So a few days ago we finally watched Paris Je T’aime, on Netflix Instant Watch, which is the greatest thing that has happened to my computer since Hulu. Friends of mine had all really liked it – my roommate had a postcard of the movie poster hanging on ourbookshelf, it made her want to go to Paris even more, she said.
I mostly felt discombobulated. I guess it is kind of surprising that I didn’t like it, as I have been realizing, recently, how much I like set pieces and aspects of movies, and am willing to forgive a lot of “overall”ness for some really great moments. This movie was all moments, and yet…
Some of the segments were really great, some were truly awful, and most were just sort of pretentious and unsatisfying. Of the 18 or so segments, there were a few directors I recognized, which was more exciting to me – who they were, which ones I recognized, and why – than the segments themselves. There was Gus Van Sant doing shaggy haired beautiful boys who don’t talk much, the Coen brothers doing Steve Buscemi things, Alfonso Cuaron doing something surprising about family, and Vincenzo Natali (who I only know because he directed Splice, which came out this week) doing a delightful mini-horror vampire movie with Elijah Woods, of all people. And one horrible segment by Wes Craven about shrill people screaming, shrilly. I think I liked the segments that were by directors I already knew I liked more than the other ones, which says more about me than anything about the movie, really.
And it didnt make me particularly excited about Paris, or about love.
Perhaps because I already have both of those things – I have been to Paris, and I have been in love. In the same way that Thirds seems like a cool bar to people who have never been to a bar, this movie, I imagine, makes Paris into what it is in the imagination, a city that does not actually exist.
I guess the problem is that my heart already belongs to another…Praha, miluju te!