3 July 2012 9:14 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

With 7 Days in Havana comes yet another portmanteau project. But if they don't excite the box office, what is their purpose?

Virtually every review I've ever read of an anthology film says something along the lines of "variable", "uneven" or "patchy" – and that seems to go double for the city anthology film, where the subject matter navigates the dinks, dips and cracks on the pavement of urban life. This week's release, 7 Days in Havana, a "contemporary portrait" of Cuba's capital in which Malibu-commercial cliches (Benicio del Toro's opening segment) sit alongside poker-faced pieces of absurdist excellence (Elia Suleiman's), is no exception.

Given the innate quality control issues and how laborious it must be to set up these portmanteau projects, why make them at all? Who exactly do they serve? Money doesn't seem to be the principal reason: they've only done tepid box office in the past. Think of 2006's Paris je t'aime. »

- Phil Hoad

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