la page blanche

reportage (video + interview)

"Preachy" in the town of Suzette. Enjoy a free subscription to French Word-A-Day via Email or RSS

un reportage (ruh por tazh) noun, masculine

French definition: Article, chronique réalisée par un journaliste qui recueille des informations sur le terrain. An article or chronicle, produced by a journalist, that gathers in-depth information.Internaute dictionnaire 

Audio File: Listen to the sentence (above): 
Download MP3 or Download Wav

A Day in a French Life... by Kristin Espinasse

"Célébrité Fugace"

I wonder whether the French have an equivalent expression to our "Fifteen minutes" of fame? Would they say "Elle a eu ses quinze minutes"? I can't say for sure, though it is a phrase I've never heard. 

My belle-mère would say (indeed she did!) "Tu étais une star!" The passé is key here: était. You were a star. For this is what is implied in "one's fifteen minutes": The glory is short-lived, passagère, making it impossible for any one of us to remain king of the hill. (So much for thrill.) After one's flirt with fiefdom, we go back to kicking up the dirt (or work) in time to re-enter into the obscurity of maturity. Striving after fame, after all, is for the unenlightened! 

(Enough philosophy. Truth be told, I enjoyed every single second of my "quinze minutes"! Obscurity may be a virtue—something for those mature, wise souls who understand the woes of the ego—but, as enlightenment goes, I'm slow.)

See a clip from France 3's program "Talents", in which my husband, Jean-Marc Espinasse, was the special guest. In the following segment, I talk about his struggles as a winemaker (although my own struggles—with French pronunciation—tend to steal the show...). Note: the video is available only in French. 

*If you are reading this edition via email, you will need to click over to the site to view the video clip.

Le Coin Commentaires
Comments, corrections, and feedback are welcome. Click here to comment 

Update: According to French Wikipedia, the term "fifteen minutes of fame" is translated to "quart d’heure de célébrité":

« 15 minutes de célébrité » ou « quart d’heure de célébrité » (« 15 minutes of fame » en anglais) est une expression inventée par l'artiste américain Andy Warhol. Cette expression se réfère à l'état de célébrité fugace qui accorde de l'importance à un objet d'attention des médias, puis qui passe à un autre objet aussitôt que l'attention du public s'affaiblit. Il est souvent employé dans l'industrie du spectacle et dans d'autres champs de la culture populaire.


Portrait de Jean-Marc Espinasse pour l'émission “Talents“ envoyé par BrokenArmsCompany.

To view the entire interview with Jean-Marc, visit and see the link in the left-hand column. Note: a certain plug-in is required for the full-length video. Jean-Marc is working on reformatting the video....

French Vocabulary

Elle a eu ses quinze minutes = she had her fifteen minutes

Tu étais une star! = You were a star!

passagère = fleeting, transitory, short-lived

Thank you for visiting our sponsors!

 BELLO VISTO:  Rent a house with beautiful views in the village next to Kristin's!  

Les portes tordues (The Twisted Doors): The Scariest Way in the World to Learn and Listen to French! Check it out (if you dare). 


Bien dire magazineKeep up your French with Bien Dire (magazine subscription). A 52-page magazine to improve your French that you'll enjoy reading! Full of interesting articles on France and French culture, Bien-dire helps you understand what it is to be French order here.



KINDLE: carry thousands of  educational books with you to France & beyond.

I Heart Paris Shopper: made of recycled material. A percentage of sales will support the nature conservancy. Order one here.
Eiffel Tower Room Divider

French Demystified...simple enough for a beginner but challenging enough for a more advanced student.
Tune Up Your French: Top 10 Ways to Improve Your Spoken French




Would you enjoy an occasional "homelife" collage? Here are the three slices to begin with.

Get out and take some pictures today!

Check out the Panasonic LumixLumix



A Message from KristiOngoing support from readers like you keeps me writing and publishing this free language journal each week. If you find joy or value in these stories and would like to keep this site going, donating today will help so much. Thank you for being a part of this community and helping me to maintain this site and its newsletter.

Ways to contribute:
1.Zelle®, The best way to donate and there are no transaction fees. Zelle to [email protected]

2.Paypal or credit card
Or purchase my book for a friend and so help them discover this free weekly journal.
For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Christine Dashper

Hi Kristin,

love the homelife collage, yes please to some more!

best wishes

Frenchee le Trip

Brava on your 15 minutes! Great to watch.


Loved hearing your American accent!

Marika Ujvari

I am so impressed with your French. Of course, I didn't understand a word of it. How long have you been speaking this language, and was it very hard to learn? You are a natural!

Bruce T. Paddock

Hey, Kristin (or, rather, "Kreestee") -

Lovely interview. It's cool hearing you talk about Jean-Marc and his love of his wines.

Unfortunately, my French isn't quite up to some of the host's mumbling. What did he say about American women?

Sion @ paris (im)perfect

Great job, Kristin! Your 15 minutes continue as we're all here every week reading your words!

Amber, Peoria, IL

LOVE the perspective on the "homelife" photos! Great shots, comme d'habitude!

Ophelia in Nashville

What a great video! You expressed so well Jean-Marc's passion for his vines and making wine. I loved the photos of him going about his daily chores, too, and also listening to the cool Provençale breeze blowing through your sunny vineyard. As Sion suggests, your 15 minutes is going to last all day and more!



I watched the video the other day. Although I didn't understand the French, I enjoyed it all the same and thought you were quite brave to go on TV (and you looked smashing!).

Yes please, photos and tales of home life are most welcome!

Margaret in Durham still waiting for a pink Provence sunrise!

Shannon, Alexandria, VA

Brilliant job, Kristin!!!

Herm in Phoenix, Az

Salut Kristin,

Great video! As I watched it, this song by Roy Orbison was going through my head!

À bientôt


I will watch the videos soon. I was taken by the "preachy" photo in Suzette. My favorite bike ride in Provence, perhaps my favorite bike ride anywhere, is a route through the Dentelles that tops out at Suzette and its table d'orientation. I hope Cinema Verite will be going soon to anywhere in Les Dentelles. And absolutely yes to wanting more home life and vineyard photos. In fact, I'm happy to go wherever your photographic eye wants to go, including staying at home. I hope that perhaps it was my photo of the boots at your house that helped you start thinking about home life photos for us. :-)

first real fall day here in the foothills of the Colorado mountains


I was great seeing and hearing you in French! Great job. I caught some of it, but not much of his. Guess an American accent is good for us Americans!!


Kristin, I think you did a fabulous job. I can't wait to get down there next year (hopefully) and see the vineyard in person!


Enjoyed the video, Kristin and your fluency. Loved the American accent!

Julie Schorr

Great Job, Kristin! I enjoyed this so much! My students will enjoy seeing this as well.

By the way, there is no "e" on the past participle "eu" in the passé composé. Merci!


Hi Kristin- It was fun to see the video and hear you speak (Garbo speaks!!) I envy your fluency! You CAN lose the american accent- replace your R with a short wwhaa sound and don't let your the inside of your cheeks be tight against your upper molars. Keep your mouth filled air and force it up against the roof of your mouth almost as if it goes up your nose as you say "je comprends" for example. i teach english as a second language and am very focused on helping students pronounce english with less of an arabic, spanish, etc, accent. The american R is hard to lose AND hard to learn. Hope this helps! I'm still working on my french accent too!

Rebecca Quinn

Wow, Kristin! Vous aviez l'air tres calme. C'etait super bien fait! J'aimais avoir l'opportunite de vous voir en video, comme j'ai suivi ton blog depuis 4 ans. Je suis etudiante americaine avec une specialisation en francais, donc c'est toujours un plaisir de lire de ce qui se passe chez vous. J'espere faires commentaires plus souvent, comme je pense que celui-ci est seulement la segonde fois. Bonne chance avec tout, et gros bisoux!

Ivana Trevisan

Kristin, one can tell you have a bit of an English accent when you speak French, but your intonation is pretty darn close to PERFECT - something I have been struggling all my life with when it comes to speaking French! Congratulations on your quinze minutes.... vous étiez tout simplement superbe!!!

Karen Hadley

How nice to see you in MOTION for a change! Which dog made it (briefly) into the background of the video?


Kristi you did a great job!!!
I didn't understand much of what you said, But I did hear, the sound, of your family's voice :)


joie  carmel,ca

I am impressed. And I actually understood you much better than the interviewer. Perhaps because you spoke a bit slower and did not seem to run the words together. Just like the US, if I remember correctly different parts of France have individual accents on certain words.....and yours is Provencal,vrai?


Chère Missy, I hope that in the American-accented French you heard a little bit of my Uncle Rusty, from whom--or in whose memory--Smokey "R" Dokey get's his middle name.

Karen, Now that the dogs are the same size I can't tell which one moseyed on into the filming...

Elena, thanks for the tip! You are right: even a wwhh would be better than that r, and not too hard to do (although remembering to use it is another story... :-)

Bonjour Mlle Schorr's students! Thanks for reading my blog!

Bruce, I think he was talking about American beverages, and not women (the Coke comment!). Although he did use the word Americaine in the opening of the report (about my nationality).

Joie, I am honored: a Provencale accent it is :-)

Thank you all for these very kind words. Happy weekend!


Love it! Would love to post it on my facebook page as well (is there a link?) Could the interviewer have spoken any faster?

(Lorrie, Redondo Beach, CA)


Dear Kristen, one word:AWESOME!
That is YOU! You were a star and still are!
Wonderful interview!
Also!Wonderful blog(s)!
No matter how dismal the events in the world are,three times a week we have something to look forward to--always, a breath of fresh air!
Bon journee!!!!!!!!

Bob Haine

Bravo et Félicitations, Kristin! I enjoyed the interview, especially the "walk-on" of a certain golden retriever! It reminded me of my own "quart d'heure de célébrité" about ten years ago: "Inside Edition" (an American news/tabloid style TV show) did a show for Thanksgiving about "teacher make-overs". Four teachers from my high school, two male and two female were asked/volunteered to participate. The crew came to our school and interviewed the four of us, then proceeded to make us over (haircuts, dye-jobs, makeup, new clothes, etc.) Finally, we entered the ASB classroom to applause and acclaim!
Unfortunately, the show was pre-empted locally (southern California) by a "Three Stooges" marathon, and so no one got to see it on TV! "Tant pis!"

Denise in the Pacific Northwest

Kristin - thanks for posting this. My French continues to be remembered, and expand. I especially liked the Warhol translation, and the fact that you just can't keep good dog(s) down. :)

All the best -

Carmen Clarke

Tres bien, Kristin! Tu as bien guarder ton cool en face du camera. Super!

Diane Dainis

Love the video Kristin. I saw Smokey in the background. Seeing your beautiful vineyard again brought back wonderful memories of last summer when we were there. Your French by the way is awesome! Bravo!
Thinking of you.

Jennifer in OR

Absolutely loved this post!! From top to bottom, the church at Suzette which looks stunning, to the three "slices of home" -- and best of all the video in the middle. Really fun to see the interview!

Marianne Rankin

Yes, please post some more home life collage photos.

You were very fluent in your replies to the interviewer, who talked a mile a minute (en francais, peut-etre, "comme une mitrailleuse"?). I suppose most people in France talk a little slower.

What is your secret for staying in shape? Laps in your pool?

The short video was interesting, although it stopped a few times, and the last 30 seconds were a blank screen. I'm going to try to watch the longer one.

Marianne Rankin

I clicked over to the rouge-bleu site, saw the picture of JM below a "France 3" link, and clicked on the arrow which I thought would start the video. When it didn't, I clicked on the France 3 link. I was taken to a page with a link to the JM program, and clicked on that. There was no way to start the program. I tried different things, and wound up going in a circle, getting back to where I had begun. I tried this 2-3 times. There was no mention of a plug-in, and no indication of how to start the program. Did I miss something?


Marianne: try this link:
you will see a 15-second ad first and then the interview. it is a MUST see


What a lovely video clip....wonderful to hear you speaking in french for I am actually only used to "hearing" you speak in english! The farm looked spic and span and how carefully did Jean-Marc pick his grapes from the vine!! Thank you to both Kristin and Jean-Marc!

PS Off to Japan next week to find a teahouse...not sure about playing spanish guitar though ( as per wish list a while ago!) :-)

Kerry (from Tucson in Oklahoma)

Bravo, Kristen! Heart-warming!!

Elena ought to go far as an elocution coach - somebody in Hollywood should snatch her up, post haste.

You did look smashing, your French was far better than you've led us to believe . . . and we all want to live next door. . . quite an accomplishment in only quinze minutes!

(I absolutely loved Elena's advise about cheeks and molars . . . do you think it is an American CONDITION that will morph into a national facial feature over time?)

Christine in Salt Lake City


You ARE a star! You ARE darling! I especially loved your response to his question about Americans only being experts in soda. Very fun. Thanks for posting!

Cool, hopefully sunny, weather here today in Northern Utah

Marianne Rankin

Gary, thanks for the link. I still don't think I saw quite the whole video, because it wasn't any longer than the clip, but it was still interesting. If you listen to it more than once, the interviewer doesnt' seem to be speaking quite so fast.

Kristin, why did he use "tu" instead of "vous"? Did you know him already?

To the left of the scene where the interviewer was pouring wine out of the huge bottle at the table, there appeared what looked like a really large, old vine, minus leaves. It reminded me of the Rouge-Bleu label with its shape. Is than an old vine that no longer produces, put there for decoration?

Seeing the beautiful scenery gives one a feel for "terroir."

Jacqueline Gill

Kristin, Your column guarantees that your fifteen minutes will go on and on. I refer back to your columns so many times. They continue to inform and delight. As for accents, I believe that that is what makes us unique, so why try to affect something that is not natural if it is not really necessary for one's job or livelihood? Blessings-


With over 37,000 readers you have not faded into the "obscurity of maturity" - I love that.


On the question of losing your American accent, Kristin: When I was studying for my university degree in French I was taught various techniques to enable me to lose my Scottish accent--and it worked! It also worked for fellow students with other accents.

French speakers make much more use of their facial muscles than the rest of us. Their faces become animated when they are talking.

I noticed that you tend to clench your teeth when speaking (so would I if I were being interviewed for television!). Try 'pouting' your lips when you speak; you'll feel a bit foolish at first, but it does help with the accent. Also, practise the tongue movements suggested by Elena.



Hi Kristin, You were perfect. Not easy to go before the camera and speak your native tongue. To do it in your adopted language is incredibly brave. Cheers to you!!


Lovely! Of course, the interviewer focused on the beautiful blonde wife that is fluent in French! How could he not? You spoke well and were so poised before the camera! We are your fan club!


Lorrie, thanks for wanting to post the video.There is a link just below it that should take you to the "Daily Motion" page. From their, you should be able to copy a link.

Bob, Pre-empted by a Three Stooges marathon. Talk about "pas de chance"!

Marianne, The interviewer is indeed a friend of Jean-Marc's.

Merci encore for the kind words!

Stacy, Applegate, Oregon

I have no idea what you said, but I do know you said it beautifully! This post is a pleasure, a joy to take in from its very beginning to your lovely photos at the end. Thank you for sharing your blessed life with us!


Kristin...Lovely interview. You sound terrific.
Two words escaped me:
1. The interviewer used a word that sounded like "jobace" after you spoke about the 'spirituality' that you didn't understand at first.
2. Escheque? You asked him what he meant, too. What was that?


Kristin Espinasse

Hi Candy,

I think he said échec, or failure, for the second one. He was referring to Jean-Marcs decision to leave his job as accountant, in the city, and move to the country to become a farmer.

Candy that's clearly why you said "Echec??"



As americaine as it might be, je suis jalouse de ta pronounciation! I did an interview for a french radio station cet été and I was horrified at my accent! Listening made me never want to speak french again! (I got over it, but it was awful!)

Lynn McBride

Hi Kristen,
Your handsome hunk of a husband did a super job, the whole show was great, felicitations. But what bowled me over was your French! I'm dead impressed. Lovely accent, too. I've got to work harder.
Lynn in Burgundy

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)