Paris Va Par
(15) 95min (Artificial Eye)
Long overdue reissue of above average 1964 portmanteau film featuring the youthful efforts of some of the French New Wave’s finest. The idea was to invite six directors to contribute a short film named after and set in a particular part of the French capital. Jean Luc Godard, Claude Chabrol, Eric Rohmer, Jean Rouch, Jean-Daniel Pollet and Jean Douchet took up the challenge, with very fascinating results.
Godard headed for the Montparnasse-Levallois and made a romantic farce of telegrams and infidelity. Chabrol and his real-life wife Stéphane Audran play a bickering couple whose son takes drastic steps to silence them. Rohmer delivers up a suspenseful tale of fashion and fear at Place de l’Étoile. Rouch’s short, a single take study of a woman moving from an argument with her boyfriend to a casual liaison at Gare du Nord remains the pick of the bunch by virtue of technical ingenuity while Pollet and Dochet detail the travails of young women, one a prostitute one an American student. Rarely screened and hiding many burgeoning talents (Nestor Almendros and direct cinema pioneer Albert Maysles shot two of the films), Paris Vu Par is a treat. Minimal extras.