Paris, Je T'aime

Paris_je_taime Year: 2006

Written and Directed by: Multiple Directors

Budget: $14 million (estimated)

Domestic Gross: $279 854 as of May 20th, 2007

a few days ago a friend asked me if i wanted to go with her to see Paris Je T'aime, and i said, 'what is that?' and she said, and i am paraphrasing here, 'it is a movie made up of many short films from various directors revolving around the idea of paris and love.'  'sure' i said, and that was pretty much all i knew about the film as i sat down in the theater, and that is all you should know about it as well.  fortunately i can talk about the movie without 'giving anything away' as they say.

Paris Je T'aime is just what i said: a film made up of short films from a variety of directors.  to be more precise, there are about 18 shorts from, i think, 20 directors including the coen brothers, wes craven, gus van sant and a few more names that even the casual film goer will recognize (all us movie geeks will recognize quite a few names and want to look up the ones we didn't).  the film is very simple.  each director was given 'five minutes of freedom' and these are the little stories/moments they came up with.

just like long-format cinema some of the shorts are really good and others not so much.  but, unlike a 90-minute movie, if you don't like one of them you don't have to worry, because you will be on to the next one in a few minutes.  personally i really liked about a third of the shorts and, at least liked probably a few more then half.

half the fun and excitement for me was also seeing the names of directors i really like come up on the screen.  each piece starts with the name of the film and the director appearing in the corner of the screen, and there were a few times i let out audible gasps of excitement when a name appeared of a director that i had no idea was a part of the production. 

the only warning i will give to someone seeing the film is, 'don't expect all the stories to end in a satisfying way'.  at first it is a little jarring to find yourself getting into the story and the characters when all of a sudden the piece ends and we are on to the next one.  multiple times i heard rumblings from the people sitting around me to the effect of: 'what's going on?', 'is this a new story?', 'are they going to come back to that one?' etc...  having said that, you can now go and experience the film for yourself.

and overall it is an enjoyable experience as well as a very different one from what many of us usually see when we go to the movies.  short film is a much under appreciated niche and it is great to see big name directors involved with this piece (even if few people have, and probably will, actually see it).

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