“Life is drama and drama is life”. Walking down the streets of Paris, you can easily spot some film scene sets! If you are a cinema fan in the fantasy-breeding Paris, why not visit the filming locations of blockbusters or famous movies filmed in Paris? Let’s feel the reality and imagination getting intertwined. INSIDR reveals 10 must-visit film locations from the best movie scenes for you, so you can explore the alternative charm of Paris.
1. INCEPTION FILMING LOCATIONS
Christopher Nolan spent almost ten years writing the screenplay for “Inception”, this film has been the film we all must have seen at least once. Needless to say, the film’s cinematography is incredibly aesthetic, not to say world-class Hollywood castings such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt etc got together in Paris for the shooting… You got no excuse not to go to the Pont Bir-Hakeim for the loving nostalgia Cobb and Mal once shared. Oh yes, also take the opportunity to take some breathtaking photos of the Eiffel Tower, which is just at the sight!
Le Café Debussy, the blasting coffee shop, was just temporarily set for filming purposes. After all, it’s been more than 10 years after the release of the film so things must have changed. Debussy has been turned into an Italian restaurant Il Russo! Even so, sitting in this corner of Paris for people-watching is still a wonderful thing to do!
Must-go: Pont Bir Hakeim
2. BEFORE SUNSET – BEST MOVIE SCENES
This is a story about the two long-lost lovers in Richard Linklater’s romance trilogy reuniting in Paris. In addition to the Seine river cruise tour, the protagonists also went to the enchanting Promenade plantée (or Coulée verte), which is the old train track converted to a park that tourists usually miss! When the weather is good, you may want to go there with your lover and talk about love in the air of the city of Paris!
Also not to be missed is Le Pure Cafe located in the 11th arrondissement near Charonne! Come and feel the magical power of this cafe where they had a deep conversation (as usual), while appreciating the very typical French interior decoration!
Must-go: Le Pure Cafe, Shakespeare and Company, Promenade Plantée
3. Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain
Beautiful cinematography…Amélie Poulain, the protagonist of this film is mischievous and weird, yet she let us experience the dreamy and bubbly side of Paris! Café des Deux Moulins in the film is where Amélie worked, the interior of this bar is humble and approaching, representing the authenticity of Paris’s 18th arrondissement! Treat yourself to a lovely crème brûlée while watching passers-by at the terrace like the locals! Otherwise, get to Canal Saint Martin for skimming stones and savouring your baguette!
Must-go: Café des Deux Moulins, Canal Saint Martin, métro station Abbesses
4. INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS
Directed by the first-class director Quentin Tarantino, this film is set in Paris during World War 2, even though most of the scenes were actually shot in Germany. The only scene that was really shot in Paris was at the restaurant Bistrot La Renaissance in Paris, where the protagonist dressed in a typical French way. Feel free to visit the restaurant for its romantic vibe!
Must-go: Bistrot La Renaissance
5. MIDNIGHT IN PARIS – MOVIES FILMED IN PARIS
Tell you a little secret: the Paris City Council has a special department to help with film productions in the city. The director of Midnight in Paris, Woody Allen had been consulting with this department, and put the name of “Paris” on the film’s title to promote the tourism of Paris! In the film, the protagonist, Gil, and his fiancée went many famous cultural attractions of Paris, and he was even able to miraculously travelling back to the 19th century of Paris! Remember to go to the stairs of St Etienne du Mont’s church to see if you can also do a time travel!
Must-go: Eglise de St Etienne du Mont, Musée de l’Orangerie, Musée Rodin
6. DA VINCI CODE AND SCENES FROM THE LOUVRE
Another heavyweight among films that were shot in Paris must be the Da Vinci Code! The images of Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou in the crime scene at Louvre have always been impressive; the film also shows stunning shots of the glass pyramid at night. If you are coming to Paris for the first time, the Louvre must have been already on your itinerary. We also recommend you to visit the Saint Sulpice Church in the 6th arrondissement. This 17th century church was where Hanks and Tautou finally cracked the code of the Holy Grail; if you don’t want to miss the non-mainstream Catholic church in Paris, here is where you have to go!
Must-go: Musée du Louvre, Eglise Saint Sulpice
7. The Devil Wears Prada
The Devil Wears Prada was mainly shot in New York, but along the success of Andy’s success in her career, she finally came to Paris to for the Fashion Week! Who doesn’t want to pose like Anne Hathaway at the Place de la Concorde? She really mastered the French style like Parisians! If you want to develop your own fashion sense, you can visit the fashion museum, Musée Galliera, and think of which fashion accessories to shop! If fashion is not your passion, you can also go for an evening walk around Rue des Grands Degrés and feel the romantic Paris!
Must-visit: Fontaine des Fleuves at Place de la Concorde, Musée Galliera, Rue des Grands Degrés
8. THE TOURIST
Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp starred in the film where horrific suspense and love elements are excitingly blended. This film has become popular also thanks to the shooting of the handsome and the beauty in Paris and Venice! The place where Jolie received the letter was at the Le Nemours Café near the Palais Royal around the Louvre. It is a very convenient location, you can take the opportunity to visit the Louvre for Da Vinci Code as well! We suggest you go to the cafeteria’s open-air terrace, where you can enjoy the beauty of Paris, and to try French coffee and croissant nobly like Jolie did.
Must-go: Cafe le Nemours
9. PARIS, JE T’AIME – MOVIES THAT TAKE PLACE IN PARIS
If you love Paris passionately, this movie is made for you: it is a collection of 18 short video montage filmed around 18 different areas in Paris! The plots and styles are very diverse, so you can be free to shuffle around the City of Love in just two hours! Many prestigious actors such as Natalie Portman, Julie Binoche and Gaspard Ulliel have also starred in the film! Let’s explore the Strasbourg-Saint Denis neighbourhood for its food and wine, and marvel at the magnificent landmark, the Saint Denis Arch! Alternatively, you can visit Cimetière du Père Lachaise to pay hommage to prominent stars in arts and literatures, such as Edith Piaf and Oscar Wilde!
Must-go: Strasbourg-Saint Denis, Cimetière du Père Lachaise
Bonus : A BOUT DE SOUFFLE
Directed by the French Nouvelle Vague film director Jean-Luc Godard, this black-and-white film is considered to be one of the most important films in history. It unveils the styles of Paris in the 60s, from Champs-Elysées, Saint Germain, to Montparnasse! The scene where the main actor walked side by side with his lover along the Champs Elysées must be etched in the minds of many Nouvelle Vague fans; although it has now become a giant shopping street, the Champs Elysées is still Paris’s iconic site!
Must-go: Avenue de Champs-Elysées, La Rotonde at Boulevard Montparnasse