Paris 13th District

classified 18 (CTBA) S

BFI London Film Festival 2021

Film

Please note: This was screened in Oct 2021

Director
Jacques Audiard
Cast
Lucie Zhang, Makita Samba, Noémie Merlant
Details
105 mins, Subtitled, 2021, France
Primary language
French

Jacques Audiard ventures into new territory with a vibrant take on love and Paris, as four characters cross amorous paths in the modern city.

Based on three stories by graphic novelist Adrian Tomine, Paris, 13th District sees French maestro Jacques Audiard stepping away from his previous crime genre tendencies to offer a panorama of love, desire and everyday survival in a racially, culturally, sexually diverse contemporary city. Lucie Zhang plays Emilie, a free spirit working in telesales and trying to handle the expectations of her Taiwanese family, and who gets involved with her lodger Camille (Makita Samba), a literary postgraduate. Alongside these mesmerising newcomers, Noémie Merlant (Portrait of a Lady on Fire) plays law student Nora, whose life implodes when she is mistaken for cam girl ‘Amber’ (Savages singer Jehnny Beth). As their lives intersect, a bustling but unromantic Parisian district is the backdrop for a tough, tender, often euphoric city symphony.

Script collaborators are writer-directors Céline Sciamma (herself in the LFF with Petite Maman) and Léa Mysius (Ava), with Paul Guilhaume’s crackling black-and-white photography bringing the Nouvelle Vague’s urban dreams electrically into the 21st century.