Why is it so hard to capture dance music on film? IMDb is littered with phonies, while the music itself is in the middle of its biggest boon. Mia Hansen-Løve’s Eden certainly has the deck stacked against it, but its bona fides arrive in the form of the director’s cowriter and brother, Sven Hansen-Løve (on whose DJ career the film is loosely based), as well as the android altruism of Daft Punk, who loaned the indie its music for $3,000.
The film succeeds where many before have failed, by not trying to sum up the ’90s French-touch scene or serve as an origin story of some DJ wunderkind living out a Parisian Entourage fantasy. Instead, it humanizes a more minor figure, wanna-be impresario Paul (Félix de Givry), while real-life artists swirl around him. Ultimately, it’s more a patient character study dressed up in sexy historical fiction: a large-scale mural of a burgeoning movement told in a long-focus snapshot of one man’s story.
The film rightly comes alive whenever Daft Punk’s throbbing music comes on the soundtrack—“Veridis Quo,” in particular, is used to maximum effect. As we watch Paul soldier on with an undying commitment to his lifestyle, Hansen-Løve wisely resists making him a hard-partying lunatic who’s his own worst enemy, choosing to focus on the poetry of everyday life. Paul goes through women, drugs, cities and business meetings, each experience holding about as much potential as they would for anyone. Denis Lenoir’s transitory camerawork helps nail the mood, treating each moment and new person as the ephemeral experience they are. At one point, Paul describes his music as “somewhere between euphoria and melancholy,” which is also an apt description of Eden itself.
|Release date:||Friday June 19 2015|
Cast and crew
Félix de Givry