Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Did you know there's a French film festival in LA? Not a festival really, but a showcase of major french films each year that get screened at the DGA regardless of a distribution deal. It's called COLCOA (City of Angeles/City of Lights), and last night Peter brought me to see Paris, the new C├ędric Klapisch film. Pretty exciting since Klapisch's film L'Auberge Espagnole (also starring Romain Duris) is one of my favorite movies of all time.

I'm sure if you look at the poster you'll understand why I didn't do a word balloon review.

I'm sad to report that watching Paris is like being on the outside of an inside joke. It's true I did laugh a few times, but uproarious laughter came from the mainly french crowd routinely throughout the film. It's not that the humor didn't translate, its that it was so specific and neither Peter nor myself had a good point of reference. The closest thing we came to an analogy was that it's probably like people in China watching a Woody Allen film.

Good performances exist throughout, but it was a bleak exercise in "slice of life" filmmaking. Many storylines take unexpected or contrived turns, we openly asked ourselves if this was the French equivalent of Crash (complete with a contemplative closing monologue regarding the nature of Parisians). Honestly, I doubt I'll never know. L'Auberge Espagnole is so universal because it's about finding your place in a wildly different world, while Paris is the opposite.

It was a truly foreign film.

1 comment:

Justin said...

Okay, that's're the second person whose blog I've read today who mentioned L'Auberge Espagnole. Weird.

I loved that movie after seeing it unexpectedly on IFC. I think maybe I'll skip PARIS.