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Exploring Human Communication in Paris, France
by Survey of Interactive Media

An examination of how we communicate without words, but with emotions and action using the 2006 film, "Paris Je'taime."

An examination of how we communicate without words, but with emotions and action using the 2006 film, "Paris Je'taime."

• Compare to "Tuileres"

• Compare to "Le Marais"

• Compare to "Place Des Fetes"

In the film, 21 directors showcased short film stories, that narrated love stories throughout Paris, France.  All the stories in comparison all had something to say.  But 3 films in particular caught my eye, when they focused on the human interaction between 2 people, not using the power of conversation.

In "Tuileres", is about an American tourist waiting for the train, while becoming the subject of an argument between a French boy and French girl.  The American tourist views the argument, while understanding French culture through literature explaining "Visiting Paris, France".  Although humorous, the tourist stays quiet, and tries to maintain his composure while trying to understand this Paris love affair.  You would think he would walk away from the couples fight, or state how he isn't involved.  Yet him being French illiterate, he is beaten for his miseducation in the language.

In "Le Marais" about a young American apprentice who becomes the subject of an interested French guy.  The young American guy just looks on, not saying a word, and the young French guy just goes on talking.  Nothing physical happens, nothing vulgar, but a language barrier that leaves the American guy more curious to what the French guy said.  In the end, the less the American knows, the more he wants to know.  We are taught to be quiet, and nod our head, not understanding one word.  Although we may not understand why this French guy is talking to him, and understand some of the subtitles, we are still more interested in the emotion surrounding this curious French man.

With "Place Des Fetes", we stumble upon a woman helping a man who was stabbed, and uncovering the romantic flirtation through his demise.  We relive him trying to flirt with her, and her ignoring him and politely driving away.  Ultimately we see him fired after him trying to run after her, and being killed leaving his job.  The young woman wants to say something to the guy, but its too late.  All that time he tried to communicate to her that he wanted to go out with her, she finally got it as he passed on.

Comparing these films, we see how far miscommunication can go, and the repercussions each character faces.  Ultimately one gets beaten down for not understanding the culture, the other was a flirtation gone wrong, and another was a love for someone finally discovered in the end.  These relationships that we follow all consider the fact, that if we said something in return, maybe the outcome would be different.  We get to compare as the audience, the communication between these two Americans visiting Paris, and one woman who speaks French.

In two instances, we as Americans are born into a place with many different languages, but hold English as our primary language.  Thus many of us, when we go to another country, we refute or try to say simple words to get by.  In those two stories, we see two American men wanting to learn the language, but having difficulty understanding what the repercussions would be if we knew what the other person said in French.  If we would have understood the first time around, how would one react?

Le Marais - Paris Je'taime: Language Barrier by Gus Van Sant (2006) In "Le Marais" about a young American apprentice who becomes the subject of an interested French guy.
Place Des Fetes- Paris Je'taime: A Moment of Communication by Oliver Schmitz (2006) With "Place Des Fetes", we stumble upon a woman helping a man who was stabbed, and uncovering the romantic flirtation through his demise.
Tuileries- Breaking Communication by Coen Brothers (2006) In "Tuileres", is about an American tourist waiting for the train, while becoming the subject of an argument between a French boy and French girl.