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Paris Je T’aime’ comes to LaFortune

Courtney Cox | Tuesday, March 30, 2010

South Bend Je T’aime! Okay admittedly this wouldn’t make such a great movie, but “Paris Je T’aime” certainly is a celebration of one of the world’s most fascinating cities. The film is a series of vignettes that take place in Paris and show the various characters that live within the City of Light.

The film is interesting because there is honestly nothing that unites all of the scenes aside from the fact that they all take place in Paris. There are of course the romantic scenes typical of any film that takes place in Paris, but there are also scenes about vampires, immigrants and even mimes. It is a quick, moving ode to one of the most romanticized cities in the world.

A presentation of “Paris Je T’aime” sponsored by the Student Union Board (SUB) will take place tonight at 8 p.m. in the LaFortune ballroom. To enhance the viewing experience, coffee and pastries will be served.

Meg Larson, one of the Cultural Arts Programmers for SUB said, “We chose ‘Paris Je T’aime’ for a couple reasons. It’s a movie that a lot of students, even those that don’t usually watch foreign films, have heard of. We thought that because many of the stars and directors are well known here and because there are parts in English, it would be a great movie to show because it could attract both people that like foreign films as well as those that have maybe never seen one before.”

Those big stars include indie sweetheart Natalie Portman, Best Supporting Actress Nominee Maggie Gyllenhaal, “Lord of the Rings” star Elijah Wood and many others.
Each story is directed by a different world-renowned director. Alfonso Cuaron, (“Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”), crafted a witty scene in which two people who appear to be lovers in a quarrel are in fact father and daughter. It plays on the fact that when you hear Paris you expect romance when really there is so much more to the city.
The Coen brothers, (of the 2007 Oscar-winner “No Country for Old Men”) directed a vignette starring the lovingly creepy Steve Buschemi as a lonely tourist simply trying to blend in by following the native customs. Let’s just say it does not end well for him.
Wes Craven (the “Scream” trilogy) directed a piece that follows a honeymoon couple who are not exactly giddy and upbeat.

These are just a few of the most notable, but they serve as a great representation of the diverse group of directors making the project come to life.

The film has many recognizable names and faces attached to it, but that wasn’t a big plus for true Parisians. One of the main controversies surrounding the film is the fact that the actors, directors and writers were mainly American. In a film so Paris-centric it would only make sense for all involved to be Parisian as well. It is difficult for artists to give an honest portrayal of a city if they do not in fact live in it. Only a true Parisian can judge whether or not the city really is the way it appears in the film.

“Paris Je T’aime” is however, one of the best vignette-based films made in quite some time. The stories do not connect as they do in classics like “Love Actually” and “He’s Just Not That Into You” so don’t be waiting for the moment when the mime will finally meet the vampire. The fact that the stories don’t connect makes it easy to come and go, so it’s the perfect movie for a Tuesday night study break and as Larson said, “It’s a good excuse to bring pastries to campus!”