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Paris
Jason Bartok

2003

A young detective (Chad Allen) tries to escape his past in the company of a beautiful call girl, (Bai Ling), who in turn wants to escape the seedy underworld of L.A. and Las Vegas. John Cale's brilliant original score enlivens this gritty modern noir, which casts light on the little-remarked skin trade entrapping Asian immigrants in many of America's big cities.

Update

May 8, 2003 - Paris had it's world premiere last night as part of the Tribeca Film Festival. According to Chad, "The Daily Variety published an article in Tuesday's issue with a picture of  Bai Ling and I. They also said in no uncertain terms that ours was one of the most talked about films in competition, and had the most buzz for acquisition."

Photos from the premiere
paris33.jpg (12786 bytes) Chad and George Whipple.jpg (107840 bytes) Chad and Glenn.jpg (806050 bytes)
Theater Marquee Chad interviewed on the red carpet Glenn and Chad
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Waiting for the show

Post show q&a

Glenn and Bai Ling

Photos by Glenn Mones
for Chad Allen Online
See a news story on the premiere on Real Video

Paris is available
 on DVD from the CAO DVD Store


PARIS

Directed by
RAMIN NIAMI

Written by
RAMIN NIAMI
and STEVEN BESCHLOSS

 Produced by
RAMIN NIAMI
and KAREN ROBSON

 Music by
JOHN CALE

STARRING
CHAD ALLEN

BAI LING

JAMES RUSSO
KAREN BLACK
JAMES LEW

97 minutes – 35mm- stereo

SYNOPSIS

parisPoster3.jpg (51064 bytes)Paris follows rookie detective Jason Bartok (Chad Allen) on his disturbing journey through the shadowy underworld of Los Angeles and Las Vegas, illuminated only by a sweet but short-lived romance with a strikingly beautiful, enigmatic woman (Bai Ling).

As the tale unfolds, Jason accidentally shoots his corrupt partner, Leon (James Russo), grabbing stolen money from the crime scene at the older policeman's urging.  The guilt-ridden young man quickly takes to the road to track down Leon's lover, Linda/Shen Li (Bai Ling), an illegal Chinese immigrant, to deliver the bag of cash to her.

Jason’s search takes in seedy motels and rough bars, an L.A. massage parlor and a Nevada ranch, until finally in a dingy Vegas dive, he discovers the irresistible Linda, a sparkling jewel ensnared by the sex trade.  Stalked by thugs, the money’s “rightful owners”, Jason and Linda are thrust together to make their escape through the haunting landscape that is the California desert.

As Linda's  "American Dream" continues to crumble and Jason struggles with numbing guilt, passion takes over these star-crossed lovers desperate for a fresh start.  As maybe only beautiful young lovers can – they envision life beyond their differing values, allegiances, and doom itself.

The hit men close in as Jason and Linda plot their escape to Paris, a plan dependent on resolving unfinished business.  Jason agrees to pay off Linda’s captors still enslaving other Asian girls, then strikes a deal with a cop to buy his escape with Linda. But the unexpected Leon, clearly partnered with the criminals and furious over Jason’s betrayal with “his woman”, is set on murder.

Jason and Linda discover their mad dream of hightailing it to Paris is like the neon-lit sky of the hot Vegas night, full of dazzling hope that quickly fades with the punishing sun.

DIRECTOR'S COMMENTS

The Story

bai_ling68.jpg (29599 bytes)We are living in a very dark, troubled time, and the film noir genre seemed perfect for this doomed love story of two people from very different worlds.

When I came to LA from New York two years ago, I was surprised by all the advertisements for "oriental massage".  It reminded me of fun-loving American servicemen in Sixties-era Saigon and Bangkok sex tours with underage girls today.  Why does no one talk about the Asian sex trade in America?

I wanted Paris to be stylish and different. Modern Noir needs a fresh look, not the usual B-movie image.  I wanted to show that DV can be beautiful.  The genius of John Cale’s score enhances its humanity and romantic feeling.

 PRINCIPAL CAST

 CHAD ALLEN - “JASON BARTOK”

Chad Allen began acting in the TV series “St. Elsewhere” at age 8.  He made a successful transition from child to teen star with the role Matthew Cooper in CBS’ hugely popular “Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman,” which ran for six seasons and made him a teen idol around the world.  At the 2002 NY Independent Film Fest, Chad received a Best Supporting Actor Award in the short film Getting Out.  After several years concentrating on producing and acting for theater, Allen steps back before the cameras in his first major adult role on the big screen in Paris.

 BAI LING - “LINDA”

The enchanting Bai Ling was already a movie star in China before arriving in Stateside.  Her work in MGM’s Red Corner (opposite Richard Gere) led to reviews praising her as “mesmerizing” and “luminous”.  Bai Ling has received numerous accolades, including the Breakthrough Award from the National Board of Review and The Discovery Star of 1997, awarded by the Hollywood Women’s Press Club.  She was selected as one of People magazine’s “50 Most Beautiful People in the World.”  Most recently, Bai Ling starred in the Sundance film Face, opening theatrically in the fall.  Busier than ever, she has several movies currently in post production, including Miramax’s My Baby’s Mama (starring with Eddie Griffin), Sony Pictures’ Beautiful Country (opposite Nick Nolte) and The World of Tomorrow (also starring Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie). 

JAMES RUSSO - “LEON”

James Russo was born in New York City.  A veteran of more than 60 feature films, Russo has played memorable roles on film and in live theater, with his motion-picture credits including: The Postman, Donnie Brasco, No Way Home, The Real Thing, Condition Red, Bad Girls, Dangerous Game, Cold Heaven, My Own Private Idaho, A Kiss Before Dying, State of Grace, We’re No Angels, China Girl, Extremities, The Cotton Club, Beverly Hills Cop, Once Upon A Time in America, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, A Stranger is Watching and The Ninth Gate.  On stage, Russo has been seen in Welcome to Andromeda, Deathwatch, Marat/Sade and Extremities, which earned him a Theatre World Award.

KAREN BLACK - “CHANTELLE”

Her credits include such classic films as Five Easy Pieces with Jack Nicholson (she was nominated for an Academy Award and won a Golden Globe), Easy Rider, Day Of the Locust (Golden Globe nomination), The Great Gatsby (she won a Golden Globe), Nashville and Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean.

IRENE BEDARD - “SANDY”

Her starring credits include Smoke Signals, Lakota Woman: Siege at Wounded Knee (she was nominated for a Golden Globe) and Disney’s Pocahontas (she was the voice and model for the title character).

 JAMES LEW – “MR. FUE”

Acting credits include Traffic, Lethal Weapon 4 and Big Trouble in Little China. He also performed stunts in Planet of the Apes and Rush Hour 2 and assisted in stunt coordinating Paris fight scenes.  

BIFF YEAGER – “DET.  BILL BAKER”

A veteran character actor in more than 50 films, including White Oleander, Ed Wood, F/X 2, Edward Scissorhands and Sid and Nancy.

BELINDA WAYMOUTH - “TINA”

Her credits include TV’s “The Agency, CSI: Miami” and “Murder One.”

E.J. CALLAHAN – “MOTEL OWNER”

His credits include the Coen Brothers’ The Man Who Wasn't There, Inspector Gadget, Wild Wild West, The Kid and TV’s  “Malcolm in the Middle”, “ER”, “NYPD Blue” and “Friends”.

JENI CHUA – “MIEKO”

Her credits include Metro with Eddy Murphy and TV’s “The Andy Dick Show”.

PRODUCTION TEAM

RAMIN NIAMI
  (DIRECTOR/CO-WRITER/PRODUCER/EDITOR)

Ramin Niami’s first feature as a director was Somewhere in the City (1997) starring Sandra Bernhard (King of Comedy), Robert John Burke (The Unbelievable Truth), Bai Ling (Anna and the King) and Peter Stormare (Fargo). Screened at over 25 international film festivals, released theatrically in 32 U.S. cities, the film premiered in 2000 on HBO/ Cinemax.

Niami has worked extensively in the film and television in England, France, the Middle East and the United States.  Born in Teheran, Iran, Niami has worked as a director and producer on over twenty television documentaries and dramatic shorts, many of them broadcast by the BBC and Channel Four in the UK.

A New York resident for 14 years, Niami was a part-time faculty member for filmmaking at the School of Visual Arts in New York.  He relocated to Los Angeles in 2002, where he taught directing and editing of digital video at USC’s Robert Zemeckis Center for Digital Arts.

STEVEN BESCHLOSS (CO-WRITER/CO-PRODUCER)

Before becoming a screenwriter and filmmaker, Steven Beschloss was an award-winning journalist, both in the United States and Europe.  His writing -- on subjects ranging from crime, business and international affairs to espionage, media and boxing -- has been published in many major publications, including The New York Times, Newsday, The Village Voice, The New Republic, The International Herald-Tribune, TV Guide and The Chicago Tribune.

Beschloss debuted as a writer/director in 1992 with the short fiction film Adam’s Holiday, produced in New York by Larry Meistrich and The Shooting Gallery. He subsequently lived for four years in Helsinki, Finland, scripting, directing, producing and story-editing several features, fiction shorts and documentaries for various European production companies.

His dark comedy, My Boy, which he wrote, directed and co-produced for Finland’s Wide Eye Pictures, premiered in 1996 on Finnish Broadcasting’s “New Cinema” series. The Miracle, a one-hour French-German co-production filmed in St. Petersburg, Russia, which he co-wrote with Tuomas Sallinen, first aired in France on ARTE in 1997 and was praised by Le Monde as a “must see” film.

 KAREN ROBSON (PRODUCER)

Karen Robson, brought up in Australia, played the role as a teenager of Irma in Peter Weir’s Picnic at Hanging Rock. In 1985 Karen moved to New York to work as an entertainment lawyer and since 1991 has been a Partner in the Entertainment Department of Pryor, Cashman, Sherman & Flynn LLP, where she works primarily in the Film Finance and Production Group.  She represents a variety of independent producers/production companies for which she structures production financing and distribution transactions as well as provides production legal representation.  She also represents a number of well-known feature film writer/directors.  Ms. Robson also produced the feature film directed by, and produced with, her husband Ramin Niami, Somewhere in the City.

JACK COCHRAN (DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY)

Jack Cochran has an MFA from the University of Iowa Writer's Workshop and twenty years experience in filmmaking.  As a Director of Photography he has shot features, commercials, and documentaries based in London and Los Angeles.  His films have won a British Academy Award (BAFTA), a Bronze Lion From Cannes, and the Sang D'or from the International of Short Films.  His features have had festival screenings at Sundance, Telluride, Edinburgh, Taos, Chicago and Houston film festivals.  Film credits include Verses (Sundance 2001), Taste of Pomegranate, Twins (Peabody Award 2000), Dominick and Eugene, Internal Affairs and Breaking In.

 ERIN SMITH (PRODUCTION DESIGNER)

Erin Smith, the production designer of Paris, has lent her creative vision to several ambitious indies soon to be released in the coming year. Since Paris, this up and comer has worked on Northfork, the beatific third installment in the Polish Brother’s trilogy, and has just completed production design on  I Love Your Work, the Adam Goldberg- directed feature starring Giovanni Ribisi and Christina Ricci.

 ROSEMARY WELDEN (ASSOCIATE PRODUCER/ CASTING DIRECTOR)

Rosemary Welden is a veteran casting director of nearly 30 films. Her credits include the award-winning The Woman Chaser,  Joyride starring Tobey Maguire and Benicio Del Toro and The Kiss starring Terrence Stamp and Billy Zane.

TOM PAUL (SOUND DESIGNER)

A veteran sound mixer, editor and designer, his credits include The Yards, Claire Dolan, Little Odessa and Academy Award-winner Ang Lee’s The Wedding Banquet and Eat Drink Man Woman.

LISA LESNIAK (COSTUME DESIGNER)

Lisa Lesniak’s work as a costumer has included such big-budget films as The Crucible, Amistad, Meet Joe Black and The Cider House Rules.  Her credits as a costume designer include Made Up, directed by Tony Shalhoub and starring Brooks Adams and  Gary Sinise as well as The Blue Diner, and Latter Days starring Jacqueline Bisset and Mary Kay Place.  


One of the locations for the movie Paris is outside of the Paris Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. During a trip to Vegas in January of 2003, your webmaster took the photos below outside of the hotel to let you know more about the location.

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