Paris Was a Woman

on November 08, 1996 by Cathy Thompson-Georges
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  &#160There seems no place in any period more beguiling than Paris in the '20s and '30s, and few people as interesting as Djuna Barnes, Gertrude Stein and Colette. With subject matter like this, it seems that the documentary "Paris Was a Woman" could scarcely lose. But the film Greta Schiller has mae is far less avant garde than its subject matter, and potentially fascinating people are presented in an unexciting talking-heads format.
   "Paris Was a Woman" looks at the era between the world wars from the perspective of the many talented women who made the City of Lights their own. Among those notables are bookstore keepers Sylvia Beach and Adrienne Monnier, artist Romaine Brooks and New Yorker Magazine luminary Janet Flanner. Only those especially excited by the material will persist through the flat presentation; the film suffers from a scarcity of archival footage of its subjects, instead trying to make do with still photos, maps and lengthy interviews with scholars. Although earnest and well-meant, "Paris Was a Woman" lacks the zest of its own subjects. Directed by Greta Schiller. Written by Andrea Weiss. Produced by Frances Berrigan, Greta Schiller and Andrea Weiss. A Zeitgeist release. Documentary. Unrated. Running time: 75 min.
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