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9 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars As Seen By..., 20 Jan 2010
DL Productions UK (Merseyside, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Paris Vu Par [DVD] [1964] (DVD)
Paris is a strange place sometimes, I should know, spending my first 5 years there was interesting, and I often look back at the time with a grin on my face, so seeing the masters of French cinema take apart the basic ideas behind Paris and the Parisian, I was interested to see what they would do with this movie - containing 6 vignettes from Claude Chabrol, Jean Douchet, Jean-Luc Godard, Jean-Daniel Pollet, Eric Rohmer and Jean Rouch I had to have a look.

Thankfully this isn't Paris through tinted lenses - la vie en rose is not here - not like some elements of Paris, Je T'Aime from 2007, but more about the relations of Parisians with each other, and it's not really that pretty, from the rather rude side in "La Muette", where we see a father enraged by nearly everything, to the rather depressive side of a man in "Garre Du Nord", who tells pretty Nadine Ballot "If you don't run off with me to the country I will die", to the more courteous side of Paris: like the tailor in "Place de l'Etoile", but who does seem a bit strange too by his actions.

I liked Goddard's take, "Montparnasse-Levallois", as it was very melancholic - with actress Joanna Shimkus playing a Canadian girl jumping from one man to another, and the way they left her - again bizarre circumstances behind the story, but Goddard makes this quite an enjoyable vignette. I also liked the one about the tailor, as Jean-Michel Rouzière was excellent as the stiff-upper lipped tailor, who didn't seem to be with us most of the segment.

The worst one by far was "Rue Saint-Denis", I really didn't like either character and it didn't really tell much of a story, and it was a bit of a fairytale rather than Parisian life. I don't know really, do people have a meal with a lady of the night they have just hired?

I agree with the other reviewer that this has not been treated with care, I am surprised Artificial Eye didn't remaster this to some sort of enjoyability sound wise. The nose of Paris makes some of the actors difficult to hear, and the image is rather poor - but it is well over 40 years old now and we have to expect this - but if they can fix old movies from that era (Le Mepris [Blu-ray] (1963)) quite nicely, so goodness knows why they couldn't make a bit more effort with this. At least AE made it possible to turn off subtitles which is a god send for French people.

This is interesting, but not an essential, Goddard uber-fans will want this, otherwise it's a bit of historic plume that shows the zeitgeist of that period. I would recommend renting this, but buy only if you liked it, or if you're a uber fan of any of the directors in this piece.

Worth a look, just don't expect a lot from it.
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12 of 30 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Another Era; Another Yawn, 5 Jan 2010
Mr. Keith Hearnden (England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Paris Vu Par [DVD] [1964] (DVD)
Although films from 40 years ago have their fans, this compilation just didn't work for us. The visual image and sound qualities were appallingly bad, so that this technical deficiency created an insuperable barrier. Question: why can really old music recordings be remastered successfully, so as to allow the quality of the music to be appreciated, yet nobody seems bothered to make a similar technical investment with films?

In summary: possibly of some interest to the social historian or the classic film anorak - but devoid of most of the qualities that endear most French cinema offerings to us.
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Paris Vu Par [DVD] [1964]
Paris Vu Par [DVD] [1964] by Claude Chabrol (DVD - 2009)
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