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Anthony Minghella lives on

Posted by Ty Burr  April 10, 2008 12:07 PM

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This just in: the decidedly odd couple of Shia LeBoeuf and Julie Christie will appear together in a segment of the upcoming anthology film "New York, I Love You" that was penned by Anthony Minghella before his unexpected death last month. The Hollywood Reporter has the details.

Minghella was intending to direct as well; "Elizabeth" helmer Shekhar Kapur has stepped in to take his place.

Currently filming, the film's a spin-off of the recent omnibus "Paris, Je T'aime," which unloosed 18 directors (and a lot of actors) on 18 stories set in the City of Light. It's a franchise now, apparently, with entries spotlighting Shanghai, South America, and Africa to follow in due time.

The directors for the segments in "New York, I Love You" -- I do hope they've got the rights to the great LCD Soundsystem song of that name -- are an art-house dream: Mira Nair ("The Namesake"), Fatih Akin ("Head-On"), Yvan Attal ("Happily Ever After"), Andrei Zvyagintsev ("The Return"), Joshua Marston ("Maria Full of Grace"). Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson will both be making their directing debuts; Portman has already fallen afoul of the local Hasidic community by casting one of their own as her husband (he was pressured to quit).

The most intriguing part of the Minghella-penned segment -- in which movie legend Christie and Indiana Jones plaything LeBeouf are cast as two people who meet in a hotel that is "between worlds" -- is that someone compares it to the director's early masterpiece "Truly, Madly, Deeply." Okay, count me in.

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Ty Burr is a film critic with The Boston Globe.

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