Thursday, November 15, 2007

paris, je t'aime

perhaps the closest to paris i'll ever be is this charming film, paris, je t'aime, a compilation of 16 short films by international directors like olivier assayas, gus van sant, the coen brothers, + tom tykwer, each corresponding to a different arrondissement in paris.

most of the stories are very good, funny + bittersweet, some negligible, even lame (notably the vampire story), some are brilliant.

this is the best example of portmanteau film i've ever seen.

i especially enjoyed the first two, unlikely romances, + the fourth, a gay romance directed by gus van sant, with an o. henry-like ending. the story of a paris mime looking for love is humorous + visually inventive.

the most accomplished work in the lot is the segment written + directed by the coens, starring steve buscemi, as an american tourist perplexed by parisian insouciance + impudence.

by far my favorite is the last segment, directed by alexander payne, about a denver mail carrier, flawlessly played by margo martindale, traveling alone in the city of lights + love. at once the most deadpan + the most transcendant of all the segments, it is a lovely note to end the film on.

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