Le cinema

November 27, 2008 suesbent
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French movies can be weird, don’t you think? But I love them. Not only do I love to be immersed in the French language, but there is an off-beat quirkiness that I also feel an affinity for.

 

I have recently seen four French movies: Hunting & Gathering, made in 2007, starring Audrey Tautou, Francoise Bertin, and Guillaume Canet; Paris, a 2008 film by Cedric Klapisch, starring Juliette Binoche, Romain Duris, and Fabrice Luchini; and two of Jacques Tati’s classic satires on modernism from the 1960’s, Mon Oncle and Play Time.

 

Hunting and Gathering is really a relationship movie that could have been located in any city of the world, but I am a big fan of Audrey Tautou. It is a feel-good movie with a satisfying ending where lonely strangers meet and enrich their lives through their human contact.

 

Paris is a beautiful portrait of this city in the current time. Separate stories are told but are linked by the most tenuous and irrelevant thread. The music and cinematography are beautiful. Scenes vary from beautiful, shocking, bizarre, discordant, sad, and funny. I loved this movie and can recommend it to all lovers of Paris.

 

I had seen Mon Oncle and Play Time many years ago when I was a design student. It was weird to watch these movies, that were made in the 1960’s, now in 2008. Jacques Tati makes social commentary about the modernization of France, which was seen by many as an abomination. The skyscrapers of Paris are still seen as a separate part of the city and despised by many. Dialogue is sparse, but he loves to use footsteps on hard surfaces throughout the movie as a nagging reminder of the dehumanizing nature of “progress”. We have “progressed” far now from the 1960’s trends and this distance offers us more food for thought.

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