This week’s film isn’t actually a movie in itself, but rather a lot of little films merged into one: “Paris, I Love You”. Twenty shorts, each representing the 20 arrondissements – districts – of Paris were filmed to show the French capital in its multiple identities (in the end, only eighteen made the cut). The work is an interesting attempt to use film to represent the many facets of a metropolitan urban area; it is also an exploration of the different ways we can see a city, depending on our perceptions and experiences within it.
Have you ever walked through Parisian streets? Does “Paris I Love You” capture your experiences of Paris’ districts? Let us know in the comments below.
Original title: Paris, Je T’Aime Year: 2006 Runtime: 119 min. Country: France, Germany Director: Joel e Ethan Coen, Isabel Coixet, Gus Van Sant, Gérard Depardieu, Alfonso Cuarón, Vincenzo Natali, Olivier Assayas, Frédéric Auburtin, Gérard Depardieu Writer: Emmanuel Benbihy, Bruno Podalydès Soundtrack: Pierre Adenot, Christophe Monthieux, Leslie Feist, Reinhold Heil, Johnny Klimek, Marie Sabbah y Tom Tykwer Cast: Gaspard Ulliel, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Sergio Castellitto, Miranda Richardson, Leonor Watling, Juliette Binoche, Willem Dafoe, Nick Nolte, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Fanny Ardant, Wes Craven, Elijah Wood, Alexander Payne, Natalie Portman, Gérard Depardieu, Bob Hoskins, Ben Gazzara, Steve Buscemi
Montmartre A man parks his car on a Montmartre street and muses about how the women passing by his car all seem to be “taken”. Then a woman passerby faints near his car, and he comes to her aid.
Quais de Seine A young man, hanging out with two friends who taunt all women who walk by, strikes up a friendship with a young Muslim woman.
Le Marais A young male customer finds himself attracted to a young printshop worker and tries to explain that he believes the man to be his soulmate, not realizing that he speaks little French.
Tuileries A comedy in which an American tourist waiting at the Tuileries station becomes involved in the conflict between a young couple after he breaks the cardinal rule of avoiding eye contact with people on the Paris Metro.
Loin du 16e A young immigrant woman sings a Spanish lullaby (“Qué Linda Manita”) to her baby before leaving it in a daycare. She then takes an extremely long commute to the home of her wealthy employer (whose face is not seen), where she sings the same lullaby to her employer’s baby.
Porte de Choisy A comedy in which a beauty products salesman makes a call on a Chinatown salon run by a woman who proves to be a tough customer.
Bastille Prepared to leave his marriage for a much younger lover, Marie Christine, a man named Sergio instead decides to stay with his wife after she reveals a terminal illness – and he rediscovers the love he once felt for her.
Place des Victoires A mother, grieving over the death of her little boy, is comforted by a magical cowboy.
Tour Eiffel A boy tells how his parents meet in prison and fall in love.
Parc Monceau An older man and younger woman meet for an arrangement that a third person (‘Gaspard’), who is close to the woman, may not approve of. It is eventually revealed that the young woman is his daughter, and Gaspard is her baby. The film was shot in a single continuous shot. When the characters walk by a video store, several posters of films by the other directors of Paris, je t’aime are visible in the window.
Quartier des Enfants Rouges An American actress procures some exceptionally strong hashish from a dealer whom she gets a crush on.
Place des fêtes A Nigerian man dying from a stab wound in the Place des fêtes asks a female paramedic for a cup of coffee. It is then revealed that he had fallen in love at first sight with her some time previously. By the time she remembers him, and has received the coffee, he has died.
Pigalle An ageing couple act out a fantasy argument for a prostitute in order to keep the spark in their relationship.
Quartier de la Madeleine A young backpacker tourist falls in love with a vampire.
Père-Lachaise While visiting Père Lachaise Cemetery, a young woman breaks up with her fiancé, who then redeems himself with the aid of advice from the ghost of Oscar Wilde.
Faubourg Saint-Denis After mistakenly believing that his girlfriend, a struggling actress, has broken up with him, a young blind man reflects on the growth and seeming decline of their relationship.
Quartier Latin A separated couple meet at a bar for one last drink before the two officially divorce.
14e arrondissement Carol, a letter carrier from Denver, Colorado on her first European holiday, recites in rough French what she loves about Paris.
Previously posted on this section…