Saturday, May 19, 2007


Parker or Paris, Paris or Parker? Paris won, but I’ll always have Parker. Paris Je T’aime is pretty unsatisfying, though: 18 five-minute long vignettes per arrondissement. Talk about your quickies. Quite uneven, as to be expected, some of the bits entirely too obvious, some hard to remember in the rush. I liked the pieces by the Freres Coen (Steve Buscemi is a pretty good silent actor), Tom Tykwer, and Wes Craven. Craven’s is filmed in Pere Lachaise, one of my favorite places, and visits Oscar Wilde’s tomb, always covered in lipsticked kisses. Lipstick traces indeed. By the way, those last words? A great quote, but apocryphal. You don’t notice on the film, but the art deco statue was long ago castrated; supposedly the cemetery director did it himself to keep someone else from doing it.

Be warned, though, there are mimes in the movie. Quelle horreur! And worse, they reproduce. (I believe this is illegal under our Constitution, one of the few areas we have the Frogs beat). At least the son of a mime talks. Meanwhile, have you considered how tough it must be for Elijah Wood? "Once an ‘obbit always an ‘obbit," as your Proudfoots would say, especially with sideburns like that.

Werner Herzog documentaries are playing at the Film Forum starting today. I’ve seen many of them over the years and don’t know which I’ll repeat. As you can imagine, I find the Burnsian PBS-style talking head/archival footage/panning across photographs mode of allegedly even-handed doc exceeding boring, trite, and tiresome. But Herzog harkens towards the sublime, in its original sense. His docs are essays. Lessons of Darkness doesn't leave the mind quickly, nor the swallows coming from underneath the waterfall in the White Diamond. I don’t necessarily agree with his takes, but I love the way he presents them.

Damn, it’s brisk like autumn out there. Cool enough to date!

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