As Valentine’s day is approaching, this Week QUARTIER LIBRE**** celebrates love.
Love in Paris is different from anywhere else in the world. Not only because of the beauty of its monuments and cobblestones, but also thanks to the myths, developed by great movies.
Here are five “chef d’oeuvres” not to be missed to celebrate love in Paris…
Children of Paradise (1945)
Writer Jacques Prévert and filmmaker Marcel Carné depict in two episodes, all about love and wonder in their classic black & white movie where social differences depend on where you sit at the theater. Children of Paradise are those who sit on the cheap seats, up in “heaven”; they are also the one who benefit from real love around the hill of Montmartre. Marrying a wealthy man and leaving her great love behind, Garance (interpreted by Arletty) pays the greatest price… Punchline ? “Paris is small for those who share so great a passion as ours”. Watch.
Love in the afternoon (1957)
Young and impetuous “Ariane” (it is the title of the movie in French) is the daughter of a French private eye (great French actor Louis Jouvet). When she decides to spy on one of his targets, an unfaithful businessman staying at the Ritz Hotel (Cary Grant) she definitely does what all Parisians do : she falls in love. Witty and wonderful, the movie shot by Billy Wilder plays with all the clichés of french love! Watch.
The Last metro (1980)
François Truffaut who grew up around the block from Quartier LIbre made a beautiful historical movie about Paris during the Second World War departing from the Théatre Montmartre, managed by actress Marion Steiner (Catherine Deneuve). She hides her jewish husband in the Theater while falling in love with the main actor (Gérard Depardieu) of the current play. A French classic of love and betrayal which was awarded 10 Césars (The French Oscars) when it came out. Watch.
A soprano’s voice is triggering a unique love story (and recording). Jean-Jacques Benneix died last month, but the way he filmed a chase of love, departing from the splendid venue, Les Bouffes du Nord”, remains the most modern, fluid and original declaration of love to Paris. Watch.
Names of love (2004)
More intimate than other movies of this list of suggestions, Michel Leclerc’s movie pictures the unexpected love story between a very petit-bourgeois academic (Jacques Gamblin) and a hippie bohemian young woman (Sara Forestier). Departing this time from the very picturesque Maison de la Radio near the Seine, this very tender movie is cracking many French codes and taboos, such as post-colonial Algerian & Jewish identity, as well as political choices and votes. A very good introduction via love to contemporary French culture. Watch.
QUARTIER LIBRE**** wishes you a very happy Valentine’s ! Enjoy Paris, the City of Love and the movies celebrating this love.