Sunday, June 24, 2007

Paris, Je T'Aime

Had a really fun weekend - M. and I finally got our bedroom painted - it looks great - pics coming soon. It took like 10 times longer than we thought it would, but it was fun. We also saw Paris, je t'aime, which was so great. It's made of about 20 vignettes, one per arrondissements in Paris, and each one is made by a different director. It's multi-cultural, multi-national, beautiful and fun - I wish there were more movies like this! You'll have your own favorites if you check it out, but mine were Gus Van Sant's "Le Marais" (Oddly. Normally I can't stand his work), the Coen Brother's "Tuileries" (natch), Isabel Coixet's "Bastille" about a man about to leave his wife but changes his mind after some surprising news, and Alexander Payne's "14th arrondissement" about a tourist who narrates the short in horribly accented French.

Although ostensibly the film is about love in Paris, some of the shorts are more serious, and I daresay more universal than Paris. For example, Walter Salles' "Far From the 16th" is about a young immigrant mother who lives on those "ghetto" outskirts of Paris that one hears about but never sees in the movies. Gurinder Chadha's "Quais de Seine" features a young Muslim woman in hijab, and Oliver Schmitz's "Place des Fêtes is a heartbreaking short about an immigrant and his all-too-brief encounter with a beautiful woman.

Some of the shorts are goofy, like the one with Elijah Wood and a vampire, or another sort of like a Hong Kong opera, some push the envelope of creative cinematography like "Faubourg Saint-Denis" (starring Natalie Portman), Alfonso Cuarón's "Parc Monceau" (which is one continuous shot)... even the one with the mimes is simply charming.

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