Wednesday, February 3, 2010

New York, I Love You - Shekhar Kapur

Tonight I watched the film New York, I Love You, which is a collective work of eleven short films produced by the same man who also produced Paris Je t'aime. Each short features different directors and actors, and there are a lot of positives and negatives of making a film in this way. There is no continuing narrative throughout the films. In one way it brings many different directing and storytelling styles to the viewing experience but it also makes it feel as if the viewer is at a film festival or screening of films with the common theme of shooting whatever comes to mind in New York City. What was interesting is the mood that each short conveyed. Each short was about a relationship in the city and instead of focusing on the emotions one feels when in the city it was about the emotions of human life. You would think a director might want to capture the essential New York feeling of bustle, movement, energy, and people with places to go and things to do. Instead, the movement of the city is blurred into the background and the city serves only as a backdrop for the more intimate character interactions rather than as an inspiration for the film itself.

I would have to say that I enjoyed New York, I Love You more than the first film about Paris. Perhaps this is because the filming was a little more cohesive and the short films complimented each other by randomly featuring actors from other shorts in the background and being shot in a more similar style than in Paris Je t'aime where each short was so stylistically and visually different from one another that the only connecting thing between the films seemed to be the fact that it was filmed somewhere in Paris.

Here is my favorite segment from New York, I Love You by the brilliant director Shekhar Kapur. His filmography includes films such as Elizabeth and Elizabeth: The Golden Age, both featuring Cate Blanchett (I would highly recommend these films if you haven't seen them; stunning in every way).

I loved the light white tones of this short film by Kapur and the beautifully haunting story and characters. The cinematography is incredible and the motion and fluidity of the shots compliment the fluidity and ghost-like quality of the wind in the curtains and contrast the stiffness of Shia LeBeouf's character. The film is about movement. Movement of the camera, of the characters, of their interaction and their relationship. This short is the one that I actually remember and want to watch again once the film is over.


Dear Mathea this is shekhar kapur (honest) and i found your review very insightful - so thank you. My website is and my e mail is Would love to see some of your work

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