Saturday, October 20, 2007

Paris, je t'aime

I wanted to say to someone:
“It’s beautiful, isn’t it?”.

But there isn’t anyone.

DAN - Paris, je t’aime is a collection of short films that take place in Paris, France. The common theme among the films is love, and it is portrayed in a variety of ways. The title is a simple yet effective summary of the assortment of films; it translates into English as “Paris, I love you.” I personally fell in love with this film, and I found that many of its short stories are emotionally satisfying and fun to watch.

Paris, je t’aime consists of 18 short films that were directed separately by directors from around the world. Most of these directors also wrote their own films. These stories display love in different forms, whether it be romantic, platonic, familial, or something unexpected; they even show love’s downside. The films, though made separately, are arranged to flow smoothly.

The people involved in the making of this film are experienced in their respective fields, though I am not familiar with many of them. I went into the theater anticipating new work from the names I recognized – The Coen Brothers, Wes Craven, Alfonso Cuarón, Tom Tykwer – but I was pleasantly surprised by the other directors, as well.

For the most part, I enjoyed the individual segments of Paris, je t’aime, though they did drag here and there. Highlights for me include:
Tuileries, by Joel and Ethan Coen. An unlucky tourist suffers the consequences of making eye contact with a quarreling couple.
Bastille, by Isabel Coixet. A man plans to divorce his wife, but he finds a reason to love her again.
Tour Eiffel, by Sylvain Chomet. A young boy tells the story of how his mime parents met and fell in love with each other.
Faubourg Saint-Denis, by Tom Tywker. A blind man reflects on his relationship with an American actress. (Note: This film was made in 2004 and was used to encourage other directors to join the project)
14e arrondissement, by Alexander Payne. An American tourist recounts her visit to Paris and how the city affected her.

Paris, je t’aime is a funny, sad, uplifting, and visually captivating collection of films. Many of the stories would be equally effective without the Paris setting because the focus is on universal qualities of love. There are a few segments that passed by too quickly or didn’t seem entirely relevant, but they had little negative effect on the final product. I am pleased to say that this film successfully combines the efforts of diverse film makers, and I highly recommend it.

1 comment:

fishbowl said...

It's great to see the site up and running. Keep the reviews coming. Maybe you can add some side bars on the right with the template about what movies you love and what artists you enjoy.