After meeting at a party, two young Parisians, Theodore and Anna, spend the night together in the city’s Parc des Buttes Chaumont—two strangers climbing a fence and slipping into the darkened grounds on a whim. Less whimsically, they return the next night, and the night after that, waiting for the park to empty of its daytime visitors—picnickers, sunbathers, tai chi practitioners and tourists—so they can explore its familiar landmarks in solitude. What begins as a romantic, reckless gesture, a way for two new lovers to inhabit a world of their own, turns into something stranger and more unsettling as it becomes clear that the place exerts some kind of hold on Theodore, an influence part physical, part psychic. Interweaving the narrative with documentary-style interviews and archival images from the park’s earliest days—devices from outside the genre that provide an ominous sense of buried history and inevitability—writer/director Sébastien Betbeder depicts a mysterious, watchful terrain that people move across, by day and by night, without understanding. The result is an evocative, eerie tale in which the park becomes a geographic character, a silent, elemental presence that is capable, by its very nature, of imposing a tragic fate on visitors.
With short: night, peace
An evocative nighttime city symphony shot from above the teeming metropolis of London, England. (Eva Weber, England 2013, 11 min)