Paris, 13th District

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Origin France
Original name Les Olympiades
Movie genre Drama, Romantic
Length 106 min
Director Jacques Audiard
Links IMDB
Release 2021
Ranking 72 %

Performing: Lucie Zhang, Makita Samba, Noémie Merlant, Jehnny Beth, Camille Léon-Fucien

A delightfully stylish love-story that, taking on the dynamics of modern relationships, upends the legend of Paris as the capital of love and sex. Paris, 13th District, however, leaves the tourist trails to move to where the heart of the city really beats.

Where an explosive cocktail of emotions emerges from erotic fantasies suspended on the top floors of skyscrapers, from the longing for intimacy that glides through the lifts and from youthful disappointments and dreams that glide among the blocks of flats. Jacques Audiard's seductive film is a screen adaptation of Adrian Tomine's comic hit, Summer Blonde, and is co-written by French cinema star Céline Sciamma, director of Portrait of a Lady on Fire. While telling the story of love and sex in the big city, Audiard has also created a fascinating portrait of a contemporary metropolis: multiethnic, multilingual, laced with a network of countless connections and bringing endless communication problems every day.

Paris, 13th District is set amidst the skyscrapers and esplanades of a Parisian apartment block, the local Chinatown. Against the backdrop of the stark, brutalist architecture, the young characters' feelings seem particularly fragile and vulnerable. Emilie (Lucie Zhang) falls in love with her roommate Camille (Makita Samba). He takes up an erotic game, but defends himself against her feelings—until he meets Nora (Noémie Merlant), who, however, is obsessed with someone else: Amber (Jehnny Beth), a mysterious camgirl. Jacques Audiard intricately tangles the paths of his characters, glues and detaches them from their screens and, with incredible freshness and cutting humour, creates a portrait of modern lovers: boldly opening their bedroom doors but keeping their hearts under lock and key.

Perfectly capturing the rhythm of metropolitan life and full of tenderness and empathy towards its protagonists, Paris, 13th district is another work by Jacques Audiard, creator of the Palme d'Or-winning Dheepan and the Grand Prix-winning A Prophet, which was received with enthusiasm at Cannes. It is also another title (after Frances Ha or C'mon C'mon) proving that today all shades of emotion are best told in black and white. The 'less is more' trend also works perfectly in cinema.

Movie trailer

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