“PARIS, JE T’AIME”–a love song to Paris

Paris Je T’aime

A Love Song to Paris

Amos Lassen

Ah, Paree!…city of lights and love, beauty and art and “Paris Je T’aime” looks at the city in eighteen short films. Each film has a different director and the theme of each is not just Paris but love. With 18 films, it stands to reason that some of them will be very good and some not so good. The movie stimulates and each film, set in a different district of the city. Shows us Paris that many of us might not otherwise see. There is variety in both story and scene and the movies charm the eye. I got the impression if there was one thing that linked all of the films together was that they all seem to focus on the pivotal moment in character’s lives. Otherwise they are simply connected by the fact that they all take place in Paris. All aspects of love are captured here—gay, straight, romantic, familial, unrequited, self-love and love that has passed its prime.

It is only natural to have favorites and I found myself drawn to several of the films. “Place des Victoires” starring the wonderful Juliette Binoche is a tale of a mother who deals with the loss of her son and cannot seem to find comfort until she is visited by an imaginary cowboy played by William Dafoe. “Quartier de la Madeleine” directed by Vincenzo Natali is a spooky and colorless look at a gothic love tale. Elijah Wood plays a young American tourist walking through the streets of Paris late one night. He sees blood and follows its trail where he finds a beautiful vampire dining on a victim. The two are attracted to each other and the story ends before we find out what will be their fate.

Short films are much like their literary counterpoint—there is not much time to develop and impress or impact. We must watch quickly and make quick assumptions. I, myself, love Paris and I have many fond memories of when I was studying there but I had also forgotten much about some of the districts where I often walked. With these eighteen short films, I fell in love with Paris again eighteen times. The glory of being human is reflected in this series of short films and seeing how diverse the human condition is made me feel good to be alive. Watching the film reminded me of sitting down with a box of Godiva chocolate and not knowing what each one was before I bit in. Each was good to a point and after finishing the box, I realized what a wonderful experience I had had.

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