Film Scouts Diaries

1997 Cannes Film Festival Diaries
Cannes-Scan #4

by Jerry (the usher)

Episode 4:

I met Jean-Pierre and Odile again yesterday. He was going on again about the superiority of French technology and engineering, one of his favorite subjects. Like, for example, the French atomic bomb, which he says is better than the American one, why I'm not sure. Anyway, he was talking about inventions again.

"Everyone knows that moving pictures were invented by a couple of Frenchmen, the Lumière brothers. But it's not so well known that a couple more of your supposedly American inventions were actually French too.

"The electric light bulb, it wasn't your Mr. Edison, and the telephone, it wasn't your Mr. Bell. They were clever men, to be sure. But they weren't the first. If it weren't for the impossible beaurocracy and inefficiency of the French Patent Office, the real inventors would be famous. But they remain unknown because Edison and Bell got the patents."

Sure. I suppose he's going to tell me next that the Apollo rocket systems that sent those guys to the moon were actually secretly designed and built by French subcontractors.

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