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March 25, 2018

Classic French Film Festival

Presented By:

Les Amis

Description:

Pepe le Moko (1937)
in French with English subtitles
Starring Jean Gabin, Directed by Julien Duvivier

"Come with me to the Casbah". We've all heard that line, but where did it come from? It's from the great French gangster film and romance "Pepe le Moko", which caused a sensation when it was released in 1937. The Casbah was the Arab quarter of Algiers, and Pepe, a notorious and dashing French criminal, is hiding there. But he longs to return to Paris. He's safe in the Casbah--the police can't find him in its cavernous streets and alleys--but when a rich Parisian woman visits the Casbah in search of thrills and meets Pepe, the temptation to return to the City of Light becomes overwhelming.

"Pepe le Moko" was remade in America as "Algiers" (with Hedy Lamarr and Charles Boyer) and it was the inspiration for "Casablanca" and later, "The Third Man". Graham Greene said that "Pepe le Moko" was "one of the most exciting and moving films I can remember seeing", and Jean Cocteau called it a "masterpiece". The film stars the French actor Jean Gabin in the prime of his career and at his most handsome.

The screening is sponsored by Les Amis, and is part of Cinema St. Louis's Classic French Film Festival. The film (a rare 35mm print), will be introduced by Les Amis board member and film scholar Robert Garrick, who will also lead a short discussion after it ends, followed by a reception for Les Amis members.

Event hours:

  • 7pm

Location:

  • Webster University, Moore Auditorium
    470 East Lockwood
    Webster Groves, MO 63119
Mexican News, engraving by Alfred Jones, after Richard Caton Woodville.  New York, 1853.  From the Collections of the St. Louis Mercantile Library at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Mexican News, engraving by Alfred Jones, after Richard Caton Woodville. New York, 1853. From the Collections of the St. Louis Mercantile Library at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

February 4, 2018

"Headlines of History" Private Mercantile Library Tour

Presented By:

Dr. Anne Juneau Craver

Description:

Through the Eyes of La Revue de l'Ouest: The St. Louis French Community in 1854. The extraordinary Mercantile collection of newspapers from the earliest printed in America includes an extensive number of French language papers published in St. Louis, in addition to the first English language paper from 1808, published in St. Louis, Louisiana.

After the signing of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, scholars, in general, and most St. Louisans, in particular, think that the French disappeared from St. Louis. Nothing could be further from the truth. The St. Louis French community thrives economically, socially and culturally for years afterward. Proof of their existence can be seen through the eyes of the Revue of l'Ouest (Review of the West), the most successful St. Louis French newspaper, published in 1854. After briefly tracing the many attempts to publish a newspaper in French in St. Louis, we will explore insights into this vibrant St. Louis French communityin 1854 thanks to the editorials and advertisements of the Revue de l'Ouest.

Anne Juneau Craver, a St. Louis native and longtime, loyal Ami, has held a variety of positions over the years as a U.S. Department of Defense translator, professor of French and Comparative Literature and most recently, as an attorney. Her degrees include a BA, cum laude, in French/Chinese from St. Louis University, an MA in French/Chinese from St. Louis University, a PhD in Comparative Literature with French, Persian and Arabic languages from Washington University in St. Louis and a JD from St. Louis University School of Law. In 2001, the French government awarded her the Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Palmes Academiques.

She is currently working on a book on La Revue de l'Ouest, the most successful French newspaper published in St. Louis in 1854 and it's editor and publisher, Louis Cortambert.

Event price:

$12.50 per person - MEMBERS ONLY

Event hours:

  • 3pm, followed by tea reception

Location:

  • UMSL
    1 University Blvd.
    Saint Louis, MO 63121
Francisco Luis Hector,

Francisco Luis Hector,
baron de Carondelet

January 10, 2018

The Search for French Carondelet

Presented By:

NiNi Harris

Description:

A program based on the study that NiNi Harris and Brian Kolde have been conducting on the Carondelet neighborhood of South St. Louis City searching for physical evidence of Colonial era or Territorial era French settlement in the area. They believe that a French structure still exists hidden behind building additions and layers of siding.

Author/historian NiNi Harris has written 15 books on St. Louis institutions, architecture and history. Her most recent book is "Downtown St. Louis". Brian Kolde is the past president of the Illinois Association for the Advancement of Archaeology.

Event price:

$15 per person - MEMBERS ONLY

Event hours:

  • 5:30pm

Location:

  • Carondelet Historical Society
    6303 Michigan Avenue
    Saint Louis, MO 63111
Saint Francis de Sales Church

Saint Francis de Sales Church

December 13, 2017

Les Amis Christmas Program

Presented By:

Les Amis

Description:

The St. Francis de Sales church campus occupies an entire city block at the corner of Gravois and Ohio in South St. Louis. The cathedral-like church is a story of a growing melting-pot America.
In the new country, and in a city named after a benevolent king of France, a German American congregation built a Gothic Revival church in 1867, under the patronage of a French saint. The imported German architectural design by Englebert Seibertz was modified by an immigrant, Victor Klutho, originally from Alsace-Lorraine. This immense church was built to last. The new St. Franci de Sales church symbolized the hopes and dreams of the immigrants, deeply rooted in the traditions and heritage of their forefathers. It was a brick-and-motar symbol of American values of the time: faith of the immigrants, beauty and grandeaur in the midst of hard work and sacrifice, venerable traditions in a new land, and stalwart hope for the future. In July 2005, an important change took place in the effort to preserve St. Francis de Sales church: it was erected as an Oratory of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest ("Institute"), serving St. Louis as the premier center of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite (Latin Mass).

During the tour you will witness the superb craftsmanship of the ornate reredos at the main altar, the work of another German immigrant, Egid Hackner of LaCrosse, Wisconsin. The beautiful stained glass windows were designed and crafted by a fine artisan Emil Frei, orginally from Bavaria. The interior of the church is filled with emblems of the old country, and the saints venerated by their ancestors. You will also see the present organ, built for this church and installed in 1924 by the Wicks Organ Company. It is a fine example of the tonal ideas of the Wicks Company of the 1920's; and indeed the ideals of pipe organ building of that era. It is a very full specification of tonal colors, comprising the voice families of Flutes, Strings and Diapasons. All of the voices are designed as solo voices and used together to create an orchestral or symphonic sound. To read more about the history of the church please visit: www.traditionfortomorrow.com

Event price:

$15 per person-MEMBERS ONLY

Event hours:

  • 5:30pm
    Private Tour & Reception

Location:

  • Saint Francis de Sales Church
    2653 Ohio Avenue
    Saint Louis, MO 63118
Dr. Brett Rushforth, Assistant Professor of History, University of Oregon

Dr. Brett Rushforth, Assistant Professor of History, University of Oregon

November 2, 2017

Annual Gentry Lecture

Presented By:

Les Amis

Description:

"Deep Roots, Long Shadows: Sacagawea, Char bonneau, and the French Empire in Missouri"

Brett Rushforth is a scholar of the early modern Atlantic world whose research focuses on comparative slavery, Native North America, and French colonialism and empire. His most recent book, "Bonds of Alliance: Indigenous and Atlantic Slaveries in New France", examines the enslavement of American Indians by French colonists and their Native allies, tracing the dynamic interplay between Native systems of captivity and slavery and French plantation-based racial slavery. In 2013, "Bonds of Alliance" was named the best book on American social history by the Organization of American Historians (Curti Award), the best book on French colonialism before 1848 by the French Colonial Historical Society (Boucher Prize), the best book on the history of European expansion by the Forum on European Expansion and Global Interaction (FEEGI Biennial Book Prize), and the best book on French history and culture by the Center for French and Francophone Studies at Duke University (Wylie Prize). It was also one of three nominated finalists for the Frederick Douglass Book Prize for the best book on the history of slavery.

The talk will use the story of Sacagawea to trace ways that much earlier practices of French-Native relations-in Montreal, in the Great Lakes region, and along the Missouri River-shaped the contours of intercultural relations into the nineteenth century. Beginning with a familiar cast of characters (Lewis and Clark, Charbonneau, Sacagawea), this talk will work backward to show how understanding the more distant and unfamiliar can shift our understanding of what seems familiar.

Event price:

$15 per person-MEMBERS ONLY

Event hours:

  • 4:00pm
    Les Amis Reception follows in Busch 18, next building east of January Hall from 5:30 to 6:30pm

Location:

  • January Hall, Room 110
    Washington University, Danforth Campus