Directed by: Joel and Ethan Coen, Alfonso Cuarón, Alexander Payne, Wes Craven et al
Starring: Juliette Binoche, Steve Buscemi, Gérard Depardieu, Willem Dafoe, Rufus Sewell
One of the delights of film-society screenings for me is that it affords the opportunity of re-watching films that I might otherwise not find the time for. As a result, I was more than pleased when Paris, Je T’Aime (2007) fell back into my sights. I’d loved this film when it first appeared, but hadn’t gotten around to giving it a second look (in fact, I had to cut the shrink-wrap off the copy that sat on my shelves). Did this film—this project that by all rights shouldn’t have worked at all—stand up? More than that. It was an even richer experience the second time around. The idea of 18 short films by different directors on the City of Lights really oughtn’t be anything more than an unconnected curio, but somehow it is. The sum of its parts—by some inexplicable alchemy—is greater than any single five-minute entry. It doesn’t play as a series of shorts, but as a single film of extraordinary charm, heart and power. I’m not sure why it comes together so seamlessly, but then I’m not at all certain I want to question it too closely. For more on the film, check out the original review in the Xpress movie archives at www.mountainx.com/movies.
The Hendersonville Film Society will show Paris, Je T’Aime at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 17, in the Smoky Mountain Theater at Lake Pointe Landing Retirement Community, 333 Thompson St., Hendersonville. (From Asheville, take I-26 to U.S. 64 West, turn right at the third light onto Thompson Street. Follow to the Lake Point Landing entrance and park in the lot on the left.)