I don’t know what movie plays in your head when you hear the word “France”.
Is it the image of slightly ragged artists under colorful umbrellas by Notre Dame in Paris, crying out to you to stop and have your caricature drawn? Or perhaps the lively bustle of Montmartre steep staircases and the unprecedented view of the metropolis that the terrace below the white dome of Sacre Coeur offers, to the accompaniment of every-present Parisian accordions. Or maybe you see it as the capital of Romance – couples strolling along the Seine River, passing the monumental Louvre Museum to reach the tip of the iron presence of the Eiffel Tower and exchange “Je t’aime” to the soundtrack of gusts of wind and the backdrop of a setting sun.
Or maybe that isn’t your France at all. Maybe what you see instead is the glamorous red carpet of superficial Cannes, its luxury boutiques and the animated, made-up faces of movie stars reflecting the flash of cameras at the yearly film festival, and the noise of crowds pushing forward to touch them.
It could also be the vineyards of the Champagne region, the steep white-cast slopes of the Alps, the brown beams crisscrossing whitewashed walls in quaint Strasbourg, or the tourist-filled beaches along the sparkling blue Cote d’Azur.
My French movie is made up of sequences of all of the above, and so much more; the richness of the different regions and the diversity of the culture, language, landscape and people are what make me want to replay the movie again and again in my life.