Tuesday, October 14, 2008

French documentaries

I recently blogged about how irritated I was to continually hear background music intruding during British television documentaries. Not only that, the format these days is so unsubtle - you'll get the talking head walking to camera or you'll get one of those ghastly re-enactments with actors in period dress.

So, it was a real joy for me to discover French channel 5 who have a host of well made docs and - bonus of bonus - they have subtitles, albeit in French, but it does make it easier to properly understand what is being said. There are no breaks for pub (adverts) - they come at the end of the programmes, which are straightforward and very informative.

So far I've watched progs about Karl Lagerfeld(it even had lots of old footage when he had a beard and did not wear those infernal dark glasses), Egyptian mummies, The gardeners at Versailles (it followed their different work according to the season) and the French during WW2 (quite a short programme that one - bad joke, sorry).


The Dotterel said...

Sounds like everything BBC Knowledge used to be before it transmogrified into BBC Four. Mind you, it's still tons better (sorry, that's tonnes for you continentals!) than BBC's one, two and three.

Dumdad said...

My pet peeve with French TV is the tennis: the commentators continue to prattle on while play is actually on. I've known commentators to turn the sounds from the court (ball hitting surface etc) DOWN so they could be heard more clearly. It drives me nuts.

French Fancy said...

The dotterel - I've never seen BBC Knowledge and I agree about BBC Four having better than average stuff. These French docs, however, were just letting the subjects themselves - well in the case of Lagerfeld and the Versailles gardeners - do most of the talking. There was very little voiceover and I found myself sitting absorbed.

(I've also only ever said tons btw:)

French Fancy said...

dumdad - I still only watch tennis on our Sky set-up so don't know about the vagaries of the tennis commentary on French tv. The Wimbledon commentary is first class really.