Comprised of 12 separate stories all taking place in New York City, the latest omnibus film from the producers of "Paris Je T'aime" was screened yesterday at TIFF as a Work In Progress. Since it is indeed not the finished version of the film (e.g. music may be changed, titles not complete, etc.), producers Marina Grasic and Emmanuel Benbihy asked that the press hold off on publishing any reviews.
So just a few comments:
- The list of directors is again a scattershot grouping of international names. This time it also contains two actors sitting behind the lens: Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson.
- Is Julie Christie actually getting better looking as she grows older?
- Though much of the music may change, I was delighted to hear bits from The Budos Band - a Staten Island based group that pulls a great deal of influence from African groove master Fela Kuti. They are a recent favourite of mine and I hope their music is retained in the final version.
- Before the film started, Benbihy related an anecdote about Anthony Minghella. He was apparently very instrumental in helping them get the film started, insisted they move their initial funding operations for the film to New York City itself and also wrote one of the stories. The movie is dedicated to him.
- The next two cities in mind for future films in the Cities of Love series are Shanghai and Jerusalem.
- I really liked the footage of New York itself that popped up between the stories.
The audience seemed to greatly enjoy what they saw and applauded after several of the stories. Without mentioning much more, let's just say that I'm glad the work is still In Progress - cause it needs it.