Monday, August 13, 2007



Natalie Portman, Elijah Wood, Marianne Faithfull, Steve Buscemi, Rufus Sewell, Gaspart Ulliel, Daniel Podalydes, Miranda Richardson, Juliette Binoche, Gena Rowlands, Fanny Ardant, Nick Nolte, Gerard Depardieu

"Stories of Love. From the City of Love"

Cinema 1, Gateway Cineplex

18 short stories by different directors all set in Paris, France. A montage of films each lasting about 5 minutes, cleverly edited which depicted snippets of life in the French capital. Each segment was directed by a different director and surprisingly every episode has a beginning, a middle and an ending which doesn't leave you hankering for more.
Directors like The Coen brothers, Alexander Payne, Walter Salles, Gus Van Sant, Daniel Podalydes to name a few all collaborated to come up with this refreshing concept to showcase the City of Lights through short love stories.
Stories with all kinds of emotions (sad, happy, strange, poignant, melancholic, quirky), different techniques (some had dialogues, a few were narrations, some were like silent movies, all of them with stunning cinematography), different genre (drama, musical, comedy, tragedy) and a variety of languages (French, Arabic, English, Spanish, Chinese)
A must see for lovers of Paris. The title of each episode is a locale in the French capital, places like Bastille, Montmarte, La Marais, Quais de Seine and so on and so forth. Actors from the different divides of the globe graced this film with their creative talent. The ones worth mentioning are Natalie Portman, Gaspart Ulliel, Fanny Ardant, Bob Hoskins, Rufus Sewell and yes even Steve Buscemi in a really quirky episode directed by the Coen brothers of "Fargo" fame.

My personal favorites are:
The one directed by Alexander Payne (Sideways) entitled "14e arrondissement". A Denver mailwoman, in short an American tourist amusingly narrates her Parisian trip in a heavily accented French as the camera pans to the different places she explores. The way she pronounces each French word, though correctly done, is funny because of her charming naivety.
Isabel Coixet directed "Bastille". A man in his 50s is about to leave his wife whose favorite item of clothing is a flaming red trench coat. Just as he is about to announce his intention, she tells him she has terminal cancer. The way he takes care of her throughout her illness was poignant and sad. In his attempt to quit loving her for her inadequacies, he ends up falling in love with her all over again only to lose her forever.

A montage, a collage, a medley, a travelogue - call it whatever you want - the fact remains that "Paris, je T'aime" is one delightful film to experience!

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