Saturday, October 10, 2009


If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.
- Hemingway

I viewed the film Paris at the Century Centre Cinema yesterday evening. Cedric Klapisch directed and wrote the film Paris featuring Juliette Binoche and Romain Duris in the two most prominent roles. Paris provides a beautiful overview of both the people and panorama of the city. Romain Duris' character, Pierre, is a dancer who has been diagnosed with a serious heart disease. He must spend his days reasting and from his apartment window he views the city and its people. Klapisch presents some of these people and their stories in this mosaic of a film. With the support of his sister Elise (Binoche) Pierre manages to cope with his deteriorating health. One of the most touching moments in their relationship is a Christmas Eve dinner at his apartment with Elise and her children. Pierre holds the youngest in his arms as they look out at the brightly lit Eiffel Tower and the night lights of Paris.

There were moments in the film when the panoramic views of Paris were reminiscent of similar views of Berlin in Wenders' Wings of Desire; while the enclosed life of Pierre led him briefly to yearn for the possibility of romance with a young woman in a neighboring apartment in a moment that reminded me of Jimmy Stewart's voyeurism in Hitchcock's Rear Window. Those moments aside, the energy and delight of the film came from the experience of the real people and streets of Paris throughout the film. That energy overcame the darkness of Pierre's disease, and culminated in a party scene held with all of his old friends with whom he danced almost to his death. The film ends as it begins with views of people in silhouette staring at the Parisian skyline. It is a tribute to the spirit of Paris that made this film a joy to experience.

No comments: