Paul Vallée is a young French student who enjoys going to raves. Eventually he partners with his friend Stan to form a DJ duo called Cheers around the same time as two of his other friends Guy-Man and Thomas form the DJ duo Daft Punk.
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Subtle. As with L'avenir, I get the sense that Hansen-Løve is intimately familiar with her subject-matter. In some ways this feels like a spiritual sequel to Stillman's The Last Days of Disco (although that's still the better film).
The soundtrack is gorgeous but Hansen-Love uses time and music in an especially wonderful way. On its surface, the narrative is simple and direct but, she so skillfully marries them to emphasize the film's euphoria/ melancholia as the years zoom past. The final star comes from her pitch perfect portrayal of the misery and joy that follow a big night out.
As hypnotic and contagious as the rhythms we listen to, “Eden” evinces an astounding realism, incorporating the characters, images, and music with zest, and ultimately composing a slice of real life... (4.5 stars)
My main issue with "Eden" is that characters and our connection with them only seem to exist between all those club scenes and great music, so there wasn't enough intimacy for me to truly care about Cyril's suicide, Louise's troubled personality or even Paul's downward spiral. Less parties and a little more feeling would have taken it one step further. But as a fan of french house, that soundtrack was everything.
A bit like house music through the years, the rhythm of the characters changes through the movie: while in the 1990s they're fresh, hip and unconcerned, they slowly fade into generality and tiredness as the 2000s arrive. Worthy by its soundtrack, the movie is unfortunately dragged to oblivion, resembling the main character Paul, the DJ wannabe.
A wonderful movie and very French. The kind of wonderfully French movie that will not reward you if you are interested in becoming emotionally invested in a protagonist. Paul is a cipher, a standing reserve. There is no suggestion that he has an inner life until the final shot. Eden is above all else an elegy to the passage of time. It's landscape is a landscape of time more than a landscape of space. Mostly moments.