervention of USA soldiers in Irak tackles the controversial issue of the reasons which justify the war. George W Bush sent million of solidiers in Irak in order to pacify the situation. He said he wanted to fight against the spread of terrorism but actually he just wanted to impose American supremacy to have an access to oil wells in Irak. Therefore, we can see that there are economic reasons to the war. And these reasons are the main motives of the Military intervention. That's what we're used to calling an abuse of power. So we can say that the USA is as guilty as Irak.

A Review by Derek Armstrong :

In the years following the start of the second Iraq war, numerous filmmakers tried to grapple with the thorny issues at play there. But few made quite so clinical an approach as Brian De Palma in Redacted. Since many of those films were considered misfires, a different approach might not be such a bad thing. De Palma presents an array of media -- a French documentary, an al-Qaeda website, a blog by a soldier's wife -- as if stockpiling evidence for a trial designed to determine some kind of universal truth. The story's backbone is the amateur footage shot by a soldier named Angel (Izzy Diaz), who hopes to parlay his observations into acceptance at film school after returning home. Through this we meet the five central characters. All of this is fictitious, of course, leaving Redacted in the category of "fictional documentary." The results can feel simplistic and on the nose, but that's partly intentional. De Palma's scenario is constructed specifically to have an every-soldier feel to it, dealing primarily with the brutal rape of an Iraqi teenager and the killing of her family. In this way, De Palma indicts all American soldiers in all wars (accusations of such behavior ran rampant in Vietnam), and even the very mentality engendered by invasions and occupations, regardless of who's doing the invading/occupying. Nor does he let the locals off the hook, intimating that they look the other way when roadside bombs kill American soldiers. De Palma's serious purpose doesn't mean he's overcome by sobriety, however. Some of the camaraderie among soldiers is disturbing, but some is downright funny. In all, the cast of unknowns convinces us they're real grunts just caught up in a cycle far bigger than they are, one that has repeated down through the decades, where no one is really innocent.

from www.allmovie.com