Café Europe
France, Lichtenstein, Switzerland / 2006 / French, English dialogue with English, Arabic subtitles / Colour / 35 mm / 120 minutes
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Twenty-one of the world's most distinctive and modern directors were asked to paint cinematic portraits of different locales and arrondissements of Paris; some are familiar, some off the beaten track. These little portraits, stories and jokes run together fluidly, many, of course, returning to the theme of love, involving joy, separation and unexpected encounters. There are romances, eccentricities, political fables, comedies. The result is an enchanting collage of vignettes, evoking Paris in all its mystery and beauty and featuring many famous faces: Juliette Binoche, Nick Nolte, Steve Buscemi, Maggie Gylenhaal. Marianne Faithfull, Willem Dafoe. While, of course, such diversity can often tend to be a mixed blessing, this rich selection proves charmingly inventive, often funny and always enchanting - like Paris itself


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