TUESDAY, 5 January 2010
Christophe Honoré's Dans Paris (made in 2006 and lasting 90 minutes) is a very accomplished work that is also enjoyable to watch. From an English perspective it is quite interesting that two characters demonstrate they are mad by jumping into the river, they are in Seine! I believe Christophe Honoré is probably perfectly well aware of the English pun.
The film is really a love story to Paris, as so many French films seem to be. There are a lot of attractive young men and women who seem to spend quite a lot of the time semi naked, which is easy on the eye. But what makes it worth talking about is the techniques which aim to disorientate the audience. The leading character (Louis Garrel) in a very Godard moment talks directly to the audience, telling us he's not the leading character. Well maybe! He certainly doesn't suffer as much on screen angst as his brother (played by Romain Duris) but he gets to bed most of the leading ladies...
Jump cuts are used almost randomly, not to take the action on faster but seemingly saying to the audience that you have watched so many movies you are no longer capable of seeing what's going on. Your visual palate is jaded. Look at this and see it anew.
Another technique used for the same purpose is to have the characters talking but you can see that their lips are not moving. This is not a soliloquy but normal conversation presented in a disorientating way. It sounds tricksy and silly but in practice it works (for me anyway).
Posted by Jonathan Brind.
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