Friday, October 16, 2009

New York, I Love You

Opening this weekend: New York, I Love You, directed by a whole bunch of people, including Mira Nair and Natalie Portman

The whole exercise seems a bit myopic (apparently only one of the segments recognizes a city outside Manhattan), so maybe we should not be surprised that of ten directors, just two are women. Still, it could be worse.

Synopsis from the New York Times website:

New York, I Love You is the second installment in a franchise of urban anthology films that began in Paris and is scheduled to touch down soon in Rio, Shanghai, Mumbai and Jerusalem. My own sentimental heart is holding out for Dayton, Ohio. Eventually, like a cinematic version of Google Earth, these movies, the brainchild of the producer Emmanuel Benbihy, will cover every inch of the globe with big-name actors and tiny romantic epiphanies. It may not be a project that will make the world smaller or friendlier — only, perhaps, a bit more precious. Not that the 11 shorts in “New York, I Love You” are all that bad. It’s a nice-looking city, after all, even if the interstitial skyline and traffic montages assembled by Randy Balsmeyer are about as fresh as the postcards on sale in Times Square. Each vignette was shot in two days, and the roster of directing talent includes Mira Nair (“The Namesake” and the forthcoming “Amelia”), Fatih Akin (“Head-On” and “The Edge of Heaven”) and Natalie Portman, making her debut behind the camera. (She also plays a Hasidic diamond broker in Ms. Nair’s contribution.) But in spite of some attempts at human and neighborhood variety, the stories have a self-conscious sameness, as if they were classroom assignments in an undergraduate fiction-writing class.

(Let this lackluster synopsis serve as a warning to web designers for the movie websites: make your own synopses easier to cut and paste! New York, I Love You's own synopsis can be found on its website.)

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