A woman reminisces about a love affair that happened in Paris many years ago.

Genre: Other

Length: 1:48

Free To View

4 out of 5 stars

Producer/s : Dusan Mrden,

Director/s : Dusan Mrden, 

Writer/s : Dusan Mrden, 

Actor/s : Mila Pejic, 


Gay Paree?

Cathartique is a visual poem over a voiced poem, set in Paris and focusing on Mila Pejic coming on all Audrey Hepburn-ish as Romy.

Director Dusan Mrden says the subject is loss and recovery after a broken relationship, and it looks and reads as if the relationship was with Paris itself. What are we to conclude when she says “I want to see you, Paris.” And later, when her “I want to marry you” synchronises with a shot of the Eiffel Tower.

But who is the other woman glimpsed walking the pavements? Ava, according to the credits. Then was the broken relationship with Ava? There’s no hint of a flashback to a man, and the line “They wouldn’t let me see you” is telling.

It doesn’t matter, of course, what the backstory was. This is very French, artsy, impressionistic, and designed to evoke a mood. It’s very Parisian too, and a bit nouvelle vague, with short sharp shots of Romy smoking, swinging around a lamppost with a glimpse of the Louvre pyramid behind, and Ava looking over a railway or walking down some Montmartre steps. It switches between black and white and colour, it sometimes runs backwards, all held together by a simple piano motif.

I want to be with you, goes the last line, but I need my life without you. So it’s about letting go. Letting go of what precidely, remains a mystery, thus we are allowed to apply the feeling where we wish. It will work better for anyone who’s had a gallic romance of any kind, even if it was only with Audrey Hepburn.