Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

27 November 2012

Dans Paris

In Paris, the film I see advertised the most is Populaire. I have seen the ad so many times that I am starting to want to see the movie. Also, I love Romain Duris. I have no idea what this movie is about, but the poster makes it look charming.

Another film advertised in Paris right now is Une Nouvelle Chance (A New Chance/Opportunity/Possibility), which doesn't even attempt to translate the USAmerican title Trouble with the Curve. One assumes there is no real translation for the curveball metaphor we have in American English.

There's also L'Odyssée de Pi, probably a slightly better title than its English counterpart Life of Pi (which is a title that pops but doesn't quite make sense). I have to be honest: the more I see this movie advertised, the less I want to see it. The book (which I recently finished) left me sort of cold. It isn't only that I didn't care for the (much discussed) ending section of the book, but the entire way through it just reminded me of those old epics Robinson Crusoe and (especially) The Swiss Family Robinson. It was nice to be reminded of those books – I liked them when I was a kid – but Life of Pi finally reads like a kids' book, actually, and though it purports to be about religion or spirituality in some kind of way, I didn't really get it. Life of Pi has this theory that Islam, Christianity, and Hinduism are all essentially the same thing, but once the boy is sharing a boat with an enormous Bengal Tiger in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, the book stops being about religion completely. The movie looks like it's going to be a CGI-fest: not necessarily bad in and of itself, but part of the plot of the novel is about whether or not the young man's story is believable. Do we believe him or do we not? If we do not believe the images on the screen, it seems to me the decision is probably already made for us. I'll stop talking about the film now, because I haven't seen it, and my analysis is, therefore, obviously precipitate.

Après Mai, a new film by Olivier Assayas looks hipster-ish and depressing, but it's Olivier Assayas, so I want to see it anyway. Even if that boy's hair clearly needs a trim.

Even more exciting to me is Mads Mikkelsen in Thomas Vinterberg's La Chasse or The Hunt. I loved Mikkelsen in A Royal Affair and that and The Hunt will both be out at the same time in Paris – not sure when either is coming to the U.S.

This is not all I have to say about Paris, obviously. I love it here. And I don't speak enough French to actually go to the movies, but I can stare at the posters and grin, anyway...