Needless to say, the clip of Banlieue 13 that was presented in class definitely caught my interest and I decided that I wanted to explore this film a little further. I found the first ten minutes of the film (some of which we watched in class–the panning views of the banlieue and the title) with English subtitles. I found it interesting that the villainous character was going to write his phone number on the side of a building, giving no remorse or thought to his graffiti. The gaurds outside of this building threaten him to cease, and the villianous man calls the gaurds’ boss something to the effect of “Mr. Clean” Then, when arriving inside the building, this main is surprised and remarks that “for once, there is an elevator that works.” Although this film was not shot in Paris (or even in France), these details all play into the point that the banlieue is seen as run-down and decrepit.
In our class lecture, it was briefly mentioned that David Belle (who plays Leïto) is the creator of Parkour. Parkour is” a method of movement focused on moving around obstacles with speed and efficiency” developed in France (Wikipedia). Traceurs (parkour practitioners) train to be able to identify and utilize alternate or the more efficient paths. For this reason, I can understand why the makers of Banlieue 13 incorporated parkour into their film. There is an amazing Parkour scene towards the end of the clip I shared. Also on wikipedia is a list of parkour moves and terms: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parkour