Photo of the Week

Paris-Update-Tuileries

The Tuileries Garden at dusk. © 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 artists at the Grand Palais
>
The Salon des Artistes Français gives over 600 artists a chance to show their work. Grand Palais, Paris, Feb. 15-19.

Affordable art

Calixte

Painting by Calixte.

> At the Grand Salon d’Art Abordable, prices for artworks range from €50 to €5,000. La Bellevilloise, Paris, Feb. 17-19.

Contemporary textile art
>Exhibition of new textiles from around the world. Le Beffroi, Montrouge, Feb. 22-March 19.

French film with English subtitles
> Lost in Frenchlation shows Dominique Cabrera's Corniche Kennedy, preceded by a themed cocktail party (€4.50). Studio 28, Paris, Feb. 17.

Indian film scene
> The festival India Express takes a tour of new and classic films focusing on the subcontinent’s major cities. Forum des Images, Paris, through Feb. 26.

Tribute to the graphic arts
> The Graphic Design Festival sponsors various events, including exhibitions and sports graphics on street furniture. Various locations, Paris, through Feb. 22.

Young European photographers
> The Festival Circulation(s) features emerging photographers. Centquatre, Paris, through March 5.

Frank Capra Retrospective
> The great American director in the spotlight. Cinémathèque Française, Paris, through Feb. 27.

Chinese New Wave
> Nouvelles Voix du Cinéma Chinois screens films by a new generation of directors beginning around the turn of the 21st-century. Cinémathèque Française, Paris, through Feb. 20.

Winter sales
> Retail sales all over France: through Feb. 21.

 

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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