Paradise: Love (2013)
PARADISE: LOVE is the opener in the trilogy about three women in one family who take separate vacations: the first one as a sex tourist, the second one (PARADISE: FAITH) as a Catholic missionary and the third one (PARADISE: HOPE) at a diet camp for teenagers. Three films, three women, three stories of the longing to find happiness in contemporary society. All three films were written by Mr. Seidl and his wife, Veronica Franz, and photographed by revered American cinematographer Ed Lachman, best known for his work with Todd Haynes (Far From Heaven earned Mr. Lachman an Academy Award nomination,) Steven Soderbergh (Erin Brockovitch,) Robert Altman (Prairie Home Companion,) Susan Seidelman (Desperately Seeking Susan,) Wim Wenders and Werner Herzog. (c) Strand … More
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Critic Reviews for Paradise: Love
The striking compositions mingle childlike curiosity with adult decadence -- and natural beauty with garish consumer culture -- to provocative, even profound effect.
That churning in your stomach may be unpleasant, but it's necessary for the film to deliver its knockout punch.
The whole affair curdles into a feeling of unearned, defensive superiority.
Ulrich Seidl: sadomasochistic provocateur or compassionate observer of the human condition?
Seidl sternly rejects nuance. All the women are crude and insensitive, all the men are desperate and exploited.
A film that, once watched, is not readily un-watched, in both good and dismaying ways alike.
Watching Paradise: Love is a visceral, Schadenfreude-tinged experience that produces belly laughs and queasiness alike-sometimes in tandem.
A poignant film about the desperation of tubby, middle-aged Austrian women who take a sex tour to Kenya.
This cleverly made film is often painful to watch since we understand from the start where it's heading, so we watch helplessly as the lead character is warped by her yearning for love.
The problem is not with the hopelessness of Seidl's vision, it is with the predictability of the tonal arc.
Some will feel too uncomfortable watching this but there's an ironic humour there too ...
The result is overlong but still offers a clear-eyed engagement with a Kenya where love is a transaction and the heart remains a lonely hunter.
The double-edged irony of the title is your first hint: this is a clever pitch-black satire that often feels like a cruel joke.
Moralists and the missionarily inclined will go "Tsk, tsk, how degrading." That seems to be Seidl's attitude, though he sidles up to it archly and pruriently.
Though it covers similar thematic ground to Laurent Cantet's Haiti-set Heading South, Seidl's gruelling film proves his knack for leaving viewers emotionally discomfited.
Sugar Mama sex tourism is the subject of Paradise Love, and director Ulrich Seidl's remarkable film about the subject is deeply affecting in a number of ways.
Audience Reviews for Paradise: Love
Ulrich Seidl's Paradise Trilogy, based on the theological virtues of Love, Faith and Hope, revolve around three related women, each of which have their own film. The ideology of the three virtues being paradise are each delivered with a dry but humorous twist and with contemporary themes.
Love sees Teresa, mother of Melanie and sister of Anna Maria (both of who are explored further in the 2nd and 3rd parts of the trilogy) travel to Kenya as a sex tourist. Here we see Teresa mistake sex for love and vice versa, while the film is open to interpretation I believe the concept of the film is to point out that this is not necessarily a new issue but very much a human one. Seidl sets the scene in a contemporary setting but in using the virtues written about in biblical times he is showing us both the differences and glaring similarities. Why don't we learn? I guess that's not the point but this focused study of the human condition is definitely food for thought, uncomfortable at times and also quite funny but always real. It is provocative but it is so brilliantly open to interpretation that your reaction will say far more about you rather than the film. Every second and every frame is beautifully shot, I found it a joy to watch - even in the troubling scenes. Certainly the strongest of the Trilogy.
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