IMDb > Je t'aime John Wayne (2001)

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Belmonde lives in 1990's London as an iconic, cool Frenchman modeled on the new wave cinema of the 1960's. Really he is English and middle class - a fact that his family won't let him forget! Full summary » | Add synopsis »
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Nominated for BAFTA Film Award. Another 3 wins See more »
User Reviews:
The funniest film you'll see all year - a rare treat for old cinephiles. See more (8 total) »


  (in credits order)

Kris Marshall ... Belmondo

Camilla Rutherford ... Zazie
Laura Lumley ... Minne
Mark Rex ... Tim

Martin Savage ... Horbury
Charlie Forbes ... Philosopher
Chris Elston ... Old Crazy
Natasha Elms ... Girl on Steps
Christiaan Haig ... Kissing Man

Anita Koh ... Kissing Woman (as Anita Rai)
Laura Dewe Matthews ... Pretty Girl
Julia Foster ... Mother
Jack David ... Rascal #1
Ben Harrow ... Rascal #2
Rory Adamson ... Rascal #3
Robert Kriwazcek ... Rascal #4
Emily Jenkins ... Kiss Crow
Roz Kidd ... Kiss Crow
Seb Lee ... Kiss Crow
Leonie Wheatley ... Kiss Crow
Brian O'Farrell ... Kiss Crow

Directed by
Toby MacDonald 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Luke Ponte 

Produced by
Luke Morris .... producer
Original Music by
Matt Jenkins 
Cinematography by
Nicholas D. Knowland  (as Nic Knowland)
Film Editing by
Saska Simpson 
Production Design by
Emily Jenkins 
Costume Design by
Sophie Towill 
Makeup Department
Konnie Daniel .... hair stylist
Konnie Daniel .... makeup artist
Production Management
Em. L. Muslin .... production manager (as Em Muslin)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Ben Dixon .... assistant director
Art Department
Sylke Abinghoff .... set dresser (as Sylkie Abdinghoff)
Sound Department
Tim Barker .... sound editor
John Crossland .... sound recordist
Camera and Electrical Department
Pietro Birindelli .... still photographer
Hayley Ann Farr .... clapper loader (as Hayley Farr)
Matthew Poynter .... focus puller
Casting Department
Kate Bryden .... casting advisor
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Cali Rand .... costume assistant
Editorial Department
Andy Robinson .... negative cutter
Music Department
Simon Allen .... musician
George Hart .... musician
Jasper Hoiby .... musician
Rob Taggart .... musician
Robin Thompson Clark .... music coordinator
Trevor Walker .... musician
Transportation Department
Simon Rogers .... driver
Noli Yannaghas .... unit driver
Other crew
Dom Aronin .... production assistant
Iain Cunningham .... production coordinator
Alice Dawson .... location manager
Laura Gwynne .... continuity
Richard Morrison .... title designer
Kami Naghdi .... legal services
Simon Rogers .... runner
Olive Segré .... title designer
Greg Smith .... production assistant
Leonie Wheatley .... assistant to producer
Dean Wares .... title typography (uncredited)

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Germany:10 min

Did You Know?

Factual errors: In the subtitles, "Alfa Romeo" is spelt incorrectly as "Alpha Romeo".See more »
Movie Connections:
Edited into Cinema16: British Short Films (2003) (V)See more »


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9 out of 10 people found the following review useful.
The funniest film you'll see all year - a rare treat for old cinephiles., 3 August 2001
Author: alice liddell ( from dublin, ireland

This short is a cineaste's delight, a parody so lovingly detailed it becomes a celebration. 'Je t'aime John Wayne' is a reworking of Godard's classic 'A bout de souffle'. In that film, Jean-paul Belmondo played a petty hood who modelled himself on Humphrey Bogart. In this, Kris Marshall is Belmondo, aka Tristan, a middle class English boy in love with all things French - he speaks ponderous French all the time, dresses sharply, philosophises, epigramises (sic?), poses.

The director of this film, Toby MacDonald, however, succeeds where Godard 'failed'. In 'Souffle', we were intended to notice the disparity between Belmondo's Frenchness, posturing and insignificance, and Bogart's mythic cool. Unfortunately, Belmondo is so charismatic and cool and funny, filmed in energetic, sunny monochrome against a delicious jazz backing, that he himself, unwittingly, became a figure of mythic cool. Tristan is not the first person to be dazzled by Belmondo's persona - sure, I've done it myself, snarling 'Te es vraiment deguelasse' at my mirror. France, to foreign eyes, especially in the 50s and 60s, is so romantically cool. So Godard fails.

England, however, is not very cool, especially when it tries to ape European sophistication. So although MacDonald expertly mimics Godard's enthusiastic jump-cut style and breezy music, Tristan is less successful. Every attempt at cool is hampered by bathos. The name 'Tristan', for a start, is public-school naff, and his brilliant answering machine message (with the Duke threatening any caller) is spoiled somewhat by his mother's middle class concern. A rendezvous we assume to be a romantic account with an unobtainable blonde turns out to be his loud little sister, who brings a little friend (he punishes them by bringing them to an excruciatingly pretentious art movie). A long exercise in posed cool turns out to be an uncool wait for a very uncool bus. Et cetera.

This is all very amusing, but could seem like rather a petty object of satire - middle-class pseuds trying to be French. The film transcends this pettiness in two ways. Firstly, although Tristan is ridiculous, he is never a contemptible figure of ridicule. this is where the Englishness comes in - the disparity between Tristan's dreams and reality becomes poignant. Ultimately, the film affirms these dreams, the power they give Tristan to transcend his banal reality, even if he is so lost in them, he has no more purchase on any kind of reality. This is helped by the pastiche stylings being rooted in a very real, documentary London.

Even more than this, the film's fun conceals a melancholy elegy for European cinema and its decline. Godard may have made a film about a slavish imitator, but his film, despite its borrowings, was something radically new, which contained the possibility for revolutionising the cinema. Twenty years later, however, it was as if it hadn't been made, cinema settling into the rut of offensive banality it's been happy to be stuck in since. Unlike Godard, MacDonald is as much of an imitator as his hero - we no longer believe in the possibility of anything new in cinema: it's sad, but significant, that one of the most inventive films around at the moment should be a pastiche of past glories.

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