Paris Je'Taime (I Love You Paris)
Directed by Olivier Assayas, Federic Auburtin & Gerard Depardieu,
Gurinder Chadha, Sylvain Chomet, Ethan & Joel Coen, Isabel Coixet,
Wes Craven, Alfonso Cuaron, Christopher Doyle, Richard LaGravanese,Vincenzo Natali, Alexander Payne, Bruno Podalydes,
Oliver Schmidt,Nobuhiro Suwa, Daniela Thomas & Walter Salles,
Tom Tykwer and Gus Van Sant

Written by Olivier Assayas, Gena Rowlands,
Paul Mayeda Berges & Gurinder Chadha, Sylvain Chomet,Ethan & Joel Coen, Isabel Coixet, Wes Craven, Alfonso Cuaron, Christopher Doyle & Gabriel Keng & Kathy Li , Richard LaGravanese,Vincenzo Natali, Nadine Eid & Alexander Payne, Bruno Podalydes,
Oliver Schmidt,Nobuhiro Suwa, Daniela Thomas & Walter Salles,
Tom Tykwer, Gus Van Sant and Tristan Carne

Paris you go to for many things, mostly cultural: wine, cinema, cuisine, art, haute couture. But Paris you go to mostly for l'amour, that's its niche and its cliche, its tourism come-on. Paris as emotional geography,then - - - the effect the city has on you, which, depending on who you ask, could go from high-strung anxiety, in the Coen slapstick, or benign calm, in the touching Payne finale. 18 aspects of love, or what vague membranes of connectivity pass for love these days, attached to an itinerary that quickly becomes immaterial, at roughly 5 minutes apiece. It wobbles and sags in parts, of course, has two spots of profound awfulness- - - Chomet's jailbird mimes and Natali's deo-cologne advert with vampires- - -and indulges a handful of piffles at turns anorexic with barely there payoffs (Podalydes, Chadha) or supercompressed at a loss of nuance (Coixet, Suwa) or fine if underfed (Cuaron, Thomas/Salles). The good will out, though, and funny how the grace notes- - -slight and wary mostly- - -have to do more with the many disguises love puts on. The co-dependency Assayas' drughead actress shares with her dealer. The things lost in translation between Van Sant's possible soulmates. The punchline twisting the buoyant turmoil of Tykwer's hyperballad of blind love. The ghostly whispers keeping words from failing for Craven's bickering sweethearts. The old codes of affection rekindled when Gena Rowlands and Ben Gazzara finalize their divorce for Auburtin/Depardieu. The cup of coffee that breaks the heart of Schmidt's paramedic - - -as it did mine and most likely yours, too. Handful of piffles notwithstanding, my only real nit is lack of Godard. And more Asians- - - and no, weird Chris Doyle with guerrilla beauticians don't count. * * *


Noel Vera said...

Good stuff. I prolly need to see it again, I suspect I nodded off in the Cuaron segment. And I truly, trully hated the mimes and the vampires.

Oggs Cruz said...

Deo-cologne... hehe. Natali's was really awful. The mimes were okay, awfully annoying but not as annoying as Doyle's (which didn't go anywhere).

dodo dayao said...

Thanks, guys. Cuaron's was techincally impressive but then what he did here's vanilla compared to what he did with the technique in Children of Men. It's OK just not much. And I agree on the Doyle,oggs. The more I think of it the more it wants to rank itself among the mimes and the vampires. I love Doyle (though not necessarily as director) but his piece here was self-indulgent crap.

Ronald said...

Superb review, Dodo! Will watch it again this weekend. Thanks to Noel for mentioning the Oliver Schimtz segment, I almost forgot it but its the most touching among the omnibus and that shot of cup of coffee, ugh, it hit me!

dodo dayao said...

Thanks, Ronald. There's a DVD of this somewhere out there. A bit hard to track down though. But Cinemanila has converted me back to the joys of theatergoing so yeah, go for it at Gateway one last time.

Ronald said...

Yeah man, its good you're visible again. Why only 3 stars? hehehe.

dodo dayao said...

Blame the mimes, the vampires and the beauticians for the three stars,pre. Specially the vampires. Hehe.

Oggs Cruz said...

I remember giving this film a mixed+ in one of the forums I frequent. Again, I blame it on the first two shorts, the mimes, Elijah's tarsier eyes, the beauticians and the way the project feels so imbalanced. 2 Days in Paris is much more balanced and lovelier take on Paris' famous amore.

dodo dayao said...

I agree. It's a pleasant little number and one that could bear repeats but it's uneven. And three stars isn't a bad score. Actually means I liked it. :)


I love the last installment. Really, really awesome. I just find the other segments a bit, i don't know, I forgot the word. The feeling that it's done hastily or just the time-limitation is too obvious. And I agree -- the Chris Doyle segment is really off.

Anyway, I would like to ask your permission (a bit late because I posted it already) to copy the list of director's list for my blog entry? Hehe. Andame kasi e. Katamad. Thanks.

dodo dayao said...

Sure. Copy away. :)

francesbean said...

lovely review :) the last line's too funny, haha. i was expecting something along the lines of In The Mood For Love, why did Chris Doyle come up with something so kooky.

My favourite has got to be Alexander Payne's.

(got here via google search)

dodo dayao said...


Yeah,Doyle can get a bit nuts.

I love the Payne segment,too. Sums up both the loneliness and exhilaration of traveling alone. Beautiful way to end the film.

Thanks for visiting and please do come around often. :)