“Count Dracula may not seem like the ideal husband. … Of course he’s deadly pale, but then he’s a vegetarian and they all seem to look like that.”

image

The director admits the film is slow, even uses the word “boring,” but says they figured it’d be more poetic that way. He also claims little familiarity with the original Dracula story and vampire mythology, but says he’d try to respect it whenever a crew member would point it out (“hey Paul, Drac can’t walk out in sunlight like that”).

On the plus side, it has very nice piano music, decent well-lit cinematography by Luigi Kuveiller (who shot Avanti! and is as fond of zooms as Brian De Palma), Udo Kier acting off his nut, a humorous array of atrocious accents, and the longest blood-vomiting scene I’ve ever watched. Morrissey’s got the right idea about horror movies drawing in the viewer through slow buildup, but he misses the creepy horror atmosphere. Udo Kier’s Dracula is a pale weakling who gets ordered around by his enthusiastic German servant (Arno Juerging) and is eventually, humiliatingly killed by a loser rapist houseboy wielding an axe. Without the horror, or the over-the-top 3D humor of Flesh For Frankenstein, this one just sorta drags along.

Arno Juerging with Maxime McKendry:
image

Dracula is sent from Romania to Italy to find virgins, since Romania is fresh out. Stays at a house run by the shabby, formerly wealthy couple of Maxime McKendry (seems like the best actress here, but never in another film) and the great Vittorio De Sica, below.

image

Drac is interested in the family’s four girls and tries to figure which is a virgin so he can drink her bl… I mean marry her. Unfortunately, the oldest two are having kinky sex regularly with beefcake houseboy Joe Dallesandro (Rivette’s Merry-Go-Round, a hitman in The Limey), the middle one has been engaged before so Drac writes her off (turns out she’s still a virgin so Joe kindly rapes her to save her from becoming vampire food) and the youngest is 14 (so unmarryable, but Drac is chasing her at the end).

Milena Vukotic:
image

Stefania Casini (Suspiria, a hitwoman in Bad, 1900, Belly of an Architect):
image

Not pictured: Fellini/Bunuel/Tarkovsky actress Milena Vukotic, and youngest Silvia Dionisio. It was a bitch to figure out the above screenshots since all four sisters look the same. See comment below for some clarification/corrections (thanks Jenna).

“What about your sister? What does she do all night? I’d like to rape the hell out of her.” “She’s only 14!”

image

The reason I watched this in the first place, kicking off an early start to SHOCKtober on the 29th, is Roman Polanski. During all the controversy while he sits in a Swiss jail I thought I’d watch myself a RoPol movie, but I can’t find my copy of Knife in the Water so I went for this instead. Apparently Udo Kier needed to take a day off for reshoots on another film, so they hurriedly wrote a scene in which Arno Juerging gets scammed by Roman (on left with the mustache) in a tavern.

image

Udo is as fun to watch as always (well, maybe less fun than always), but he’s surrounded by the usual sordid 70’s misogyny of a Morrissey/Warhol production. Dracula comes to a sad end, limbs all chopped off like the Black Knight and then staked by the gross houseboy. Better luck next time…

image

Not a vampire thriller with comic parts, but an all-out comedy. I used to think Park was someone to take seriously with his vengeance trilogy, but after this and I’m a Cyborg But That’s Okay, I’m not sure he was ever serious. Maybe it has always been dark humor, and he never had anything to say about revenge – there’s nothing I can remember, anyway, and surely nothing to match K. Kurosawa’s Eyes of the Spider. Complaints aside, this was entertaining as hell and the sparse crowd was laughing and yelling in horror and delight.

Great to see the star of The Host again on the big screen, and just as good (if not better) was his 20-year-old costar Ok-vin Kim. Anyway, a priest volunteers to be injected with a painfully fatal disease in the name of science, but during a blood transfusion on his deathbed, accidentally gets turned into a vampire. Still a priest, he’s trying to be the most humane vampire he can be, killing nobody and drinking blood from coma patients through their feed tubes. But then he falls for wild young Tae-joo and leaves the priesthood to have an affair with her behind the back of her husband (Ha-kyun Shin, father of the dead girl in Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance). She’s messed up and amoral from the start, and our man begins to fall – killing his blind friend and the girl’s husband so they can be together. But then she becomes a vampire and starts killing everyone in sight, so he drives them out to the middle of nowhere and waits for the sun to come up…

No messing around with stakes through the heart, garlic or other vampire business – we never even see the original vampires who infected these two. Their super strength adds to the comic-book atmosphere, jumping across rooftops, denting lampposts, tearing apart a car with his bare hands.

This died at the theater with hardly anyone hearing about it. Weird that foreign action/horror movies don’t seem to stand a chance in theaters here, while talky family dramas do fine. I’d think The Good, The Bad & The Weird, Sukiyaki Western Django and this could pull a bigger crowd than Summer Hours and Revanche, but I guess that’s why I’m not paid to book theaters.

Steve McQueen’s Hunger was playing last week, and I meant to catch it so I could watch Hunger and Thirst back-to-back, but sadly reality prevailed over gimmickry and I missed it.

Opens with a long boring backstory evoking global terrorism, virus pandemics, holocaust death camps and vampires. Ugly. This is the second Milla Jovovich movie I’ve seen where the ultimate weapon to save mankind turns out to be a person.

image

Skin looks like plastic, or a video game cutscene, for some reason.

Yay, guy from Alien is her weapons supplier. Oh wait, no he’s the guy from Contact. Remember Contact?

image

Yeah it’s cool looking, but they allow the comic-book sci-fi aspect to justify the stupidest shit, as if there’s no need to do anything sensible anymore. I’m not saying the Spiderman movies make total sense, but at least there are recognizable character motivations and straightforward plots in those.

image

Everything is explained in mumble-jumble terms by the voice of the Spaceballs ship. Tons of ultraviolence but little blood since it’s all PG-13. How come she has better guns than anyone in the entire future – and a flying motorcycle and anti-gravity devices? Did William Fichtner invent those things? All the bad guys have are tons of faceless, undertrained cannon fodder guards lined up in perfect fascist rows.

It’s actually a cool movie whenever there is no plot at all. When the kid is involved (oh btw, there’s a kid) or Dax (bad guy, dude from Con Air) or William are explaining something or we hear backstory or there’s an emotional moment, it’s a big bunch of crap.

For once, it actually worked out. I read rave reviews of a foreign film in magazines, a month or two later there’s an enticing trailer on the apple site, another month later the film actually opens – on film, in a real movie theater, in Atlanta. Compare to Opera Jawa: rave reviews in magazines, no trailer, two years later it gets two barely-advertised DVD screenings at GSU – and that’s still better than most Cinema Scope-blessed foreign films, which will never even see a video release here.

Movie has a striking look, everything so well composed (minus 10% of the top, which Regal chopped off as usual), really drew me in. An absorbing film. Bloody violence and death is handled unusually well, keeping the gruesome parts offscreen but leaving you no doubt at all what just happened. Not to say there’s no graphic horror – severed head falling into the pool, the guy falling out a high window and whanging into the building on the way down – but the horror was never the draw, movie was never reveling in gore, so when some is shown it’s more shocking. Yeah, I loved this.

Oskar, 12, has divorced parents, lives with his mom in an apartment complex, visits his dad every couple weeks, and gets relentlessly bullied at school. Eli, 12 in appearance, is a neighborhood vampire girl he meets and befriends. Eli’s caretaker-human, father-figure Hakan, moves himself and Eli from town to town, kills people and brings Eli the blood, but doesn’t seem too competent at it. A group of middle-aged friends starts to catch on to the killings and circle in on vampire and crew (in a very grounded way, no movie-hero vigilantes). Blond weakling Oskar gains confidence from his new friendship, starts to work out after school and assert himself, bashing his longtime bully in the head on a school trip. As all the threads start to come together, Hakan is killed, Eli is left to her own devices, and the bully’s crazed older brother decides to kill Oskar, leading to a breathtaking (ha) climactic scene at the school swimming pool. Ends with Oskar & Eli leaving town by train, Oskar likely to become the new Hakan, bittersweet.

Tomas Alfredson made a much-loved 3+ hour ensemble drama a few years ago called Four Shades of Brown, before that did mostly TV miniseries. Director of Cloverfield will supposedly be remaking this – a movie which is great because of its beauty and stillness. Makes sense. Sweden should respond by having Liv Ullmann remake The Dark Knight.

EDIT: Saw this again with Jimmy, because it’s still playing to enthusiastic audiences three months later… hooray!

I’m gonna get this out of the way:
“It’s like Kafka meets Lovecraft in Ingmar Bergman’s Nosferatu!”
Criterion can feel free to quote me on the upcoming blu-ray edition of Vampyr.

Not an official 1930’s Month selection since I watched it by myself while Katy was enjoying reality TV in the other room. I don’t have a hella lot to say about this movie other than it is a masterpiece of mood and weirdness, a slow, trippy phantom dream of a vampire flick. Love how three of my favorite movies are by Dreyer and those three are almost nothing alike.

Allan Gray, dreamer and occultist, drifts into town, gets a room, starts seeing weird things right away. Old guy comes in, gives Allan book on vampires, says “she must not die” then goes home and dies himself. “She” is probably one of his two daughters, Leone, who gets bitten. With help of the frozen-faced other daughter, blank-faced Allan goes off into the world of shadows… but unlike most movie heroes, he never actually does anything. The thankless house servant discovers that the lead vampire is a woman named Marguerite Chopin so he opens her tomb and stakes her, releasing the spirit of the dead father whose ghostly head scares the doctor’s henchman into falling down the stairs, while Allan himself is busy having out-of-body experiences while his body is carted off in a coffin. The death of the vampires fixes everything, Leone wakes up happy and Allan and Gisele stroll together into the sunlight as the doctor drowns in flour, trapped in the mill by the house servant. If that doesn’t all make sense, well, I don’t think a straightforward storyline was the point of this film.

an evil doctor drowning in flour:
image

Assorted gems from the Tony Rayns commentary:

What Vampyr has in common with Penelope: distributor shelved it for a year before release (Tony didn’t phrase it that way).

Main dude who played Allan Gray was no actor, but a fashion journalist, a rich baron who financed the movie. “I think Dreyer makes astute use of his blankness in this role.”

Allan Gray as a blank-faced corpse:
image

Allan Gray as a blank-faced ghost:
image

On the film’s style: “it’s full of disjunctions; it’s full of unorthodox editing, unorthodox framing and unorthodox cutting. None of it fits together in the way that one has come to expect classical storytelling in film to do… constant dislocations.” Has a lot to do with subjectivity, opening titles introduce Allan Grey as an occultist, a dreamer. Film came hard on the heels (eww) of L’Age d’Or and Blood of a Poet – indie weirdo films were briefly in fashion in Paris at the time.

At the nineteen minute mark – “etc., rendering indistinct and uncertain the offscreen spaces of the film,” he’s still going on about how weird a film it is. Like I know.

Lead vampire Marguerite Chopin talking with the Doctor (who may also be a vampire) around 19:30 is the first scene not directly witnessed by Allan Gray, but by an animated skull on the dresser. Hmmm. Allan himself is out with “the grave undigger and the world of shadows,” awesome.

Like The Passion of Joan of Arc, made up of many short shots, also many close-ups, but Joan was extremely planned, each detail carefully chosen, Vampyr by contrast is a very cluttered film, but every detail counts. Reading that again, I’m not sure that I see the difference he’s talking about.

Sybilla Schmitz (below) who plays daughter Leone (one of the only pro actors here) had a small part in Pabst’s Diary of a Lost Girl – her real-life story of morphine addiction was the prototype for Fassbinder’s story Veronika Voss.
image

Three choice quotes:

– “It’s almost like a Mike Leigh film in a sense in that people are passing cups of tea.”
– “It’s a kind of anti-Griffithian cross-cutting – but let’s not get too film-theoretical about this.”
– “He’s informing himself how to slay vampires. This, needless to say, is more than seven tenths of a century before Joss Whedon and Buffy. The modus operandi for slaying a vampire hasn’t changed all that much.”

Commentary mentions why Vampyr was a long-coming follow-up to Joan of Arc (legal/financial battles), but why was it over a decade before Dreyer’s next proper film, the hugely excellent Day of Wrath? Oh, IMDB says everyone hated Vampyr so he went back to being a journalist after that. Also there’s whole documentaries on the DVD so I should not blame the commentary for lack of stuff.

His spirit released, the old man’s head seeks vengeance:
image

Cast/crew photo. I think that’s Dreyer on the left with his hand up. Dig how Allan Grey stays in character, haha
image

Didn’t know that Pál “Lonesome” Fejös did a remake of Fantômas – it came out the same year as this and featured the actor who played the murdered master of the house in Vampyr (Maurice Schutz, below, also of Passion of Joan of Arc).
image


From the Casper Tybjerg doc/essay:

He pronounces it sorta like “Vam-pure”. I’d been wondering.

Dreyer: “I just wanted to make a film different from all other films”

All films shot on actual locations. Movie was shooting as early as April 1930.

Art director Hermann Warm also worked on Caligari, some early 20’s Murnau films, and Lang’s Destiny.

Two overtly Christian scenes were removed before the film’s release. And German censors had him tone down the staking scene and remove some shots from the drowning-in-flour scene – they’re restored in this documentary.

image

“Do you know, sir, that most of the people you see in the street are dead? That’s why it’s crowded everywhere. And to avoid making a fuss they dress like us.”

Pretty-looking Daniel Mesguich (of Truffaut’s Love on the Run and a mid-70’s Kafka movie) works for motorcycle-drivin’ Cyrielle Clair (Tusk, Triple Agent). Goes off on an assignment one day but the client turns up dead and Daniel gets himself mixed up with Inspector Daniel Emilfork (the dream-snatcher in City of Lost Children) and often-nude vampire ghost Gabrielle Lazure. Movie gets increasingly dreamlike and plot gets increasingly Twilight-Zone-ish, guy starts seeing himself executed at the order of his boss, then he wakes up next to his wife (the boss). It was all a dream! But he’s still stuck in it, sees the girl again, gets executed again, etc.

“The angel of death. Nobody can guess what it looks like. And when you see it for the first time you can’t tell. It has a sweet and caring face. But when you know what’s behind it, it’s already too late.”

The two Daniels. Left: our sleepy-eyed hero in his just-pressed coat, right: mad scientist Emilfork gleefully presenting the Bunuelian shoe/foot motif that will run throughout the film.
image

Our vampire, looking a little tired.
image

The angel of death, aka our hero’s wife/boss.
image

I liked the Schubert music a lot. Cinematographer Henri Alekan shot Wenders’s Wings of Desire and Cocteau’s Beauty and the Beast. For the most part, movie looked very good, though the dreamy artificiality and theatrical lighting gave it a made-for-TV look at times. Came out the same year as Sans Soleil, Stranger Than Paradise, Resnais’s Life is a Bed of Roses.

Seems that Robbe-Grillet’s lofty ambitions for a new cinema were let down by his own limitations as a filmmaker – the sets and costumes look cheap, and the low-rent actors don’t give the movie enough energy. Sometimes, like one moment when the screen fills with horrid video effects, you feel that it looks cheap on purpose, that it’s some weird French commentary on cheap-looking movies. And if it’s all a dream, it’d make sense that the actors are sleepwalking. Found a great article online by J. Clark explaining more about the author, his inspirations (movie is based very loosely on his own novel, almost a sequel to it, in posthumous “collaboration” with the painter Magritte) and collaborators and failures. Clark also makes some Twilight Zone comparisons. But I don’t want to beat up on it too much. Alain R-G might not have created a masterpiece, but the movie was cool and worth watching – for the tableaus, the nudity, the atmosphere, the moments of WTF acting/story/imagery. Witness below.

The aforementioned nudity.
image

Along with more footwear, our hero finds the source novel in a cabinet.
image

A Magritte original (?)
image

A Robbe-Grillet original (?)
image

Firing squad on the beach
image

One goofy actress.
image

Some kinda Terry Gilliam greenscreen/video lunacy takes over for a minute.
image

Sight & Sound explained:
“It shares its title and intent with his 1975 experimental novel, co-credited to surrealist painter René Magritte, which reworked texts originally written for two earlier novels, Topologie d’une cité fantôme and Souvenirs du triangle d’or, into a new narrative, illustrated by 77 Magritte paintings reproduced in black and white. Whereas the book could be read as a dialogue between Magritte’s surrealist canvases and the author’s imagination, the film tells a different story, in which Magritte’s paintings also figure, though not exclusively: Goethe’s telling of the Greek legend of the Bride of Corinth and Manet’s The Execution of Maximilian also intrude into its dream weaving, as does Jean Cocteau’s depiction of the Angel of Death as a motorcyclist in Orphée, an earlier work of cinematographer Henri Alekan.”

B. Stoltzfus:
“What characterizes [Magritte’s] La Belle captive series of paintings is the undecidability of the image. Each one of the six canvases contains an easel that holds a painting within a painting, a procedure that establishes specular duplication with mise-en-abyme effects. The painting on the easel replicates the landscape beyond it and the internal frame breaks the continuity of the image while accentuating it. Although the background and the foreground overlap, the perspective is impossible. Is the canvas transparent or opaque? Are we looking through it at images in the distance or are these images in front of us. This ambiguity sets up a visual paradox that cannot be resolved and the undecidability of the perspective elicits epistemological and ontological concerns in the mind of the observer.”

J Clark:

Explanation: “The world of his novels and films eschews plot and conventionally ‘well-developed’ characters in favor of recurring images of surfaces and objects, which his narrators incessantly catalog almost everything around them.” Sounds almost Greenaway-esque.

Judgement: “Cumulatively, this is a failure of Robbe-Grillet providing himself with the essential materials of his art: performance, image, sound, design. Instead of transforming the real world into something enigmatic, as he does in his novels or in Last Year at Marienbad, everything just looks ordinary, under-dressed, and with no resonance. Although Robbe-Grillet seems to be going for an interesting amalgam of pop culture (film noir, vampire movies) and high art (the New Novel aesthetic), neither is realized with sufficient depth.”

And my favorite single-sentence summary: “Robbe-Grillet transgresses ‘realistic’ narrative by eliminating character, story, and chronology.”

Ouch, this just in, Aug 2008 from A. Tracy at Moving Image Source:

“To discover Robbe-Grillet for the first time… is simply to uncover yet another little niche of world cinema: not uninteresting, more than a little entertaining, and entirely removed from that grandness of intention that even the most jaded cinephiles secretly thrill to.”

From writer Mick Garris and director of Snoop Dogg horror Bones, I wasn’t expecting much. It’s actually a kind of alright movie in search of direction from a better script. The young actors are fine, the ringer Michael Ironside (Scanners, Starship Troopers) is suitably awesome (but he’s no George Wendt) and the atmosphere and horror elements are there, but the story is slack and pointless.

Opens with kids playing Violent Video games (v-words) and one of ’em fighting with his dad over the parents’ divorce, then suddenly it’s all Stand By Me as they head for the funeral home to check out a dead body. Long, “suspenseful” (actually kinda boring) scene follows checking out the home and finally (finally!) discovering it has been taken over by Vampire (v-word!) Ironside (which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense since the movie later emphasizes that vampires can only drink blood from the living). Long story short, both kids become vampires, one kills himself and the other heads for New York to join the cast of Blade.

Watched many times before, but never in dolby disney digital 3-D with cool polarized-lens non-headache-inducing glasses! The 3D effect was great, adding layers of depth (not pop-out-of-the-screen gimmicks) to an already gorgeous movie. Of course seeing the movie on a big screen again gives new appreciation to the intricate visual details, but why were some of the camera-panning motion scenes so blurry? Did the 3D effect do that, or have they always been that way?

fun fact: Chris Sarandon, lead actor in master-of-horror Tom Holland’s “Child’s Play” and “Fright Night”, voices the non-singing Jack Skellington.

Katy sorta likes it. Maria did not. Kids today… sigh.

FEB 2017: Watched at The Ross, followed by a Q&A with the great Danny Elfman.
I think Katy likes it more than she used to.

Wonderful anthology film, bunch of episodes connected with unexceptional cityscapes shot by one of the producers. I don’t know anything about the neighborhoods of Paris, but I guess each short is supposed to have its own local tone to it.

Montmartre
Man is cursing traffic, cursing everyone, alone and angry, then woman walks by and passes out next to his car. He acts the husband to other onlookers and lays her down in the backseat. She wakes up, they kinda like each other, she’s off to her tobaccologist (?) but they’ll meet up later. A nice opening piece, more like the kind of short that plays the film festivals than most of the other segments turned out to be… they were more episodes, excerpts, not stand-alone stories.
Director Bruno Podalydès starred himself, along with Florence Muller of Resnais’s Coeurs.

Quais de Seine
Boy’s friends are yelling insulting things to every woman who walks by, so boy gets away from them and helps up muslim girl. They like each other, it’s cute, her grandfather is nice to him, awww.
Director Guriner Chadha made Bride & Prejudice and Bend It Like Beckham.

La Marais
Jokey bit where dude helping artist Marianne Faithful at a press falls immediately for guy sitting on floor. Dude talks to him forever, tells him how they were destined to meet, gives his phone number, walks off, turns out guy on floor speaks no French, har!
Director Gus Van Sant lovingly photographs Gaspard (the boyfriend in A Very Long Engagement) and Elias (Elephant) in mostly long takes.

Tuileries
American tourist Steve Buscemi is waiting for his subway train and breaking the rules in his tour guide (“don’t make eye contact”), getting himself involved in the power games of two young lovers across the station and leading to his being beaten up with his souvenirs dumped all over him. Poor guy.
Directors Joel & Ethan Coen almost make up for The Ladykillers with this one. Katy was defeated by too-high expectations.

Loin du 16ème
Girl puts her own baby down at the babysitting place, then rides public transit to her job taking case of some rich lady’s baby, sings the same sweet song to both babies. One of the more obvious message-movies, but nice.
Director Walter Salles (Motorcycle Diaries) cast Catalina Sandino Moreno, of Fast Food Nation and Maria Full of Grace.

Porte de Choisy
Okay, Barbet Schroeder is a bald hair-care product salesman who goes to hardass Madame Li’s place to sell her stuff. First meeting doesn’t go well but she tries the stuff and calls him back, delighted. Sort of a choreographed musical comedy. Makes no damn sense. Best part is when he’s between meetings, bowling at a monastery and monks take away his cell phone.
Directed by Christopher Doyle, who I see is shooting a Rufus Sewell thriller and Gus Van Sant’s Paranoid Park next.

Bastille
Guy meets his wife for lunch, intending to tell her he’s leaving her for his mistress, but first she hands over a doctor’s note saying she has terminal leukemia. So he “rises to the occasion”, dumps his girlfriend, and spends the rest of his wife’s life doing things they used to love to do together, falls back in love with her and is destroyed when she dies. The only piece with a 3rd-party narrator, and one of my favorites.
Director Isabel Coixet made The Secret Life of Words and My Life Without Me… stars a guy from Va Savoir as the husband, the girl in a coma in Talk To Her as the mistress, and Miranda Richardson as the wife.

Place des Victoires
Kinda crappy despite two fave stars Willem Dafoe and Juliette Binoche. Her son died a week ago and she follows his phantom voice out to the plaza where Dafoe is a cowboy on a horse who lets her see her son once more. Katy liked it, I thought it was David Lynch-derivative.
Director Nobuhiro Suwa made some well-regarded Japanese movies I’ve never heard of before.

Tour Eiffel
Kid describes how his mime parents first met. Awesome, funny, features identical twins, imaginary cars and lots of miming… the one short that the whole movie would be worth seeing just to catch.
Director Sylvain Chomet’s follow-up to the perfect Triplets of Belleville.

Parc Monceau
In a single shot, father Nick Nolte walks down the street with his daughter to where a friend is watching her son. He takes over babysitting and the friends go off together. Jokey because the dialogue at first makes it sound like she’s cheating on her husband (actually the son) with Nolte.
Director Alfonso Cuarón is into long takes now. I told Katy I was waiting for something to explode but she didn’t get me.

Quartier des Enfants Rouges
One of the better ones… Maggie Gyllenhaal has a kinda cute encounter with her drug dealer, then calls him up to order more (really to see him again), but he sends a flunky instead who steals her watch.
Director Olivier Assayas has apparently completed his new Asia Argento / Michael Madsen thriller.

Place des Fêtes
Another great one, man gets stabbed and as he’s dying, a girl he recognizes is trying to help him. He flashes back to his not-so-easy life in Paris and all the times he’s tried to talk to her. Sad movie.
Director Oliver Schmitz has made a buncha German films. The girl is Aïssa Maïga, the lead (bar singer) in Bamako and also appeared in Caché.

Pigalle
Guy is trying to have a role-playing night out with his wife – it doesn’t go as planned but they’re still alright.
Director Richard LaGravenese made Freedom Writers, seems a weird choice for this. Bob Hoskins stars with Fanny Ardant, whom Katy recognized from 8 Women.

Quartier de la Madeleine
On a creepy street with desaturated colors except for bright-red blood, model Olga Kurylenko is devouring Wes Craven when Elijah Wood interrupts her. Vampire love ensues.
Director Vincenzo Natali made Cube and Nothing, and has seen Sin City more than once.

Père-Lachaise
Spacey, businesslike guy’s on a pre-wedding honeymoon with cute girl, she kisses Oscar Wilde’s grave then decides he’s not romantic enough for her and storms off. He talks to Wilde’s ghost briefly then runs after her and quotes her some Wilde, which idiotically makes her fall back in love with him.
Director Wes Craven isn’t known for this kind of thing. Rufus Sewell and Emily Mortimer are the couple, Alex Payne plays Wilde.

Faubourg Saint-Denis
Blind boy gets phone call from girlfriend, apparently breaking up with him. He flashes back in high-energy Lola-style through their relationship, how he first met her thinking she was in trouble, falling for her rehearsal performance (she’s an actress). He’s fallen for it again and she’s not really breaking up with him. One of my faves.
Director Tom Tykwer made Perfume. Natalie Portman is the girl. This apparently existed as a separate short back in 2004.

Quartier Latin
Gena Rowlands and Ben Gazzara get together at a cafe to talk over their divorce at the end of a long marriage. Good one, Rowlands wrote.
Director Gérard Depardieu is probably a big John Cassavetes fan, appears himself as the waiter.

14th arrondissement
Another really nice one, American woman is narrating to her French class (?) about her trip to Paris. She’s kind of lonely and jetlagged, but everything falls into place for her at the end.
Director Alexander Payne made Sideways and Election, and actress Margo Martindale is in Rocket Science and played Swank’s mom in Million Dollar Baby.

Katy liked it, too.