Paris Is Us

Movie in the street

Film. Between documentary and experimental film, this full-length movie shows the turbulence of a couple at the pace of parties and marches in the capital.


By Lisa Muratore

Paris, becoming a giant theatre stage, witnesses a couple’s never-ending arguments among the crowd of party-animals and demonstrators. Their fights echo the social, security and environmental emergency that surrounds them. Paris Is Us‘s project was edited during three years, thanks to participatory financings before it was bought by Netflix, that finally dares to do something original regarding French fiction. An elaboration as atypical as Elisabeth Vogler’s commitment in filming (a pseudonym that might qualify a group of authors), who offers a nonstandard visual and sound show in the middle of agitated Paris. Raves, athletism meetings, Nuit Debout, post-Charlie demonstrations, or simple wandering around pedestrian Saint-Martin’s Canal are an opportunity to illustrate the stormy relationship between daydreaming Anna (Noémie Schmidt, discovered in  Versailles) and ambitious Greg (Grégoire Isvarine). All this to serve a vague activist intention.

Netflix finally dares something original regarding French fiction

Totally improvised, dialogues offer freshness and originality, allowing the film to stand out from French production with a lot of clichés regarding love relationships. Starting from a simple concern about their future, after Greg told Anna he wanted to work abroad to leave tormented France, focal distance gets bigger. A nice metaphor maybe too much emphasized by Anna’s voice-over remarks (film-lovers will state Terrence Malik and The Tree of Life.)

The numerous jumps in time and dreamlike abstract scenes cause the audience to be stuck between dream and reality, drowned in elements in which it’s difficult to get one’s bearings. For example, the plane crash Anna has avoided trying to visit Greg in Barcelona seems to be a metaphor of Paris’ attacks. Well, at least it seems… Despite its flaws, Paris Is Us constrasts sharply with its plastic originality and its solar and credible duo of actors who perfectly embody the ambivalence of generation Y.