Paris Je T’aime is an omnibus narrative, the likes of which haven’t been seen this side of the indie/horror circuit since Babel, which showed at the Little Art last year. Twenty directors were invited to create 6-8 minute shorts around the theme of love in Paris- in essence, writing a cinematographic love letter to the city. Just a glance at the poster was enough to have me twitching in the theatre, dreading the inevitable accordion chords and quaintly plinking piano melody that I anticipating accompanying a Wes Anderson cum Amelie flick about glamorous neurotics falling in love in a sexy, quirky European city. To my surprise, Paris Je T’aime had me liking it in the first five minutes. A series of neighborhood based vignettes who’s first line- in Montmarte, no less- is “Shitty neighborhood!”? I fell in love.
Paris Je T’aime is best consumed as an appetizer plate. A wide selection of everything, from directors (Wes Craven through the Coen Brothers), actors (Steve Buscemi through Natalie Portman), and themes (paternal through unrequited), it’s guaranteed that everyone will find something they love and something they can’t believe was committed to film in this movie. For me, the Cohen Brothers’ hilarious story of Steve Buscemi as a guide-book reliant tourist caught up unwittingly and unwantingly in a fiery Parisian relationship was worth the price of admission. At the same time, I could’ve done with less of that quaint Parisian custom involving white makeup and being trapped in invisible boxes. I’m looking at you, Sylvain Chomet.
Paris Je T’aime is a multifaceted love story, where love is used in the fullest, most inclusive sense of the term. Expect to walk out fantasizing about plane tickets.
Paris Je T’aime is playing at the Little Art on Thursday (tonight!), at 9.20. Run!