East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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Dusting off my French with Arsène Lupin

I have talked in the past about how, to Italian kids of my generation, Arsène Lupin, the character created at the turn of the last century by Maurice Leblanc, was a timely and much welcome introduction to tongue-in-cheek adventure and good-natured rule-breaking, jazz, sophistication and beautiful women, thanks to a wonderful TV series featuring the excellent Georges Descrières in the role of the gentleman thief.
Indeed, Descrières as Lupin and Patrick Macnee as John Steed have a lot to answer about how I turned out as a person.

Later came the Lupin books, often in strange translations and abridged editions to make them suitable for young readers, and later still the movies, but everything started with the TV series. Re-watched today, the series is slow-paced and suffers from an almost theatrical construction of certain scenes, and yet the acting, the production values and the locations (episodes were shot all over Europe) are worth alone the price of admission.

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Role Models: Arsène Lupin

Role models.
Everybody needs one, right?
Well, as a kid growing up in suburbia, insight of the toxic smokestacks of the FIAT plants in Turin in the 1970s, I had three role models.
One was Robert Culp, as Kelly Robinson in I Spy.
One was Patrick Macnee, as John Steed in The Avengers.
And one was Georges Descrieres, as the eponymous character in Arsene Lupin.
I’ll talk about all three, just because, in three posts; and I’ll start with the latter, just because.

Georges Descrieres

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