Photo of the Week


Paper (more precisely, papier mâché) tiger in the boutique of Marian Held Javal on Rue de l'Odéon in Paris. © Paris Update


Paris Update This Week’s Events

For full details about an event, click on the title to visit the official Web site (in English when available).

French film with English subtitles
> Lost in Frenchlation shows Houda Benyamina’s Divines, winner of the Camera d'Or prize at the Cannes Film Festival 2016, preceded by a drinks party (€4.50). Studio 28, Paris, Oct. 28.

For Brassens fans
> The annual 22V'laGeorges Festival celebrates what would have been the great singer’s 95th birthday this year in his hometown of Sète. Through Oct. 29.

> Festival Cas d'Écoles: films about school, from Goodbye, Mister to Chips to Les 400 Coups. Forum des Images, Paris, through Nov. 18. 

Classic Danish films
> Festival of movies by Carl Theodor Dreyer. Cinémathèque Française, Paris, through Nov. 6.

Cultures of the world onstage
> Music, dance, theater and ritual performances from around the world at the Festival de l'Imaginaire. Various locations, Paris, through Dec. 20.

Strange Happenings in St. Germain
> The exhibition Bizarro, with works by a number of artists, fills seven Left Bank galleries with “Bêtes de Scènes et Sacrés Monstres.” Don’t miss the Meta-perceptual Helmets by the Irish duo Cleary/Connolly
at the Librairie Alain Brieux, which allow the viewer to see forward and backward, for example, or the way a cyclops or horse would see. Various locations, Paris, through Oct. 30.

Contemporary arts festival
> The Festival d’Automne presents leading talents in art, dance, film, theater and more from around the world. Various venues, Paris, through Dec. 31.

Amazing gardens
> The popular Festival International des Jardins de Chaumont-sur-Loireis held annually in the park of the Château de Chaumont in Chaumont-sur-Loire, through Nov. 2.

Music & more in park bandstands
> Kiosques en Fête brings life to the bandstands in Paris’s parks with concerts, writing workshops, club meetings and even a square dance. Various locations, Paris, through Dec. 31.


Film - Comedy


The Science of Sleep

Stuck in Dreamworld
Dream or reality? Guy (Alain Chabat) dukes it out with big-handed Stéphane (Gael Garcia Bernal).

use of pseudo-scientific ideas to explore what happens when love is induced through dreams.

The new film, the first Gondry has both scripted and directed, stars that young actor the camera (and the audience) just loves, Gael Garcia Bernal. Oozing charm and boyish good looks as usual, he romps his way through this film as a naïve young half-Mexican guy, Stéphane, whose French mother lures him to Paris by claiming that she has found him a job as an illustrator.

The job turns out to be not at all what it was cracked up to be, but it provides an excuse to introduce some wacky co-workers (notably Alain Chabat as Guy) and provide a brilliant portrait of a small French business, a producer of tacky promotional calendars for companies, that is stuck in the 1950s.

Meanwhile, Stéphane is stuck in his childhood. He sleeps in his boyhood bed and believes that people can connect in their dreams, which is just what happens with his next-door neighbor, Stéphanie (Charlotte Gainsbourg), a young woman who is also in touch with her inner child but is slightly more mature than the playful, babyish (he cries a lot) Stéphane.

The Science of Sleep is full of fun, fantasy, poetry, romance, color, creativity and crazy antics, but in the end the charm seems forced. The logic that should underpin the idea of two people connecting in their dreams gets lost, and so does the audience, wondering what is supposed to have really happened and what happened only in Stéphane’s dream world. And, although much of the film is played for laughs, it elicits surprisingly few from the audience. All the elements are there – great idea, actors, cinematography, props, music, etc. – but this scientific experiment fizzles in the end.

Heidi Ellison

© 2006 Paris Update

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