DVD Review: Depeche Mode – “One Night in Paris”

Depeche Mode’s One Night in Paris is a two DVD set. The first disc is a concert from the “Exciter” tour recorded on October 10, 2001, in Paris. The set list was: “Dream On [Guitar Intro],” “The Dead of Night,” “The Sweetest Condition,” “Halo,” “Walking in My Shoes” (with a different, harder arrangement), “Dream On,” “When the Body Speaks,” “Waiting for the Night,” “It Doesn’t Matter Two,” “Breathe,” “Freelove,” “Enjoy the Silence,” “I Feel You,” “In Your Room,” “It’s No Good,” “Personal Jesus,” “Home,” “Condemnation,” “Black Celebration,” and “Never Let Me Down Again.” Overall, this was a decent set list, although I wish the slower songs were spread out more. As it is here, you have six uptempo and midtempo tracks, then five slow songs, then nine uptempo and midtempo songs.

The cinematography of the concert film is decent. Unlike many of today’s concert films, which try not to have shots of the audience, and mix the audio so you can barely hear the audience, this film shows that there is an audience watching the performance, and you are able to hear the audience members when Dave asks them to sing parts of the songs. My only complaint about the audience shots is that you don’t really get to see the reactions of audience members; the audience shots are primarily group shots, either from the front or from behind. However, I have to give director Anton Corbijn credit for using a variety of angles to show the performance on stage, and for not trying to focus solely on lead singer Dave Gahan the whole time. And while One Night in Paris may not perfectly capture the live setting, it does a much better job at it than many recent concert films that I have seen.

Disc two of the set contains a number of features. First is “The Preparing,” which contains interviews with some of the personnel working on the tour; they talk about the tour, as well as about themselves and their backgrounds in the industry.

“The Photographing” contains photos taken by Anton Corbijn, with accompanying audio commentary done by Anton. Each picture is up for two minutes, regardless of whether or not Anton has very much to say about the photographs. While you can use the arrow keys to navigate through the pictures, I wish the gallery had been edited in a way where it would play better as one fluid piece, thus not requiring the use of the arrow keys. While I understand artistically why the photo gallery was done this way (so it wouldn’t appear that Anton is showing preference for one photograph over another), it is very tedious for the viewer.

“The Waiting” is a documentary of fans waiting outside the Paris venue, who talk about the band and their fandom; speakers talk in English, French, and even one in German. “The Talking” contains interviews with the members of Depeche Mode. A “title card” with the question appears on the screen, then the band members’ answers are intercut. I tend to not like this style of interview very well, because I find this format to be rather jarring. I prefer having an interviewer being part of the process, so you can hear the question being asked, because that feels more natural.

“The Screening” contains the background projections from five of the performances with their accompanying audio (“Waiting for the Night,” “It Doesn’t Matter Two,” “In Your Room,” “It’s No Good,” and “Black Celebration”). The “Sister of Night” bonus track is a concert performance of the song that is not included in the concert on the first disc; this has Martin Gore on lead vocals instead of Dave Gahan. The background projection for “Sister of Night” looks very similar, if not exactly the same, as the one used for “It Doesn’t Matter Two”.

“The Choosing” allows the viewer to choose between three different camera angles for the performance of “Never Let Me Down Again.” “The Subtitling” is a menu that allows you to choose the language of your subtitles if you wish to have them; languages included are German, French, English, Italian, Spanish, and Japanese.

Disc two also has a hidden feature, which can be found somewhere in “The Screening” menu. This hidden feature includes footage of Martin and Peter rehearsing the song “Surrender” while Martin puts on his makeup in the dressing room.

The navigation interface for both discs includes the crudely-drawn images from the background projection for “Black Celebration.” While I understand this was done as a tie-in to the concert film, I just don’t think the interface looks very impressive; I would have expected an interface like this on a DVD released two or three years prior to this one. While simplicity can be nice, I think this interface looks a little “too simplistic.” The menus also play the guitar intro from “Dream On” in the background.

Even with its faults, I still believe that One Night in Paris is a decent concert film; however, this DVD will primarily only appeal to die-hard Depeche Mode fans and collectors.


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