Monday, January 9, 2012

New York, I Love You (2009)

New York, I Love You is a romance film comprised of short films by 11 directors. Shunji Iwai contributed the third film in the movie, a 7-minute segment he originally titled Camille & Camille.

The film stars Orlando Bloom as David Cooler (nice name), a sound engineer working on a film for a demanding Japanese filmmaker, Abara, who is never shown. Bloom talks on the phone with his agent, a woman named Camille (Christina Ricci), walks around NYC, stops in Central Park at Strawberry Fields (the John Lennon memorial), and tries to comply with the Abara's unusual requests.

The plot is pretty ridiculous. I don't mind whimsy, but whimsy still has to make sense, and Camille & Camille unfortunately doesn't. The two actors heroically act out what's often thinly thought-through dialogue. The film as a whole garnered mediocre reviews (Metacritic), a perennial criticism being that the stories weren't particularly related to New York, and Iwai's contribution is an unfortunate example of that. Aside from a reference to the Dakota apartments, there's almost nothing of New York in it. Ultimately it's neither terribly bad nor good-- just quick and forgettable.

Original storyboard, from


  • Orlando is filmed walking down the street in the Upper West Side, down Columbus Ave. between W. 105th and W. 104th. 
  • A poster for the hit manga and anime Death Note, a dark and cerebral thriller, is in Orlando's apartment. 
  • A copy of This Means Nothing, an art book of NYC street art, is on his coffee table.
  • Iwai has stated that he drew on the death of John Lennon and a book about the murderer Mark David Chapman in both All About Lily Chou-Chou and April Story. (AWAIFF Vol. 8)
  • The anime film Orlando appears to be working on looks like Tales From Earthsea (2006) by Studio Ghibli.
  • "Lennon... is my God." Iwai stated in an interview that when he heard the news of Lennon's death in 1980, he was not very affected by it, and was in fact surprised that a man he considered a historical figure ("like Beethoven") had even still been alive. (AWAIFF Vol. 8)
  • Iwai published the storyboards to Camille & Camille online at Iwai Film Festival.
  • Orlando mis-pronounces Wikipedia, "WHY-ki-pedia". WTF?
  • There are two big differences between Awai's original storyboards (posted at and the finished film. First, the film Cooler is editing has a character named Camille, and Cooler imagines the film Camille while talking to the real Camille over the phone. Second, the storyboard version end with the real Camille sending him a fax.

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