Paris, je t'aime is about the plurality of cinema in one mythic location: Paris, the City of Love. Twenty filmmakers have five minutes each; the audience must weave a single narrative out of twenty moments. The 20 moments are fused by transitional interstitial sequences and also via the introduction and epilogue. Each transition begins with the last shot of the previous film and ends with the first shot of the following film, extending the enchantment and the emotion of the previous segment, preparing the audience for a surprise, and providing a cohesive atmosphere. There's a reappearing mysterious character who is a witness to the Parisian life. A common theme of Paris and love fuses all. Written by
Julio Medem was attached to the project for a long time. He was supposed to direct one of the segments, but he finally fell off because of schedule conflicts with the filming of Chaotic Ana (2007). See more »
In the segment 'Père-Lachaise,' when William (Rufus Sewell) confronts Frances (Emily Mortimer), his coat is buttoned to the neck. The camera cuts to Frances, and back to William, his coat now open. The next time William appears, his coat is buttoned-up again. William (apparently) hasn't moved at all. See more »
[In voice-over narration]
By acting like a man in love, he became a man in love again.
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A wonderful, beautiful homage, but maybe too many parts in the whole for a single sitting
A smorgasbord of talent. Twenty glimpses of Paris - its different suburbs. High quality shorts masterfully united.
A veiled woman intrigues us to the beauty beneath her hijab. Gus Van Sant delights with a flirtation between two young boys (and with a surprise revelation). Steve Buscemi's mind-boggling tourist guide accompanies him through a surreal Coen Brothers encounter in the Metro. Maggie Gyllenhaal gets stoned off her face preparing for an acting role. Bob Hoskins hangs out in sleazy Pigalle. Elijah Wood discovers his inner vampire. Oscar Wilde's burial place inspires one humourless would-be bridegroom and saves his relationship. Tom Tykwer takes us running through the streets of Saint-Denis with a blind man in love. Gérard Depardieu is a bartender and a host of other stars and directors charm us with strange and original tales of love in the city of love itself.
These vignettes are a whirlwind tour of the heart of each arrondissement, but they focus on Frenchness, or Parisienness rather than over-exploiting famous landmarks . . . which makes it all the more fun recognising the locales. The quality is superb - each short film is almost a masterclass - but the overall effect can be weariness. Such a torrent of shorts leaves no room to develop an overall momentum, however skilfully knitted together. Each touches our emotions in different ways. Yet it is like nibbling for nearly two hours in the kitchens of the best chefs. At the end we are exhausted and hungry.
The concept of Paris Je t'Aime is a beautiful one. This film is a permanent and worthy homage to the great city. But as cinema it seems sadly unsatisfying.
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