Friday, July 4, 2014

Nicolas Barreau's "One Evening in Paris"

Nicolas Barreau was born in Paris, the son of a French father and a German mother. He studied romance languages and literature at the Sorbonne and worked in a bookshop on the Rive Gauche in Paris but is far from an inexperienced bookworm. With his other successful novels, The Ingredients of Love, The Woman of My Life and You'll Find Me at the End of the World, he has gained an enthusiastic audience.

Here Barreau dreamcasts an adaptation of his new novel, One Evening in Paris:
From an early age on I have been fond of films. Be it on television or in the movies. So it is not such a big surprise that I ended up writing a novel where a little art cinema in Paris is the place for romance, secrets and love.

From all the novels, I have written One Evening in Paris has the most wonderful setting for me – not only because it takes place in Paris but in this little charming “Cinema Paradis” where we all would like to sit in those old red velvet seats watching films about true love.

Maybe we would miss the popcorn, but ... well ... you cannot have everything.

And yes – there is this one film that inspired me most: Cinema Paradiso by Giuseppe Tornatore. It’s an old film but every time I see it I’m touched by the eternal truth about love and life. And by the bitter-sweet ending that makes you want to cry and to smile at the same time. That leaves you with the feeling that even if not every dream can come true you can still go on dreaming as long as you are here on this planet. And besides – this film has the most loveable end I ever saw in a movie – showing all the (once forbidden) kisses over kisses – all those scenes cut out and put together by the old cinema owner who leaves all these happy endings as a gift and treasure to his friend Toto (then a boy, now a famous art director himself).

Whenever I write a book I see everything like in a movie. As soon as I’m able to visualize a character or a scene I know I’m in the story and it will develop nicely. I can literally see the people, I hear them laugh, I am with them when they walk along the little Parisian streets. And when the story comes to an end, I’m somehow sad to leave them there ... In other words all my novels are films in my head and especially One Evening in Paris.

Mélanie and Alain, the main characters, have a highly romantic disposition. They are dreamers. That’s probably why they love films so much. In film, everything is possible. No reality, please! And by the way, who needs it?

I can see my Mélanie – a little shy but nevertheless with a head of her own and with her wonderful bright laughter played by Mélanie Laurent or Marion Cotillard – both actresses are most adorable. Alain Bonnard on the other side could never be the George Clooney type. Alain is not so sure and self-convinced, but it is due to his imagination and sensitivity that he not one second gives up the idea of finding the beautiful girl in the red coat who has simply vanished. If I were asked, someone like Ewan McGregor would be perfect for this character. Well – let’s see what happens!
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--Marshal Zeringue