Paris When It Sizzles. Richard Quine. 1964.
This cocktail was surprisingly delicious. The ingredients seem kinda meh, but all together they resulted in an amazing cocktail.
Hay! I had two films from 1963 lined up, but it turned out that my DVDs of Les Carabiniers and Le petit soldat had no subtitles whatsoever, so that’s a scratch.
But whyyyy! Just put English subtitles on the DVDs you release, people! It increases the potential audience by several magnitudes!
So here we are in 1964 instead with a film that’s a weird cross between a 40s mannered comedy and a 60s Nouvelle Vague film. It’s even made explicit in the film: Audrey Hepburn says that her last assignment was with a New Wave director who made a film “about people who go to this party and decide not to play Scrabble”. Weirdly enough, Jean-Luc Godard’s Alphaville was released the next year.
This is the most meta film ever! It’s about a guy who makes a film about a girl who knows a guy that’s doing a film. It exhilarating! But it’s so weird: It’s also a 40s romantic comedy.
I can totally understand why this film was apparently universally panned, but I think it’s rather fun. Films about making movies have never been wildly commercially successful, so you have to wonder why they keep making them, but I guess it’s tempting to making movies about what you know. Which is making movies.
I think this is a really fascinating and fun film.
This blog post is part of the Century series.