Monday, August 13, 2007

Paris, Je T'aime - Natalie Portman, Elijah Wood, Maggie Gyllenhaal

Eighteen celebrated film directors fuse their talents into a single reel and we should expect nothing less than cinematic brilliance. Instead, we are left with a piece-meal two hours that leave us wanting more and wholly unsatisfied. Suitable for the bread-and-butter film festival crowd, Paris, Je T’aime fails to bind eighteen distinct stories with any common thread. I did not experience an equivocated profession of love towards Paris. Instead, I was left feeling that Paris is an increasingly complex city fraught with tradition against urban conflict. The film also portrays much simpler and finer stories that comprise the Parisian narrative. On the whole, Paris Je T’aime reads like eighteen pilot scripts begging for further development (not to suggest that all of the mini-films in this movie should ever be considered for a commercial feature film).

Below I have pasted links to a few story-clips de preference avec mes commentaires.

Tuileries: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnO6nDTMpqo&mode=related&search=
Although without English sub-titles, this clip is well worth your time. Relish in the cinema that Ethan Coen brilliantly draws out of a Paris Metro station.

Place des FĂȘtes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXLTMN2RUyI&mode=related&search=
Tragic because life does not have to be this way.

Tour Eiffel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcXwqc1ym10&mode=related&search=
Lighten up in true Parisian flair with unquestionably delightful mimicry.

14th arrondisement: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqstlUU_kD0
One of my favourite clips in the film. Honest, simple, raw...a true love affair with the city of romance.

*image courtesy of
imdb.com

Thursday, August 2, 2007

The Importance of Being Earnest - Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde’s wit educates us on more than just The Importance of Being Earnest. This play exposes us to the classist ideals of aristocracy. Laugh at the conventions of society’s wealthy and dare mock those who are most easily mocked. Two men, Algernon and Jack, create a fictitious man named Earnest. Earnest is terminally ill and helps Algernon and Jack to escape the annoyances of their social surroundings at any given time. The real trouble sparks when two women fall hopelessly in love with Earnest. How can two women fall in love with a man who does not exist? Cecily claims that “a man who is much talked about is always attractive. One feels there must be something in him, after all” (Act II).

The Importance of Being Earnest is an ode to good writing that neither fancy music nor sophisticated stage effects can ever account for. This play is more than classic: it is timeless. His parodies have yet to lose meaning. And Lady Bracknell is an absolute hoot:
“Kindly turn round, sweet child…There are distinct social possibilities in your profile…The chin a little higher, dear. Style largely depends on the way the chin is worn. They are worn very high, just at present” (Act III).

I strongly encourage you to put aside 4 hours this week and indulge in Wilde’s satirically splendid work.

*image courtesy of
theater.cnu.edu