Photo of the Week

ParisUpdate-Montmartre

Street in Montmartre. © 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).

Christmas singalong
> So British! Concert: Join the choir and sing along. Practice session on Dec. 10 or click here for singing tutorials. Philharmonie de Paris, Dec. 16.

Gourmet food fair
> Just in time for Christmas, the Salon Saveurs. Espace Champerret, Paris, Dec. 2-5.

Organic food and wine fair
> Vinibio and Bio Gourmet: 120 winemakers and 80 food specialists. Carreau du Temple, Paris, Dec. 3-5.

Christmas markets
> Mulled wine and gifts galore. A full list of Christmas markets in Paris. Various locations and dates.

American Contemporary Chamber Music Festival

ParisUpdate-Mona-Bismarck
> Hear Now Paris. Mona Bismarck American Center, Paris, Dec. 2-4.

Art Fair
> The Experiences Art Fair shows art in empty buildings. 14 Place Jacques Bonsergent, Paris, through Dec. 6.

African music and film
> Africolor cultural festival. Various locations in Paris suburbs, through Dec. 24.

French film with English subtitles
> Lost in Frenchlation shows Katell Quillévéré’s Réparer les Vivants, followed by cocktails (tickets online only). Le Brady, Paris, Dec. 1.

Master of Indian cinema
Festival Satyajit Ray. Cinémathèque Française, Paris, through Dec. 14.

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.

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.

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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