General ramblings

Paris Je T’aime

A collection for 18 short movies, directed by 21 world class directors. Each movie is about 5-8 movies long. Making short movies is an art- having the ability to pack a punch in only a couple of minutes. So, Dev , if you are reading this post, please do take a note.

About nine short movies are par brilliance. About 5 are very good. About three to four are pure hogwash. Since the average duration is about 5-6 minutes, sitting through some BS is tolerable. I did take a break for a couple of minutes every now and then because the stories are quite intense and it’s too much to take at one go. The Wikipedia page of the movie has a couple of lines on each short movie. Some reviews around the internet say that it’s worth watching this collection because it gives you an opportunity to compare the direction style of one director versus another. Doing this is a very difficult task for me. Compartmentalizing the direction of great directors like The Coen Brothers, Alexander Payne, Alfonso Cuoron, Gus Van Sant etc. is not easy. Each story is so different. It’s not disappointing to not see familiar sights like the Eiffel Tower, various Parisian museums etc. in every segment. Instead, each piece is set in a different part of Paris and elucidates a different angle of love, suffering, joy and longing.

Some of my favorites:

“Tueleries” by The Coen Brothers- Story of an American tourist in a subway station in Paris and how staring at a young couple for a couple of seconds lands him in trouble. If you have five minutes, you can watch the movie for free on Youtube:

Loin du 16e by Walter Salles and Daniela Thomas- A young woman sings a soulful lullaby to her baby early in the morning at the daycare. She goes to her employer’s house. The employer’s baby is crying and she sings the same lullaby again, sans feelings and emotions. This video has no subtitles. Even then, it should be easy to understand because the emotions are well executed through a simple lullaby. The movie hardly has any dialogues.

Place de Victoires- I’m a big fan of Juliette Binoche and Willem Dafoe. I didn’t care much for Nobuhiro Sawa’s director. Juliette Binoche stars as a young mother grieving the loss of her young son. Her acting makes this movie worth a watch.

Tour Eiffel- Brilliant acting by mime artists. And the boy with the oversized backpack is really cute. One of the few segments that is very light hearted and makes you smile.

Faubourg Saint-Deni- Natalie Portman’s contribution to this wonderful series. She stars as a young actor who falls in love with a blind guy. The boy talks about their love and how it turns sour eventually.

14e arrondissement- Best ending a series can ever have. Directed by Alexander Payne, an American tourist narrates her tale about her love for Paris and her recent visit to the City of Love. The American-French accent is so lovable. If you’re short on time, just watch this one segment because it’s totally worth it.

Rating: 8/10


12 thoughts on “Paris Je T’aime

  1. Dev says:

    Thanks Ruhi! As you know, Iam watching lots of short films nowadays and it’s great to find some free. I mean most of the good ones are not available easily.

  2. Dev says:

    Just to add that short films, as Iam finding out, are a very different genre. Most of the times, they are targetted for film festival juries (very informed audience), and hence they could be pretty arty.

  3. Dev- You can find almost all short movies from Paris Je T’aime on Youtube. I’ve embedded some that I really liked. 🙂 Let me know how you feel about them once you get a chance to view them. I know you’ve been watching a lot of short movies, which is why I mentioned your name.

    Short movies require greater concentration v. normal-length movies. There’s so much happening in each frame. Plus, it’s difficult to catch all subtleties at one go. I re-watched some of these segments more than once to understand different angles.

  4. I love short films. Its like reading a short story in a way. However my internet connection is so bad that its not possible for me to download utube videos without the pc hanging. if anyone posts a utube video on their blog I never visit the post as it starts to load automatically!
    I guess if there is a CD for this I will buy it.

  5. I too use a wireless connection that is slow, usually I skip videos in a post. 🙂

    Maybe I will make an exception and check out a couple at work. Thank you for sharing! 🙂

  6. Oh I have a huge booty of music and movie to watch at will, Internet I use mostly for communication.

    Hey, did some watching of movies you posted, though I liked Loin du 16e. I felt bad about not having subtitles. I hate to miss single thing in a movie. Loved the Coen Brothers’ creation, I shared it with several people. I gathered it is open to different interpretation by different people. 😉

    Please give me a list of the movies that are there in this movie collection, I will dig others out. I am hooked. 😀 Thanks for sharing!

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