Monday, July 23, 2007

"I don't know what he was saying; I don't speak French that well."

I saw a beautiful film a few weeks ago, but I am just now getting around to blogging about it, but it deserves attention:

This movie is a collective portrait of Paris, of people, of life. It consists of 18 short films directed by some of the most acclaimed directors in the world, and each story is a short slice-of-life tale set in the different arrondissements of Paris. Some of the films are romantic, some are heartbreaking, some are joyous.
I liked almost every story, but the best was "14e Arrondissement," written and directed by Alexander Payne. Payne is a master of combining the serious, the heartbreaking, and the humorous, as he has shown in his previous films. My other favorite was Oliver Schmitz's "Place des Fetes," which features an African immigrant and a paramedic, and the result is magically sad.

Other highlights include the slapstick of Steve Buscemi's hapless tourist in the Coen Brothers' story, the romantic beauty of miscommunication in Gus Van Sant's glorious short, the touching and fantastic mimery of Sylvain Chomet's "Tour Eiffel," and the frenetic randomness of the heart in Tom Tykwer's eye-jolting contribution. Elsewhere in the films we see cowboys, vampires, young love, and Oscar Wilde.

No description can really do the film justice. But I can say that as soon as it was over, I wanted to see it again.
Seek this film out.


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