Eden (2014) Poster

(II) (2014)

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Stiff but thought provoking.
Rendanlovell9 December 2015
Eden is a French film about an up and coming DJ named Paul. Sounds like 'We Are Your Friends' doesn't it? Well, it's unlike any other film like this. It isn't a underdog story or a catastrophic failure type of movie. No, this is a film about what it may cost to follow your dreams. So often these days we are prompted to blindly follow our dreams in life. This film shows what could come of following this passion. This is why 'Eden' is so unique. It seems to effortlessly break the mold of films in this genre. And it does it so easily. It may be to slow and unconventional for some but it's real. We helplessly watch as Paul slips slowly into drugs and debt that seems to come with this profession. There is a lot else that this film does right. For example, cinematography. It's a beautifully shot and stylized film. The clubs that our main character bounces between teem with life and color. While the outside world is dark and dull. This subtly shows how our main character subconsciously feels to the world around him. It's an impressive detail that so many other films disregard showing. Granted, this works better for other films but still. Again, the biggest highlight of this film is in it's story. It is able to show, in a realistic way, what toll "following your heart" may have. Not only that, but it also displays how simple it can be to lose yourself into a lifestyle that you may not even be able to afford. It's an impressively constructed story that offers a timely message. Using the 1990's as a backdrop, 'Eden' is able to create a story that feels prefect for our generation. Like, most films that stray from the beaten path, 'Eden' does have some drawbacks. Most specifically in its characters. It never really digs into what makes these people click. Instead it uses them only to progress the message that it is trying to get across. If the film needs someone to have a break down then someone will. Never does it feel like a natural progression for its characters. Things just happen to them if the film feels like they need to happen. This makes the film come off stiff. This makes the dialogue and performances a bit off. Is it good when you really think about it? Sure. But if you are just watching and listening without any thought of criticism then you'll notice that it isn't quite right. Again, this is because it never takes the time to flesh out its characters. 'Eden' is one of the more intriguing films of the year. It offers compelling insight into just how costly life can be. It's a timeless message that anyone can relate to. This coupled with great direction and beautiful cinematography make for a satisfying experience. Yet, it never quite becomes more than just satisfying. Its lackluster characters and stiff all around feel hold 'Eden' back from greatness.
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Non-stop music
Fotodude22 September 2015
The main criticism I've seen towards this film is that it has a detached approach, but I thought it worked wonders here, surprisingly. Thing is, you can handle a story about night life in two ways: by focusing on the frenzy and excitement, that ephemeral state of euphoria non-stop party and excess will do to you, and that's probably what most films of this kind do, and thus have little lasting power beyond the final credits. Or you can go for that other feeling often associated with such activity, which is one of emotional vacuum, of estrangement and low mood, which is more profound and permanent. This is what Løve is going for and succeeds in portraying: the life of someone who wants to be a DJ at all costs, and stick to it throughout the years, while knowing he won't be able to afford living like that. So he often feels unsatisfied and lacking in some kind of deeper personal realization.

On the other hand, those around him do move forward, in one way or another, and so his relationships with all of them reach some kind of closure, making it even more depressing to him that in over a decade he pretty much hasn't gotten anywhere, hasn't really grown up nor learned anything from when he was a teen. An adequately long runtime, encompassing various states of the main character's life and various locations to where his work takes him, also contribute in making his frustrating journey so believable. Technically the film is a marvel, moving so naturally, so organically, from one sequence to the next, from one set piece to another, with a flow that is obviously aided by a powerful and almost constant soundtrack. If you like house music, it's pretty much guaranteed you'll love this film. But it has a lot of other qualities that really make it worth watching. I hope those of you who haven't seen it do soon.
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Super cool film, fantastic soundtrack
lydiaricca1 November 2014
I saw this film at the Cine Lumiere showing in October, and really loved it. It's not a film with a gripping plot or crazy twists, but rather an insight into the lives of a few people, mainly the main character. Quite long but I wouldn't say too long.

My main love for this film comes with the soundtrack. Daft punk are played by a couple of french actors in the film, and there's a few of their songs on the soundtrack. If you're into garage/house music you're sorted - and even if you're not the music just goes so well with the way it's shot and the edgy vibe. Some absolute tunes like 'One More Time' played and really put me in a good mood!

Overall just thought a really cool film that leaves you feeling quite insightful, nostalgic almost, but definitely worth a watch.
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It's a very nihilistic film, that would most interest those who love the music
subxerogravity6 July 2015
Cause for me the two coolest moments was the fact that Daft Punk was portrayed in the movie and the scenes were lead character Paul had a DJ gig at PS1, which I went a lot to around the same time the movie takes place.

In actuality, it's a good narrative that documents one person's life in this genre of music. The problem I really had with the movie is that I'm not really into the music.

That seems kind of weird, I should be able to enjoy it without liking the music, but the whole tone of the picture reflects the culture of the music which I'm not into.

It's made for those who love this genre of music. It is filled with references only the scene would find really amusing. the only two I fully got was when Paul told one girlfriend sarcastically that they would be alright financially since he's a DJ and she's a writer and another girlfriend attempt to explain to him what type of music he does, while admitting she's more a rock girl.

The sub plot of the movie in which Paul gets caught up in many relationships in his life was interesting, as you got to see them from the beginning and watch as they take it's course, but it's not an interesting enough focus for me to say run out and see it for that.

Plus the movie was long. Not just in length, but in pace and storytelling. When the movie begins they let you know this is part one, and just when you thought this long picture was coming to an end another title care comes up that tells you part two is about to start. Not a good idea.

The movie does not talk about Daft Punk enough for me to be interested in who else was a part of the scene they grew out of, and the movie's reflection on the scene did not make it more interesting.
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Endless and dragging...
Red_Identity13 September 2015
I admire what the film was ultimately trying to do. But dear god, you'd think a film taking place in the clubs and similar settings would be more fun. This feels its running time and then some. The problem is that at no point did I really care about the story and the main character here, so watching him life his live and us go through the years with him is kinda, well, painful. This was just not a good time, but hopefully others like it more. I like loose narratives, but something about this one just didn't click at all with me. The film was very well structured though. nice sound mixing and great use of colors and camera-work.
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A French Postcard Dedicated to the 90's Electronic Music Scene
svikasha23 June 2017
Warning: Spoilers
"Eden" starts out in 1992. Rock and roll and disco are both dead. But in the seedy nightclubs and warehouses throughout Paris, a new music form begins to emerge. Electronic music is born. It is called "garage music" and "house music". The names are homage to the garages and warehouses where the original raves and parties that allowed this music form to thrive took place. Like many French youth in the 90's, Paul Vallée, the main character of "Eden", enjoys going to raves. He eventually drops out of college and partners with his friend Stan to form a musical duo called Cheers. At this same time, two of his other friends form another group called Daft Punk.

As the movie progresses, Paul abandons his writing and college ambitions and pursues a DJ career that takes off. Paul's passion for the music shows as he describes it as a beautiful combination of robot and soul. It is a love for that smooth sound that is what brings the two main characters of the film together to pursue the elusive career of a disc jockey. Back in the time of vinyl records and Polaroid pictures, the term DJ was a fairly accurate representation of the profession. But another cultural phenomenon emerged in the club scene where the two protagonists thrived: rampant drug use. Although cocaine is still in use today, ecstasy has replaced it as the drug of choice in raves. Rave culture is intoxicating. It sucks in Paul and consumes him.

The 2014 French film "Eden" is about the rise and fall of Paul and his experiences during his time in the electronic music scene. After facing various hardships, Paul becomes deeply addicted to cocaine. At one point in the film, the protagonist's mother, like a cliché, insists that the main character give up his dream of being a DJ and go back to university. She also callously reminds him of studies speaking of nerve cell deterioration, insomnia, depression, and a whole range of possibly unrelated symptoms to discourage the use of drugs. The character takes this to heart and comes up with the name of his DJ duo, "Cheers", while rolling on "e".

After a thoroughly dramatic rise and fall, Pall eventually faces reality. The film concludes in the modern era in the year 2013. smartphones, tablets, and hands-free devices now rule the day. Paul has managed to rehabilitate his life but has to adjust to "normal life" which is far different from what he was used to as a DJ. He continues his abandoned dream of writing by attending a creative writing workshop at night. The film ends brilliantly with Paul encountering a young girl who he reflects his experiences as a DJ with. To Paul's dismay, she coldly replies that the only techno DJ she knows happens to be Daft Punk.

One has to really admire the attention to the changing sounds of the 90's and the overall soundtrack. This movie is a must-watch not just for fans of daft punk or electronic music but any music lover looking for a "rags to riches" tale. The film was written by Mia Hansen-Løve and Sven Hansen-Løve. Mia is also the director. Both filmmakers came of age during this transformative era that set the stage for modern electronic dance music. Sven was actually a DJ during this era and wrote "Eden" based on his experiences.
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House music's generation
Mebmeb225 October 2014
Loved this movie. Saw it at the Toronto Film Festival. For anyone who grew up listening to this music it is a trip back in time to those amazing days. For those who didn't live the life, the music and the story is infectious. Epic story that follows the main character over many years and misadventures. A story of passion, love, music, disappointment and the joy of life (all wrapped into one). Any time Frankie knuckles whistle tune makes it into a movie is fine with me! My only criticism of the movie would be the fact that many scenes are drawn out over years, if not decades. I hope this film does well at subsequent festivals. Also, the acting is superb. The audience immediately connects with the main character. 10/10
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Useless movie
nathy0217 May 2015
I don't understand the enthusiasm for this movie. it's completely useless and boring. you'd rather go party yourself than having to watch people dancing and taking drugs 2 hours long! One watches the main character screwing his life, his relationships, without being able to feel anything for what he's doing. and it's the same with the other characters. Aynthing can happen to them, it's impossible to feel any empathy for them. The movie is so long and the same happens again and again that it's a pain to watch. There is no surprise in it. The dialogs are superficial, you could argue it's like the life the characters are living, so in this case the movie is at least realistic. But all in all it's just a pointless movie.
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Too slow to catch my interest
Ramascreen17 June 2015
I hear what other critics have been saying in praise of this movie, calling it sublime, rich, complex, and bittersweet, and yes, to a certain degree, EDEN is all of that and then some. This isn't the first movie to ever tackle sex, drugs, and aimless life in the music industry, about artists who dream of hitting it big VS. following everybody else's regular plan, this isn't the first movie to do it, but why it has to be 131 minutes long is beyond me. I understand that it's a music honoring the electronic rave party music of the '90s, but I can honestly say that 85% of EDEN is not necessary story-related, it's just the film bombarding you with what rave nightclubs look and feel like.

The story is about this character named Paul, played by Felix de Givry who forms a DJ collective named Cheers and together they immerse themselves in the life of sex, drugs and endless music, while Paul also finds himself going from one relationship to another. I respect the efforts that director Mia Hansen-Løve's did to depict this life, the side of the world that perhaps a lot of us don't get to see or didn't grow up experiencing. All the lights, the colors, the partying, the attitude, the ecstasy and the energy. But I can go to a nightclub nearby and get the same thing. When I come to watch a movie, I expect some story to be told in it, and the only story I could get from Eden that's worth watching is that familiar story about how some folks feel like they need to follow their artistic dream instead of going to college and getting a regular job like everybody else. Following your own dream, especially in the world of art is always a big gamble, much riskier than others, because most of the time it doesn't pay off and you're left with your family and friends pointing fingers at you saying, 'I told you so.' There are many moments where EDEN could've trimmed down its runtime and narrowed its focus more, because then we would've received a compelling film.
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the music sounds better with you..
SteveSchlonger5 January 2016
what a great film! if you like house and more to the point..French filtered house, then you will love this. its more music orientated than anything else and has some credible DJs doing cameos - Tony Humphries, Arnold Jarvis & a PA by India. it captures the whole vibe of mid 90s clubbing very well - mixed with relationships, drugs and non-stop parties. i like the main actor as a DJ as he is understated and plays it down, keeping the success of his work and the scene on a low key as a lot of DJs are very unassuming. the Daft Punk characters are present and their tunes are well received by clubbers from everywhere. perhaps its time to make a British version of the amazing 90s house scene which captured everyone's imagination to the max. some of the tunes in the film are these classics : Follow Me - Aly Us, The Whistle Song - Frankie Knuckles, Caught In The Middle - Juliet Roberts, Promised Land - Joe Smooth, Sweet Harmony - Liquid, Da Funk - Daft Punk, Finally - Kings of tomorrow, To Be In love - Masters At Work feat India......ENJOY
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What was the message?
amhc1687 September 2014
I went to see this movie at TIFF, and quite honestly, we were all disappointed. Let me start with the positives: the acting was good, the images were good and there are some really great shots in the film. Also, it is undeniable that the music was great. For the not so good: it seemed like they filmed pages of a guy's diary and that was all. Now, no one said a story based on someone's personal experiences can't be good. However, many of the scenes seemed disconnected and no effort was made to bring them together (how did he meet Margot? All of a sudden he's saying he tried to sleep with her for three years, but she was never introduced to the audience really). The "Margot" example wasn't the only situation where we were all a bit lost. Another problem with the film was that basically that there was no climax. We were all left waiting for the big moment, the big something, and it never came. Basically it is the story about a boy with a dream who never really quite gets there, and due to his own stubbornness (and delusion of grandeur) doesn't know when to give it up, while letting friends, lovers and family (not to mention his real career) go by, and while he gets deeper and deeper into trouble regardless of consequences (chasing after a delusion). The ending was also quite unsatisfying as there was no resolution. We see him at that moment hitting rock bottom, (never know what happened with Jasmine), and then the movie ends. I'm not sure I would recommend it, it seemed (honestly) a bit pointless. Maybe opening to a second part with a resolution?
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Promised Land or Plastic Dreams?
paultreloar7528 July 2015
Warning: Spoilers
If you can remember the 60's then you weren't there, is a regularly quoted statement apparently made by Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane. In some respects, the era that Eden is set in could well see a similar attitude being taken. However, I can remember much of the 90's and 00's when sweaty underground basements, seedy squatted warehouses, hidden tree lined copses and loads of other weird and wonderful places served as venues for the underground house music scene that I was an active participant in, both as punter, dancer, dj, and crew.

Covering a period of some 15 years, during which our hero Paul remains remarkably ageless, Eden explores a world where French house music was really coming into it's own. The filtered disco beats were certainly prominent in our record boxes and the inexorable rise of Daft Punk was something that I think, with hindsight, we should have all seen coming. However, just like Paul and Stan and Arnaud and the rest, we never really noticed them for a lot of the time, caught up as we were in our own loves and losses and general craziness.

This is certainly a very French movie by anyone's description, moving along at it's own pace, lots of space and moodiness and an ambiance that I found quite deceptive looking back. Initially, events and characters are revealed and unfold in rather a random and slightly disconcerting manner. However, as certain constants start to repeat, we start to make more sense of the world we're immersed in, something which I felt was a deliberate attempt to mimic or mirror how our band of brothers and sisters are forming and norming as they say.

The music and the soundtrack are to die for, utterly spot on and a joy for the ears if you're in a movie house with a decent sound system. We see the dancers enjoying the sounds but strangely, we're mainly apart from them – as everyone knows, DJ's don't dance (often because they can't ironically). Again, I felt this separation was quite deliberate, because that's how a DJ views his audience to some extent, a mass of (hopefully) sweaty gyrating humanity coming together in response to their selection of vinyl. The self-absorption is also true, the inability often to understand others and to be focused intensely on one's self, perhaps from spending so much time listening to repetitive beats again and again and again.....to fade...

The boys are doing well and travel to the US, which causes it 's own stresses but back home, a tragic event happens that really hits like an emotional hammer blow. This is where I thought things got very interesting, as the period of self-reflection, in the context of a long movie, is short, and although there are repercussions, things are soon, it would seem, back largely to how they were. Except of course, they're not and the inevitable slide towards entropy and unhappiness becomes ever more inevitable. The repeated behaviours again show a lack of willingness to grow and develop, preferring the safety and security of the known ecstatic world, despite the obvious signs of decay within, especially compared to the changing external environment.

There's no big bang, there's no final rush, how could there be? Realising your dreams have largely been an illusion isn't going to be a spectacular experience for anyone.
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Totally Boring
sammydyer28 July 2015
I like French films, and I love music at the very least I was hoping for some uplifting dance music which occasionally did happen but not enough to lift a dull film. I didn't feel any empathy with the characters and when things didn't go their way I didn't care. There seemed to be no life in the film. I enjoyed the part when they were in NY. Half way through when a title appeared saying Part 2 my heart sank I was hoping it was the end. The characters matured somewhat during the film yet I was still unconvinced. They reflected an era in dance music - DJ's paying what they loved and and creatively experimenting with new mixes. I never felt emotion of dance music, you could see the crowds in the clubs dancing but I could not connect with it, even though I wanted to - to feel the beat. I also though the acting was wooden. I went there wanting to come home and buy the soundtrack because that was what it was really about. I will not be buying the soundtrack
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That boy had no riddim for a DJ
darren-153-89081026 July 2015
Being a part time clubber and dance music fan from back in the day I was somewhat looking to this.

The film starts with the gorgeous Plastic Dreams by Jaydee pumping out, I had goose bumps and thought, oh yes, this could be the opposite of Human Traffic, which was as we all know is a film for rave Wan*kers, I've never met anyone in a club who says lets have it, and if I did I would instantly walk away and avoid eye contact with them all night. Back to topic though. This film is a very slow burner, in fact, you have time for a few snooze busters, its only the music that actually keeps you awake.

Our main character is a nice guy, but somewhat of a drip, he mopes around dreaming of the big time. He makes music, although we rarely see this but he appears on dance radio shows and is billed as some kind of legend. Yet, funnily enough, no one notices him when he is in the clubs. The same can be said for Daft Park, who were massive by the time he sold out.

Another big problem I had, was the boy can't dance, my granddad dances better than he does and I've never met him.

The film would have been so much more interesting if it actually was have been about Daft Park.

I get the film, I have been a DJ, and knew what it was like to dream of the big time before selling out, although he didn't have to constantly be bombarded with requests of soulless Rnb!!

Problem with this film is it had so much potential, yet ultimately its a total snoozefest. I wanted to walk out thinking of nostalgic house nights, banging tunes & good times, when in fact it just felt like Disney does DJing!
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Beautiful dramatisation of a scene that mattered to those caught up in it
davideo-215 August 2017
STAR RATING: ***** Saturday Night **** Friday Night *** Friday Morning ** Sunday Night * Monday Morning

Paul (Felix de Givry) is a young man living in a Paris suburb in the early 90s, who has an amazing ability to produce catchy dance tunes on electronic synthesizers that are catching the attention of his local community. These are skills that take him to dizzying heights as the dance music craze takes off, taking him on a journey around the world DJ'ing at the top venues and making a name for himself, only to go crashing down into a self destructive cycle.

There is a tendency to measure a music movement or scene only by the mainstream element, rather than focusing on a more cult segment that is arguably more active and has more followers. To those who followed the dance music scene throughout the 90s and into the 00s, looking back it's eye opening to see what a scene it was, and the impression it left on those who followed it. Certainly, to those who were frequenting the clubs at the time or, like me (being too young to get in!) collected the various compilations of the tracks released on CD, Eden will bring back many happy memories, and most likely have them up and dancing throughout, like a modern day Saturday Night Fever!

Happily, it's also a success on an artistic level as well. While at first it feels slightly over laborious, throughout the course of the film it truly develops into an engrossing, absorbing tale over the course of a young man's life, following him from humble beginnings, personal tragedies, hitting the big time, before coming full circle and crashing down spectacularly. And better yet, lead star de Givry carries the lead role perfectly, turning in a multi-layered performance and conveying a wide range of emotions that capture the psychological escalation of the character perfectly.

This foreign language effort shines a light wonderfully on a magical little scene in music that had a big impact on those who followed it, who will appreciate it even more after seeing this film. And, if all that's not enough, you can marvel as a central character transforms Showgirls into a misunderstood American art piece. *****
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A nice walk through the passage of time
jonatbaylor25 July 2017
Warning: Spoilers
This movie is really about pursuing ones dreams and what happens to people during that process. The main character pursues his dream of music, in this case being a DJ in the early 90s French clubbing scene. Not everyone succeeds and some people lose their way. Paul (arguably) lands somewhere between those two ends.

Paul reaches some success, but as times change and tastes in music change, Paul is either not able to change with them or refuses to do so. Paul gets mixed up with some harder drugs, like cocaine and racks up quite a bit of debt. As his popularity declines and the scene changes Paul is left behind.

I was energized by the successes portrayed at the beginning of the movie and as Paul's life spirals downward, a sense of melancholy approached.

I think too many people confuse these feelings as a failure of the film, but the way I see it, the film is nothing more than following a mans life and his passion through the passage of time.

Overall I felt it was a great movie and my only disdain would be the quick segway from Pauls admittance to having a drug and financial problem to his mother, to his overcoming of these issues. There is literally no explanation or time spent between the two. To be fair, the movie already clocks in at over 2 hours, so it was probably not possible to explore this portion of his life too much.

As far as the music goes - I can't recall any movie taking the genre seriously and I am glad to see a film finally do it.

Anyways, the movie is interesting, nostalgic and worth a look.
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A bright and shady side of House!
aleugenio7 April 2015
Having the privilege of checking it at London Film Festival last year, it's great to see that the distribution is growing and the piece is getting the right exposure to its niche + mainstream audiences. For those who love house music (as I do) and understand the meaning of club culture in growing up, choosing between your passion and what pays your bills plus having a soundtrack for your live = it lives up to it. Mia (the director) has projected a slice of her personal life (the main character is based on her brother) with maturity and a cinematic experience. The soundtrack? The best compilation ever of house music represents. I can't wait to see it again and take friends along to converse about it. :-)
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Extended mix
kevin c22 July 2018
Let me start with the positives: some good 90's tunes and an accurate description of club nightlife. Not too many films have achieved that.

It definitely meanders and is far too long, but i wasn't bored. However,it is essentially the tale of a DJ who never hits the true heights, and neglects friends, lovers and family. And then it ends.
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A nostalgic trip to your youth and the electro scene during the early 90's.
peter-eldon13 August 2015
Warning: Spoilers
A film about youth, making friends, falling in love, tragedy and finding yourself through the challenges of life while growing up and realising your dreams might be fading away into adulthood.

Set up in Paris you follow Garage duo Paul and Stan create a DJ collective with their friends starting out in the underground scene to playing top sets including a new tune called One More Time in New York. Following the music roots of electric music grow in the hip Paris and especially an interesting duo called Daft Punk played by two French actors. The symbols of two helmets grow as well as their recognition and bookings. While the awesome soundtrack that keeps you attached as well as the story line is by the fascinating Daft Punk. As well as it is a joy to watch the innocence of being young, reckless and free. It is also a lovely music voyage to follow making you feel a bit nostalgic with some great high lights with Arnold Jarvis, NY performing at Respect's Party in Paris and watch legend Nile Rodgers get interviewed by collective member Arnoud.
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