I visited Parc de Butte-Chaumont during my last week in Paris. What was once a quarry near Belleville was transformed into a beautiful green oasis for the working class by Baron Haussman during the reign of Napoleon III. Most of Nights With Theodore, directed by Sébastien Belbeder (France 2012), takes place there after dark.
A series of nightly rendezvous in the park draw a young heterosexual couple closer together despite many unknown personal factors. What seems in the beginning a budding romance might actually be a growing obsession, especially when the nights in isolation overshadow normal daily routine. Theodore is part of a small group of people who gather four times a year to meditate above a subterranean room below the grass they claim provides them with energy needed for survival.
Ernest & Celestine, an animated feature directed by Stéphane Aubier and Vincent Patar (France 2012) is about an unlikely love story between a bear and a mouse that will delight both children and adults.
Nights With Theodore screens three times and Ernest & Celestine twice at the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas during the 2013 San Francisco International Film Festival. Information and tickets available at the San Francisco Film Society festival web site.
image & text copyright © 2013 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved