A wealth of talent, emotion and creativity, Paris, Je T'aime is a film-lover's dream! The concept is amazing: bring together 21 of the most prestigious directors in modern film to collaborate with a host of brilliant actors to produce the ultimate symposium on the most universally appreciated concept known to man, love. The execution does not disappoint. Using the 'city of love' (Paris) as a canvass, this groundbreaking team have created a collage of unique perspectives on love that are sometimes funny, sometimes sad, sometimes bizarre, sometimes heart-warming, sometimes heart-breaking, and always emotive. If this is the French version of Love Actually then I am afraid to say that Richard Curtis has been emphatically outdone. Paris, Je T'aime is truly the stuff of legends. Do not die before watching this film.
This type of film is often a fascinating arrangement. The pacing we're used to is out the window, and it's difficult to get bored since you know that the story you're watching won't last that long.
The attractive list of international actors and directors in this have ensured it got some mainstream attention, though it did still seem to slip by unnoticed, which is a shame.
* The Coen Brothers' short. In their usual vein of subtly hilarious and quite strange. It did, however, star Steve Buscemi, who seems to be in some sort of contractual obligation to act in everything they produce. This might not be a bad thing but he always seems to play the same lovable, daffy character for them.
* Gus Van Sant's short, which featured beautiful young men being soulful to each other. Not a wild deviation from his usual fare, but good nonetheless.
* Cube director Vincenzo Natali's short, featuring Elijah Wood and a vampire. Funny and highly stylised.
* Natalie Portman in Tom Tykwer's short, he of Run Lola Run fame. She tends to improve or deteriorate as an actress depending on who directs her. She's good in this.
* Gerard Depardieu. Someone who seems to have a similar contractual obligation to appear in 70% of all french language films. In this however, he only has a cameo, and actually co-directed the short he appears in. It's a lovely one.
* Alexander Payne's short, the director of Sideways. The most perfect gem of a story. Narrated by an American tourist visiting Paris for the first time on her own, in hideously accented French (played very sweetly by Margo Martindale). I defy you not to feel tears in your eyes at this one.
So, although disappointingly romantic in places, and weakened by a couple of so-so vignettes, it has enough in it to make it very much worth your time. You may indeed find yourself falling for Paris by the end of the film...
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Eighteen different directors and a slew of indie actors come together for PARIS, JE T'AIME, a cinematic homage to the City of Light. Each director presents his or her own short story set in a different Parisian quarter, each one featuring a different cast of characters.
A collection of vignettes from twenty acclaimed filmmakers are woven together to form a portrait of love on the streets of Paris. Aided by an outstanding roll call of acting talent, each director has been given five minutes of screen time, each with a different cast and crew for their segment, to represent the twenty arrondissements, or districts, that make up the city. The end result, combining the individual styles of the directors with the diverse atmospheres, cultures and lifestyles of these districts, not only reflects the main theme of love, but also presents a unique portrait of the city of dreams, one rarely seen in mainstream cinema. Directors featured include the Coen Brothers, Gus Van Sant, Wes Craven, Walter Sallas, and Gurinder Chadha.