By 1971, he was back in France, this time in Lyon, where his “violent, virulent and sumptuous theatre” presentations, as the Paris daily Liberation put it, built his reputation further. Then in 1976, when the French conductor Pierre Boulez asked him to direct Wagner’s “Ring” cycle of operas at the legendary festival in Bayreuth, Chereau made his unforgettable debut on the international opera scene. His adaptation of Wagner’s Nordic myths as a 19th-century drama of capitalist exploitation of workers met with raucous boos at its debut. But at the end of its final presentation in 1980, the audience saluted him with an hour and a half of exuberant applause. “We always worked together with a lot of passion,” Boulez said after learning that Chereau, whom he called “the only director I wanted to work with”, had died. “What made his work stand out was the extreme precision with which he created a character out of the slightest figure,” he told Le Monde. “I always felt confident with Chereau – when he wanted to try something out, I always told him ‘yes’.” Chereau also turned his talents to the cinema, producing films while he also worked in theatre and opera. His first efforts in the 1970s were not critically acclaimed. But he won a Cesar, the French equivalent of the Oscars, for best screenplay in 1983 for “L’homme blesse” (The Wounded Man). In 1994, his film “La Reine Margot” (Queen Margot) won the Jury Prize and best actress prizes at the Cannes festival. Five Cesars followed the next year. His 2001 film “Intimite” (Intimacy) won the Golden Bear for best film at the Berlin Film Festival. Chereau credited his parents with stirring his interest in art, especially drawing. “I knew at 15 I wanted to do theatre,” he once said. “It came from drawing.
In court files, France argued that he wasnt required to pay the $3 million because his wife breached the agreement. Last month, the two agreed to end their court dispute, their lawyers say. The parties have voluntarily dismissed all pending litigation and amicably resolved all existing disputes on confidential terms that are consistent with the best interests of their children and their respective families, John Stephenson, one of the lawyers representing Brian France, wrote in an email to the Observer. There will be no further public comment about these private matters. For years, much of the legal fight was hidden from the public because a judge sealed the France file. The Observer and news partner NBC Charlotte waged a lengthy court battle to open the file, finally winning in May . The news partners argued that France had no compelling interest that supersedes the publics right to open courts and files. The unsealed documents showed that Brian Frances assets totaled more than $550 million in 2005 and that NASCAR paid him more than $9 million in 2004. The records also shone light on a contentious divorce. Brian France hired private investigators to keep an eye on his wife, the documents show. Megan France also alleged that her ex-husband threatened to financially devastate her. But the details of the recent settlement will not be made public, the lawyers said.
France is not our enemy
RELATED PARIS: The French government warned telecoms equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent it could block any restructuring plans for France unless it negotiates with unions to save as many local jobs as possible. The group unveiled plans to cut a total 10,000 jobs worldwide, including 900 in France, warning the cuts were the last chance to stem years of losses and turn the company around. President Francois Hollande’s government, facing rising unpopularity over high unemployment, criticized the plans and Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault suggested it could use recent labour code changes to block any moves in France. “If there is no majority agreement (with unions) the restructuring plan won’t be accepted, because the law now gives the state the responsibility to act,” Ayrault told Europe 1 radio. “We want a negotiation that saves as many jobs as possible, as many sites as possible,” he said, calling on Alcatel-Lucent to review a plan which at present foresees the closure of two sites and the possible sale of others. The stock had risen more than 80% in the three months leading up to Tuesday’s announcement and remains up around 170% since the start of the year. Under a labour law which came into force in June, the government must check to see whether any accord signed with unions adheres to regulations or not. If there is no deal, the state will proceed to an in-depth check of the company’s restructuring plan, including an assessment of whether it is appropriate given the group’s assets and economic health. Either way “if there is no approval by the administration, the company cannot fire people,” a labour ministry official said by telephone. However CGT union representative Stephane Dubled played down the government’s margin of manoeuvre, saying past experience showed governments were reluctant to get directly involved and that the new law was too recent to assess its reach. “The state has some power in as much as it decides to use it … but there hasn’t been much experience of that so far,” Dubled told Reuters. “There is a bit of grandstanding in Ayrault’s comments.” The product of a 2006 transatlantic merger aimed at creating a global giant, Alcatel-Lucent employs 72,000 staff worldwide and competes with larger rivals Ericsson of Sweden, China’s Huawei and Finland’s Nokia, has posted five straight quarters of net losses. France’s left-leaning industry minister Arnaud Montebourg, who has led a campaign for French consumers and companies to buy home-grown products, also called on the country’s network providers to help the firm by favouring its products.
Brian and Megan France settle lengthy court fight
(AFP) A few days before the French presidents visit, SA Minister of International Relations and Co-operation rebukes claims that there is deep tension between South Africa and France. Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane told media at a press conference in Pretoria on Tuesday that, SA has strategic relations with France based on our foreign policy, we dont have any declared enemy anywhere in the world. She made this statement following media suggestions that a feud might be brewing between France and SA. These reports stem from the polar sides the countries took on military intervention in Libya. French-led forces invaded Libya in 2011 when political instability reached levels of international concern in the country. Additionally, SAs focus on BRICS relations has caused rifts with France as trading treaties with France have become second priority. This is despite Frances substantial economic contribution to SA. French companies invest about R15 billion in the local economy. Nearly 300 French companies are present in SA and employ roughly 25 000 South Africans. Tourism flows from France to South Africa continue to grow. In 2012, up to 122 000 French tourists visited South Africa, representing a 16% increase compared to the previous year, the minister reported. French President, Francois Hollande, will be visiting SA next week and Nkoana-Mashabane said any issues between the countries will be diplomatically discussed. The focus of the visit will be on strengthening economic ties between the two states, she added. Since his election, President Hollande has met with President Zuma on several occasions on the margins of multilateral meetings, and exchanged telephone calls reflecting on pertinent bilateral, regional and multilateral issues of mutual concern, she said.