Six vignettes set in different sections of Paris, by six directors. St. Germain des Pres (Douchet), Gare du Nord (Rouch), Rue St. Denis (Pollet), and Montparnasse et Levallois (Godard) are ... See full summary »
Six vignettes set in different sections of Paris, by six directors. St. Germain des Pres (Douchet), Gare du Nord (Rouch), Rue St. Denis (Pollet), and Montparnasse et Levallois (Godard) are stories of love, flirtation and prostitution; Place d'Etoile (Rhomer) concerns a haberdasher and his umbrella; and La Muette (Chabrol), a bourgeois family and earplugs. Written by
Good short New-Wave films, very poetic and meaningful
Except for the idiotic Godard segment which just plain sucks, all the other directors did a hell of a job shooting these 16mm short films. In the best tradition of the French New-Wave, most of the films come as close to documentary as possible. The American girl (Barbara Wilkins) in Jean Douchet's little film about American girls who get taken for a ride by French playboys, is just wonderful in her role and perfectly portrays many nuances that have never been captured on film. Douchet was a critic at Cahiers du Cinema who wrote one of the greatest analyses of Hitchcock ever. Documentary master Jean Rouch, one of the godfathers of the New Wave is represented next in a spectacularly authentic and resonant segment that's one long continuous take for about 15 minutes straight, following its protagonist (another wonderfully authentic young girl, this time French) from the breakfast table argument with her boyfriend (producer/director Barbet Schroeder in an early role) into the street where she meets a mysterious man who wants her to go away with him. A wonderfully hilarious 10 minute segment by Jean Daniel Pollet features Michelline Dax playing the experienced Parisian prostitute to perfection as she affectionately makes fun of her inexperienced john who looks like a French version of Buster Keaton. Rohmer's piece is about a salesman/former runner who gets into an altercation with a drunk man on the street and thinks he might have accidentally killed him; it is very different from anything else Rohmer has ever done and, needless to say, quietly masterful. In Chabrol's interesting and typically Hitchcockish 'horror-under-the-prim-bourgeois-surface' expose piece Chabrol himself acts as the 'bourgeois' father and his then-wife Stephane Audran as the mother of a mischievous boy who starts putting ear-plugs in his ears to keep from hearing their constant arguments. Overall, there's a lot of decent stuff here for attentive viewers and French New Wave fans.
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