International Friendly: France 6 Australia 0

France bows to stage director Patrice Chereau, dead at 68

A study released on Wednesday by Harris Interactive and commissioned by the Institut Montaigne think tank reveals that 79 percent of students from France’s top schools, including Sciences Po, INSA Lyon and Polytechnique are seriously considering expanding their job search beyond the country’s borders. Ben Frost, global product manager at Hay Group told CNBC in June that Europe would undergo a massive “brain drain” within the next three years as economies start showing signs of improvements. (Watch: Howto Counteract European ‘Brain Drain’ ) He explained that as economies pick up, job demand will pick up too, prompting people to seek greener pastures abroad. But the French economy remains very sluggish compared with, for example, Germany, the U.K. and the U.S. While over two-thirds of the 975 students surveyed online believe it would be somewhat easy for them to get a job in France, they list career and wage advancement as one of the main reasons for going abroad, along with quality of life and economic environment. The U.S., U.K. and Germany top the rankings of countries these future graduates would turn to places where the students may have already spent several months for work experience. Emerging markets attract very few candidates, with China and Brazil coming in in 7th and 8th position respectively. France remains crippled by unemployment, with 11 percent of its workforce on the dole and one out of four under-25s seeking work in August. For Laurent Bigorgne, director of the Montaigne Institute and former deputy headmaster at Sciences Po, France’s approach to education shows some serious weakness. Contrary to many other countries whose investment in education is U-shaped, with most of the funding going to primary and higher education, France spends a lot more on its secondary education than it does on the others. Mr Bigorgne sees this enthusiasm for going abroad as a success story for these elite schools who understand that giving their students an international outlook is an asset. But it also reflects the students’ growing confidence in their ability to speak a foreign language.

Didier Deschamps’ men meet Finland in their last Group I qualifier on Tuesday, and they should head into that game with a great deal of confidence after producing an excellent performance. Arsenal striker Giroud was at the heart of a fine display, scoring twice in the first half after Bayern Munich star Franck Ribery had opened the scoring with a penalty. Further strikes from Newcastle United duo Yohan Cabaye and Mathieu Debuchy added to Australia’s misery, before Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema ended a 16-month goal drought to put further gloss on a superb showing. Newcastle striker Loic Remy made his first appearance for France since March as he was named in the starting XI, while Australia’s side featured six changes from their 6-0 defeat to Brazil last month. France almost took the lead inside four minutes as Mitchell Langerak produced a fine save to deny Giroud from close range. However, just four minutes later they did find opening goal when Ribery slotted home from the spot after David Carney had handled in the area. The hosts continued to dictate in the early stages, and they soon doubled their advantage, Giroud latching on to Ribery’s pull back before lifting a sublime finish over Langerak and into the bottom corner. Australia offered little as an attacking force in the opening half, and they conceded their third after just 27 minutes as Giroud tapped in at the end of a sublime move between Ribery and Samir Nasri. France continued to surge forward and duly added a fourth on the half-hour mark through Cabaye, who lashed a powerful finish into the bottom corner from the edge of the area after meeting Ribery’s lay-off. Raphael Varane and Cabaye went close before the break, but Australia did not heed those warnings as Debuchy capitalised on poor defensive work from Australia to make it 5-0 after 47 minutes with a brilliant left-footed volley. France refused to relent and dished out further punishment shortly after, substitute Benzema turning home Ribery’s left-wing cross to score his first goal for the national team since June 2012. Tim Cahill created Australia’s only chance as he curled over from distance, while Remy, Nasri and substitute Moussa Sissoko all went close at the other end, but it mattered not as France coasted to an easy win.

Adieu! How France could be losing its elite

“France has lost an artist of universal proportions who made it proud around the world.” The Paris daily Le Monde said: “Few men and few artists have lived as intensely and left such a towering legacy. There were all the directors in one category, and then Patrice Chereau.” The son of struggling artists, Chereau began his career in the mid-1960s directing a Paris theatre with a strong left-wing political bent. In 1969, he went to work at Milan’s Piccolo Teatro with the Italian director Giorgio Strehler. 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.