Dans Paris

Dans Paris

DVD Rating: **1/2

Reviewed by: Anton Bitel

The stills gallery may consist merely of 10 shots lifted straight from the film and shrunk to fit their inset frame, the filmographies may be as plain and perfunctory as can be (with no biographical accompaniment), the 28-minute interview with stars Louis Garrel and Joanna Preiss may be conducted in distractingly broken English (with occasional interventions by an interpreter) and meander from one topic to the next with desultory abandon (and, admittedly, some charm) – but all this is to miss the point. For it is in the interview with Honoré himself that these extras excel themselves, almost making up for all their other shortcomings.

Allowed to speak in his native French (with English subtitles, of course), Honoré offers a fluent and articulate account of his film and his views on filmmaking in general. In the age of television, he claims, "the idea of representing the world is no longer relevant", and cinema has become an incomplete and "narcissistic" medium that must endlessly reflect on itself and its past forms. He regards Dans Paris as a nostalgic retrospective of the French cinema of the last three decades (as well of course as an homage to the Nouvelle Vague), and as his own "return home" after two previous features (17 Fois Cécile Cassard and Ma Mère) in which he was channeling specifically Asian and Italian cinematic sensibilities.

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All this is less pretentious (and more self-effacing) than it sounds - and we also learn of Honoré's desire (unquestionably fulfilled) to make Dans Paris an ironic and light-hearted affair after the grim gravity of his previous films. Most surprising of all is the fact that Honoré is not himself a Parisian (he is born and bred in Brittany), and his celebration of the capital derives entirely from its cinematic incarnations. "There is", as he puts it," no realism in this portrayal of the city."

This interview offers fascinating insights into both Honoré and his film, and packs a welcome intellectual heft to elevate it well above your average DVD extra (including the others included on this disc).

Reviewed on: 24 Sep 2007
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Dans Paris packshot
Love, sex, suicide and depression filmed Truffaut style.
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Product Code: ART353DVD

Region: 2

Ratio: 1.85:1

Sound: Dolby Digital 2.0, Dolby Digital 5.1

Extras: Interview with Christophe Honoré, interview with Louis Garrel and Joanna Preiss, original theatrical trailer, stills gallery, filmographies for Christophe Honoré, Romain Duris, Louis Garrel, Joanna Preiss


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