Sunday, August 11, 2013

an unforgettable city: Paris, Je t'aime (2006)

Title: Paris, je t'aime
Language: French
Year: 2006
Directors: Olivier Assayas, Frédéric Auburtin, and 20 more credits
My Rating: 4.7/5

"Through the neighborhoods of Paris, love is veiled, revealed, imitated, sucked dry, reinvented and awakened." -imdb

After seeing this film last night, I couldn't fall asleep for a long time. The opening film at Cannes International Film Festival of 2006, this 20-segment film portrays the many facets of Paris that one least knows and/or expects. Although the plot summary above seems broad and over-generalizing, I assure you that it is not. It is accurately the impression that the film will leave you.

Each of the 20 segments in this film, directed by a different director, lasts 5 minutes and can be a standalone by itself. In one way or another, each segment tells a love story, no matter heartwarming, saddening, thoughtful, or bizarre: one talks about a young boy discovering the right way to treat a girl on the bank of the Seine; one deals with a grieving mother's recovery from having lost her son; one tells the story of a blind boy falling in and out of love with a foreign actress; one shows the audience the complicated breakup scene of an old couple... 

Through these 20 mini films that together build the complex, interweaving structure that is not only the film Paris, Je t'aime but also the city Paris and its people, I constantly felt the enchantment as well as the cruelty of the society that we live in. The last segment of the end of the film sums it up for us really well: "Sitting there, alone in a foreign country, far from my job and everyone I know, a feeling came over me. It was like remembering something I'd never known before or had always been waiting for, but I didn't know what. Maybe it was something I'd forgotten or something I've been missing all my life. All I can say is that I felt, at the same time, joy and sadness. But not too much sadness, because I felt alive. Yes, alive. That was the moment I fell in love with Paris. And I felt Paris fall in love with me." (source)

In the last few minutes of the movie, the camera shifts from one protagonist's perspective to another, and through their eyes we realize that their lives, however unrelated as they seem, are ultimately connected to each other. And this is the wonder of the our lives, of the world we live in.
Vanessa :]

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