Love. Such a short and seemingly simple, yet complex word. I can honestly talk about this all day- there are too many different types, perspectives, as well as different ways to perceive it.
I was a little late for class that day we watched Paris Je T’aime and when I was texted by a friend that we were to be watching that particular film, I actually got really excited. I have had an .avi file of this movie in my laptop since my freshman year because according to a friend of mine who is a legitimate film buff (if I should say so myself), also currently a member of the EB Core of Loyola Film Circle, it was an amazing movie. “Art is meant to be shared.”, he once told me. Unfortunately, as I have mentioned in class before, I could never really find the “right time” to actually sit down and watch it. So, you could just imagine my excitement as I entered class thinking that I was finally going to be able to see it and that since I was a little late, I could just watch it on my laptop later on (…Which I did. Twice.)
There are a number of reasons why I fell in love with the film. First of all, the way it was produced and compiled, successfully showcasing the different aspects of love, definitely caught my attention. I liked this particular style. I was completely in awe of the fact that each film was written independently by 18 different, but already-acclaimed directors and yet in the end, (almost) everything just meshed and fit so well together producing a hit unlike any other one I have seen. I was never much of a fan of foreign films but I have different sentiments about this one.
I have to admit that there were a couple of films included in the anthology that I was not very fond of. One of the films I did not like was the one with Elijah Wood and the female vampire, because as compared to all the other films that made me feel giddy and happy, it was completely unrealistic and I don’t know if they meant for it to look that way, but the blood looked extremely fake, which led me to feel simply disgusted and annoyed. Another one I did not like was the film with the Chinese woman (though I did find myself a little bit amused because she was speaking in Mandarin, and I could understand some of her lines) and the aged man because I really didn’t understand what kind of message it was trying to convey or what exactly it was focused on. Lastly, the last film with the American woman almost put me to sleep (Unless, of course, I was really just tired from school work done the night before— We can never be too sure. Although, I reacted the same way the next time I watched Paris Je T’aime again.) but it made sense to me and I personally feel it wasn’t as bad as the other two.
As for the other films and the rest of the movie, I really loved it. I enjoyed the first first film I saw with the husband that was supposed to leave his wife for his mistress and instead decided to stay with her when he found out she had leukemia. A line from that film that stuck with me went something like, “He was a man that acted in love, and ended up falling in love again.” I also loved all the films that had something to do with a mother and child. I was touched with the one with the nanny singing a lullaby and the mother who lost her son. I really liked the other one where everyone thought the father-daughter relationship was actually a girl cheating on her boyfriend for a rich, old man. It made me feel deceived but I enjoyed the way it took me by surprise. I realize that it is one of the factors of any film that makes it memorable: the element of surprise.
Another film I really REALLY liked was Quais de Sein, specifically because of that awkward teenage boy whose acting I was completely convinced by. Also, because he is so good looking! I found the film adorable. It’s one of those feel-good films that give you hope and make you believe that love is not lost, and not all boys are immature and disrespectful. It also had a beautiful take on religious differences and what one is willing to do to go about it. Lastly, I would like to commend the film where Natalie Portman starred. One, because it’s Natalie Portman. I love her. The script was beautifully written and the cinematography was amazing. I really liked the cinematographer’s style of depicting their relationship. It was fast-paced, but very concise.
This film made me realize a couple of things. I learned that films really cannot be judged by its length. Usually, we have the notion that the shorter the film is, it will be a waste of your time and money, and the longer it is, the more dragging it will be. I realized that this is not at all the case. Though the different segments in the film were short, they still told different love stories that deserve to be called a “film”. Yes, some of them may have left me hanging and wanting to see more of it but in a way, that is also what makes it so beautiful and memorable. It makes you think about it even afterwards. On the other hand, for the other films, I appreciated that the directors did not let the film last too long. Another reason why I loved the entire movie was because I realized that the mix of films was so good that whenever I did not like a certain film, a much better one would come right after and just blow me away again.
As I said, I could talk about this film all day. Paris Je T’aime strikes me as the type of film that you will not be able to help but love even more after every single time you decide to watch it again. Well, obviously, I speak subjectively because it has happened to me. Before writing this blog entry, I decided to watch the film again and now, I cannot get over it! It’s a beautiful film. The song played at the end, We’re All in the Dance, has been playing on my iTunes library repeatedly since I downloaded it, and on YouTube, since I heard it.
If we look at the 18 different films individually, I have to say that I really didn’t enjoy everything equally. Generally though, I loved the film. The last scene (where they also start playing We’re All in the Dance) was brilliant, showing how all of the characters were interconnected. It reminded me of the movie style of Love Actually and Valentine’s Day, because of how it showed all the characters belonging to different stories, and yet in the end, seen in the bigger picture, all still belonged to one bigger story.
This is probably one of the best of which I have seen in class. It made me feel a whirlwind of emotions: Hopeful, sad, happy, “kilig”, annoyed, frustrated, ecstatic. Then, I realized, that is exactly what love does to you. Love. So complex, yet so simple. There are so many words that can be said about it but sometimes, words are not even needed. The different directors applied their own personal styles, hence, the varying reactions for the different films but all with one common goal: To show how beautiful love can be, in its truest, purest form.