IKEA Fun, Doctor Parnassus, Birthdays, Tattoos, The Amish Connection, and The Tetro Experience


It’s after 11 am. I have barely started this post as I am waiting for Flickr to upload photos and I have been goofing around reading David Lebovitz again. You *have* to read his post on IKEA here: Je craque!…pour le Daim. OMG, best post on IKEA, EVAH!

I love IKEA (ee-kay-ahh is how it is pronounced here). PJ and I went on a trip to the IKEA in the suburbs just north of Paris last April. It involved a Métro and then an RER (train) ride, oh and a bus ride, too. We folks without cars here in Paris have to get to IKEA the hard way, almost as if it is a pilgrimage. We walked around the displays, ate lunch there, and bought only as much as we could carry home on the return trip via bus, RER, and Métro. I don’t know that PJ was as thrilled to be there as I was, but I had a great time. I think he was thrilled that I had a great time, though.

Anyway, catch David’s post on Daim (candy) and IKEA from back in 2007. Please read if you have time: you *will* laugh.

It is Day 13 of NaNoWriMo. I have this morning as I sit to type 31, 175 words contributed to this blog. To repeat myself but in an effort to bolster my confidence that this has worth and purpose as a “novel-writing enterprise,” I am stating once again that my genre is “memoir” — personal and fictionalized (usually by omission) memoir.

Okay. *Whew* I feel better now. I can move on with some actual stuff that has been going on.

TWO (yes, TWO) Movies in an Afternoon and Evening

At the closing of my previous post, I mentioned that I had to run and get in the shower as PJ and I were going to see a film in the afternoon, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, and also to see Francis Ford Coppola at the French premiere of his latest film, Tetro.

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

Photo of movie poster from Imp Awards dot com

Film critic I am not. I don’t think I can out-write all the film critics out there already, so I am not trying to impress here, just state what I thought about the movie.

I really liked it.

It’s a Terry Gilliam film — the former Monty Python actor/writer-turned-director with such acclaimed movies as Brazil and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. Anyone who has seen his films knows that he has a quirky, abstract, imaginative and slightly tilted view of moviemaking.

What is special and/or of note about this film is that it is Heath Ledger’s final one. In fact, his work in the film was not complete, but rather than abandon the picture completely (as happened previously to Gilliam with his making of a film about Don Quixote. See Lost in La Mancha here), Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Farrell stepped into the role of Tony. This was possible because of the device in the film which is the Imaginarium. Fueled by the mind of Doctor Parnassus, the Imaginarium can be entered by a magic mirror and is a place where one’s thoughts can become a reality. Tony can change when he enters the Imaginarium, which he does three times. The transition between actors is very smooth, written into the story lines effectively, and was handled extremely well. I loved seeing this movie because of how this was handled.

Other highlights:

  • the rich visual nature of the film. It is gorgeous, in that quirky, Gilliam kind of way.*
  • Tom Waits as the Devil. Oh, Tom is as wonderful as ever in this role!
  • the lovely Lily Cole as Valentina, Doctor Parnassus’ daughter
  • Christopher Plummer as Doctor Parnassus. He is perfect for the role.

I also really liked Verne Troyer as Percy. I swear, Gilliam is as obsessed with little people as I am and most every film of his has at least one. Troyer does a fine job as Doctor Parnassus’ sidekick in this film.

The thing that I did not like was that I felt the story was disconnected. I don’t know if this was because of editing or writing, but I found it hard to follow. I felt like there was a lot of symbolism in the fable, and the symbolism contained allusions to things I am not familiar with.  I felt like there was too much Gilliam was trying to pack into the film and that a simpler, more straightforward, and tighter storyline** would balance the rich, almost overwhelming visual aspects of the movie.


* The movie reminds me a lot of Mark Ryden’s work, too, especially with actress Lily Cole’s look in the film. Also of note as I was looking up info on Mark Ryden: he was recently married to artist Marion Peck (November 3rd, Source: Mark’s Twitter). The photos of the wedding are wonderfully quirky! You can see them here at Arrested Motion dot com and here at Mark Ryden’s Twit Pic.

**’Course, I am not one to talk about this. It’s a bit of the pot calling the kettle black.


First, Lilly Cole and I share the same birthday (May 19). She and I are exactly 20 years apart.

Second, Verne Troyer and I were tattooed by the same artist from Plano/Dallas, Texas: Billy Jack of Artistic Encounter. Verne’s tattoo is of a yin-yang symbol on his left arm. It’s hard to find an online photo of it, but Billy Jack had photos of him tattooing Verne in his studio in Dallas. I swear. There is an interview with Billy Jack on YouTube here, if you are curious. Wooooow. I just learned that Billy Jack comes from an ex-Amish family in Indiana. Huh. Interesting.

Holy heck. Looks like Verne Troyer was, too, lol. See here. I wonder if that is how he and Billy Jack met.

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus will open in limited release in the U.S. on December 25, 2009. It’s showing in theaters now in France.



Last week, PJ discovered that Francis Ford Coppola was going to be in Paris to premiere his latest film, Tetro.

I hate summarizing.

There are good summaries and reviews of the movies here and here. And oh, I think this is the best one of the bunch (by writer Lee Marshall at Screen Daily dot com):

A melodramatic family drama set in a Buenos Aires where even innocent passers-by seem consumed by jealousy and passion, Tetro offers glimpses of a golden-age Francis Ford Coppola in his first original script since The Conversation (1974). Although it feels at times like a vanity project, some strong performances  – most notably by Spanish actress Maribel Verdu (Y tu mama tambien), but also Vincent Gallo in the title role and newcomer Alden Ehrenreich – save all but Tetro’s most cringeworthy lines.

Yes, that’s it. Accurate.

Firstable (first of all, lol), this was a real event covered by real photojournalists:

Nextable, if you want a little more info there is also a French Facebook page with photo stills of the movie and a Podcast interview with FFC at The Film Talk dot com. The interview is good because it says essentially what FFC did in the theater before the movie started. Oh this is really cute, too. FFC films himself for YouTube about the origins of this film. WATCH THIS! It is really fun. 🙂

Thirdable, What was most interesting about the evening was the whole Process and Procedure of the Event.

1. Go to theater. (In the 9th arrondissement.)


2. Wait in line. Take photos of all the photojournalists waiting for famous people to arrive.


3. Watch photojournalists confab and seem like they are comparing and saying, “Mine is bigger than yours” (about their cameras).


4. See someone famous. You know because all of a sudden the photojournalists’ flashes are going off and they are shouting to get said famous person’s attention. She was standing right in front of me as she was being photographed. I think that the photogs were shouting, “Andrea! Andrea!” but she looked a little like the actress Carmen Maura, who played a character named “Alone” in the film. I do not think it was her, though, as she would have had an introduction after the film was finished.

Oh HEY!! I think I finally found her. I think this may be Andréa Ferréol (IMDB link – Wikipedia Link here: Andréa Ferréol). Oh TOTALLY that’s her — check out this posting at Pure People dot com. That is her, I am sure of it.

My, but she was something back in the day. I think she appeared nude in this film: La Grande Bouffe (1973). Here’s one that is safe for work. Here is another link that is NSFW: Naked Stars at rarevideos dot bravepages dot com. Look for her last name. Mr. Skin has her listed, too (link SFW, but site, in general, is NOT). She was very voluptuous!

So anyways, there are a bunch of photos of her somewhere “out there” with me right behind her as she is having her photo snapped on the night of November 12, 2009.


5. Finally get into the movie theater to be seated in the balcony with the other peons who were not invited, but paid to get in (the regular ticket price, though, of 9 € apiece). Get a seat with a view, but not one that is easy to get out of should one need to pee.

Mr. PJ


The two of us, self-portrait-style

6. Then wait some more as Mr. Coppola is running late.

Take photos of others waiting.



7. Mr. Coppola finally arrives. Take lots of blurry, crappy photos of him and one video that is TOO HUGE to upload to YouTube, but in which he says basically the same things as he did in the stuff I linked up above in the post.


8. About an hour after the movie was supposed to start, it starts. Sneak photos of opening scenes between the heads of the people in front of you with camera.




9. Watch movie and as it heads towards being over two hours realize how much your butt hurts. Also, about two-thirds of the way in, get really sleepy and nod off for about 10 minutes or so.

10. Applaud when movie is over. Applaud when kid starring in movie stands up to say “Thank you” and says that this is the first time he has been in a movie and the first time he has seen the movie with an audience. Feel like you have popped his cherry and also that you are getting REALLY old. He seems so young, and fresh and un-jaded and YOUNG. (Alden Ehrenreich) Check out these hottie pics of him, too (sfw). And he is so YOUNG. (The Interview article linked says he is 19.) Oh, he is VERY cute in this YouTube interview here. But a baby. So YOUNG and juicy, and young. He is only six years older than my son. But he is cute. 🙂 And young.

11. Squeeze through the bajillion people invited to the cocktail party afterwards in order to hobnob. It is now 11.15 and you have been out for almost five hours (by the time you get home at 11.45) to see an almost two-and-a-half hour movie.

But take photos of the Métro stations and people around them on your way back.









12. Go to bed, get up the next day, and spend all day freakin’ blogging about it online. In your jammies. Do four loads of laundry while you do and pause to talk to your best friend for an hour or so in the middle of it.

Okay kids. I still have to get some groceries, and so run away I must. My word count today is small (by comparison to other days- 1,970), but interest level more high, I think, with these photos.

Catch you tomorrow.

Over and out.

Categories: Life in Paris, Movies in Paris, Paris Adventures | Tags: , , , , , ,

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11 thoughts on “IKEA Fun, Doctor Parnassus, Birthdays, Tattoos, The Amish Connection, and The Tetro Experience

  1. Shel

    Was gonna comment on the content, but got awwwww-ified by the pic of you and Paul!!! AWWWWWW!!!

    So what are y’all doing in March?

    Anywhoooo… I was here, I read… I need to steal your word count for NaNo…

    • pariskarin

      Ohhhhh!! PJ said that you said that you were thinking about March!! I say HOORAY!! March is a great time to visit!! Still kind of chilly, but not bad. Thank you for getting awww-ified. There is another one here, too:


      I really like this one, too. 🙂

  2. PJ

    babe, you totally cracked me up describing Alden. i rarely lauigh out loud while reading, you know me, but i laughed out loud at your description!


    • pariskarin

      I’m glad I could get a giggle out of you, dear. 🙂

  3. ken

    I’ve never been in an Ikea. Didn’t know what it was all about when it opened a store in East Palo Alto. East Palo Alto is a place out of place; separated by HWY 101 from Palo Alto and the Stanford University area (one of the more afluent neighborhoods in the Bay Area) it is a depressed getto. When I lived in Redwood City and just blocks away, I could hear the gun fights some nights. Ikea, a “big-box” store that would drive “mom and pop” enterprises out of business, but also represented hope and a future for this forgotten corner of the world with both local jobs and tax money for improvements.

    Should it be mentioned that Gillium was the only American member of the Pythons?

    Somehow I had pictured Richard Dryfess in the title role. I should see this.

    As you saw, FFC is not a small man and since he lives in Napa (I could send you some of his wine) you know that he not only buys his fine suits from Rochester Big and Tall, but you know which one and who shipped it to his house for him.(wonder where Verne get his fine suits?)
    Oh yes, I know all about “camera envy”. Vincent Gallo, he did that scene with Cloe Sevigny in The Brown Bunny didn’t he?
    So how was hobnobing with the film elitists in french?

    • pariskarin

      “Ikea, a “big-box” store that would drive “mom and pop” enterprises out of business, but also represented hope and a future for this forgotten corner of the world with both local jobs and tax money for improvements.”
      Yup, that’s about what happens with stores like this and communities, huh. The thing I like about Ikea as opposed to other big box stores is their record for employee treatment and benefits. They seem to be a company with more of a conscience. True? I dunno. I hope so.

      Should it be mentioned that Gillium was the only American member of the Pythons?Sure!

      I always forget that he was American…

      FFC’s wines are decent! I have had them, back when I was in the States. It was hard to tell just how big FFC was up there on the stage, but if he shops at a Big and Tall, I bet he is! My guess is that Verne shops at Tiny and Small, ha!

      “Oh yes, I know all about “camera envy”. Vincent Gallo, he did that scene with Cloe Sevigny in The Brown Bunny didn’t he?”
      Hell, *I* Had serious camera envy!! There were guys there with what must have been $6,000-$8,000 set ups between the DSLRs and then the lenses they had with them. It was incredible, and I really had some serious envy going on. PJ reminded me about The Brown Bunny in his own review of the movie. I vaguely remember reading about that back a few years ago. I can only think of Chloê in “Big Love” anymore. I need to catch up on that show…

      So how was hobnobing with the film elitists in french?
      There was not much hobbing or nobbing (*snicker* :D), just trying to get through the throngs of people afterwards. We were in the paying-for-seats peon balcony section where we hobbed and nobbed (*giggle*) with the other peons like us. It felt a little classist, actually.

  4. Janet

    Loved your description of the movie odyssey, chica. And yes, we old ladies have that feeling eyeballing those young men — slightly skanky and slightly hip and definitely OLD. Sigh. Glad you felt you popped his cherry in some fashion. Keeps that MILF feeling alive. Anyway, I hope you’re having a good weekend. Getting ready to make GFCF cookies with my CF girlie. *mwah*

    • pariskarin

      And yes, we old ladies have that feeling eyeballing those young men — slightly skanky and slightly hip and definitely OLD. Sigh.

      Agreed, and *sigh* indeed. I keep reversing the letters in my head with “MILF” and thinking that it really means something like, “Must get a Life.” *grin*

      I was just thinking, I really need to get some of your recipes for GFCF cookies!

  5. Awesome, going to see it mostly cause it’s Heath Ledgers last film.

    • pariskarin

      Hello Watch Doctor Parnassus! Stopped by your site and you have some great info and links about the movie. You made me want to see it again! Maybe I can convince PJ we need to go one more time… Thanks for stopping by.

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