129 minutes, France-Spain-Cuba, 2012, Subtitled, Colour, D-Cinema

A fad in Europe way back in the 1960s, the portmanteau film makes a comeback with this slickly assembled collection of shorts set in Havana over the course of a week.

There’s a film for each day, beginning with actor-turned-director Benicio Del Toro’s El Yuma, in which Josh Hutcherson of Hunger Games fame plays a naïve American student who consumes too much rum and ends up taking a transvestite back to his hotel. Alcohol is also the catalyst in Pablo Trapero’s amusing Jam Session, which has Serbian director Emir Kusturica playing a drunken celebrity attending the Havana Film Festival.

There are also solid contributions from Cuban director Jean Carlos Tabío (Bittersweet) and French realist Laurent Cantet (The Fountain). The prize items, however, are provided by bad boy Gaspar Noé, whose edgy Ritual features a teenage girl being subjected to a freaky voodoo ritual, and Palestinian director Elia Sulieman whose witty and beautifully composed Diary of a Beginner is a little gem. (Notes by Peter Walsh.)

Directors:  Benicio Del Toro, Pablo Trapero, Julio Medem, Elia Suleiman, Gaspar Noé, Juan Carlos Tabío, Laurent Cantet

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