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Coen Brothers do Paris in 5 minutes (SLYT)
July 1, 2013 12:52 AM   Subscribe

Paris Je T'aime - a short 5 minutes film by the Coen Brothers.
In Tuileries, a short film by Joel and Ethan Coen from the 2006 anthology, Paris Je T’Aime, Steve Buscemi plays a mild-mannered tourist caught completely out of his element. What transpires is a rather bizarre five-minute cultural lesson they won’t teach you at Berlitz. via Open Culture
posted by lipsum (24 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

 
I just want to say that the 2006 anthology Paris Je T'Aime is rather enjoyable, and while this Buscemi clip is funny, it's by far the best of the lot.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:12 AM on July 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


I love Buscemi.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 1:37 AM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Carol, the lonely letter carrier from Denver, is my favourite part of the movie, mainly because she's so goddam human in her awkwardness and she ends up attaining a sort of odd dignity because of this awkwardness.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 2:08 AM on July 1, 2013 [14 favorites]


Carol, the lonely letter carrier from Denver, is my favourite part of the movie

Moi, aussi!
posted by Mister Bijou at 2:29 AM on July 1, 2013 [8 favorites]


"Open Culture" is not very open. The video cannot be viewed in Germany.
posted by rhombus at 2:39 AM on July 1, 2013


My niece was in France a few years ago. Just visiting, staying with friends. She was about 16 years old. Her French wasn't that good, but she was enjoying the trip.

They were in a train station and she went to the bathroom. It's a little strange there, because sometimes they have people working in the bathrooms, attendants. But this one didn't have those.

The lock on the door of the bathroom stall wasn't working well, but she sat down anyway.

A few minutes later, a young man, about her own age, a beautiful French boy, opened the door.

"Shut the door! Shut the door!" she yelled. But he just looked confused and eventually walked away.

They never knew each other; it's a great story of unrecognized love. Somewhere out there this boy is telling the same story, how he opened the door, and she said "je t'adore, Je t'adore", but it never went any further.
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:47 AM on July 1, 2013 [51 favorites]


Works fine in the UK.

It looks like the video will not play in Germany and only Germany!
posted by vacapinta at 2:47 AM on July 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


I absolutely adored every bit in Paris, J'taime and wholeheartedly agree with mrgrimm that while the Coen Brothers segment is great, definitely not the best of the lot.

The Denver letter carrier one is profound. So beautifully executed; the subtle shift in her French and composure as she ate the sandwich on the bench...I can't even describe. And dammit, I've now got a lecture to go to and dust in my eyes.

This Tom Tykwer one is my favorite of the bunch. It's unabashedly heavy-handed and yet passionate and somewhat ambiguous. It's just lovely.
posted by iamkimiam at 2:50 AM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


It looks like the video will not play in Germany and only Germany!
The French. They can hold a grudge for a long time.
posted by Podkayne of Pasadena at 3:19 AM on July 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


They're a Vichyous people.
posted by ShutterBun at 4:51 AM on July 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


The French. They can hold a grudge for a long time.
I will never forgive you for this.
posted by surrendering monkey at 4:52 AM on July 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


Man the sound design in this peice is incredible. Slap! Crunch! Boing!
posted by The Whelk at 5:03 AM on July 1, 2013


J'adore "Paris je t'aime" aussi. And I'd also add my vote for the "Carol" segment being the best. It completely floored me the first time I saw it - it starts out hysterically funny with her horrible French. But then it slowly sucks you in, bit by bit, and I end up misty-eyed every time. I do think, though, that it gains some power when seen in the context of the film as a whole: it's the last of the pieces, and I think it becomes an amazing summation of the varied experiences you've had before it.

I know they tried a movie like this in New York - I haven't seen it but I heard it isn't as good.
posted by dnash at 5:15 AM on July 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


I know they tried a movie like this in New York - I haven't seen it but I heard it isn't as good.

It's part of the Cities of Love series. Movies about Rio, Shanghai, and Jerusalem are upcoming.
posted by painquale at 5:28 AM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


The clip about the housekeeper/nanny commuting into the city is also inspired in its simplicity and execution.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 5:42 AM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Thanks for posting these! The Carol one is very moving, very well written.
posted by carter at 5:44 AM on July 1, 2013


It completely floored me the first time I saw it - it starts out hysterically funny with her horrible French

I like how her French gets better - to the extent that she even gets the dastardly verb "manquer" right towards the end. I once took an immerse French course and got to know my fellow students in that language; only after a few weeks did we get a chance to talk to each other in English. I was struck how we seemed to sound less interesting to each other at that stage. The effort of trying to express something in an alien tongue means people don't bother with boring details and try to get straight to the point with a few, simple expressions. All of which makes for good story editing. The letter carrier clip really captures that, I think.
posted by rongorongo at 5:45 AM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


surrendering monkey: "The French. They can hold a grudge for a long time.
I will never forgive you for this."

Er, éponystericale?
posted by chavenet at 6:27 AM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ah, this takes me back... The Parisian metro. So many memories.

A lady clipping her nails on a crowded train, clippings flying around. Another lady slipping in a puddle of vomit she hadn't noticed. An empty station and an eldery, homeless man taking a quiet poo next to one of the benches. The day when I was taking the metro back home from school and someone vomited on me.

Oh, Paris.

But seriously, I love this short. Thanks for posting.
posted by I have no idea at 9:16 AM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'll be there next weekend! I'll only be there for a couple hours transferring between Gare du Nord and Gare Montparnasse, but I am sure it will be sufficient for a dramatic internal monologue or two at various popular monuments. It is good that I'll be traveling solo, en route to meet my fiancé out in the countryside. It adds a bit of drama and mystery to the things that I'll be thinking about.

A year ago this time, my then-boyfriend-now-fiancé and I walked hand-in-hand through the park at Tuileries. It isn't really something we do at home; we're neither of us very big into public displays of affection - more out of internalized homophobia than any actual danger of harassment. We live in Houston. The Mayor is gay. They estimate that 400,000 people attended Pride last weekend. It's an international city, the most diverse in the country. And even a good number of our conservatives are toward the libertarian end of things. And still... we have digested this feeling that we'd somehow be flaunting our "lifestyle" by demonstrating our love to each other in public. And of course, that's combined with a general distaste for people who are being gooey and schmoopy (or even downright vulgar) in public. So no, we don't wander around holding hands.

Except in Paris.

Hollande had been in office only two months at that point, and there was much talk of his promise to bring marriage equality to the country. This was before Frigide Barjot and her riot squads took to the streets, before ministers from around the country said horrible things about gays - at one point even making a disgusting reference to the pink triangle, the symbol used to identify gay prisoners in concentration camps - and before mayors refused to uphold the law and allow same-sex couples to marry. I know that the end of this story is a happy one. That it all ultimately represents progress, and that among those awful things there were also moments of dignity and bravery. Christiane Taubria and Yann Galut led an energetic charge forward, supported by the majority of the French people. Hollande got the law through. The Constitutional Council - populated almost exclusively by old white men - upheld the law. The mayors' attempts to shirk their public duties were thwarted.

But I still get a cold chill down my spine thinking about that day walking through Tuileries holding hands. Surely the romance of Paris is real. But the events of the last year leave me wondering if it isn't just a veneer that might be ripped away at a moment's notice to expose the fundamental ugliness of humanity. I guess that's true of all places. One of my favorite short French films is "Merde," by Leos Carax from the compilation "Tokyo!" It is a weirdly dark fairytale about the evil history of a place coming back to haunt it. Maybe then it shouldn't be quite so surprising that the villain character - Monsieur Merde - showed up recently in Carax's newest film "Holy Motors," in a kind of beauty-and-the-beast analysis of French culture. I don't know man. I don't know.
posted by jph at 2:03 PM on July 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


Buscemi has a certain 'je ne foie gras', equally at home in Paris or Fargo.
posted by lometogo at 5:53 PM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


The shot after he drops the contents of the bag on Buscemi and the top is spinning next to his head... it's details like that that make the Coens great.
posted by buriednexttoyou at 6:16 PM on July 1, 2013


I know they tried a movie like this in New York - I haven't seen it but I heard it isn't as good.


Not true at all. There is a bunch of stuff in there that is great. Hayden Christiansen as a young con-artist is fun. The scene between Khan and Portman draws you in like Khan usually does, although Portman's directing in a later segment is probably the least best. The film also shows about five minutes of Shia LaBeouf doing some damn fine acting, and it wasn't until a couple years later when he did Lawless that he actually got really show those chops.
posted by Rocket Surgeon at 9:35 PM on July 1, 2013


Thanks for the tip, Rocket Surgeon. And to my surprise it seems Netflix has it on streaming instead of snail mail DVD, so I'll check it out soon!
posted by dnash at 1:20 PM on July 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


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