Paris: 10 Great Films set in the City

To follow from my Rome-location film list which I made last April, here is the list of 10 films that showcase the delightful City of Light – Paris, a permanent place for romance, charm, elegance and sophistication. As usual, this is a subjective, in no particular order, slightly “off the beaten path” films list.   

Amelie Poster

I. Amelie (2001)  

This romantic comedy, directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet (“Delicatessen” (1991)) and starring Audrey Tautou and Mathieu Kassovitz, could be described as the very definition of whimsical Paris. The film is set around Montmartre, a place that once nurtured great writers and painters, and is about a shy waitress, Amélie Poulain, who is seemingly on the mission to better the lives of those around her. Set in Montmartre, naturally, the film features the Basilica du Sacre-Coeur, and Café des Deux Moulins (15 rue Lepic) where Amélie works. However, the film also displays such sights as the distinctive staircase leading to the Métro Lamarck-Caulaincourt as well as the Pont des Arts.

Breathless Poster

II. Breathless (1961)

A “New Wave” film-critic-turned-director Jean-Luc Godard produced in 1960 his directional debut “À Bout de Souffle” or “Breathless“, starring Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg as Michel Poiccard and Patricia Franchini respectively, and what a debut it turned out to be! Breaking from previous confined film traditions, “Breathless” is a thriller and a love story in one package, showcasing such famous landmarks of Paris as Avenue des Champs-Élysées, l’Arc de Triomphe,  and the Notre-Dame de Paris, while action also takes place around Avenues Mac-Mahon and George V (George V Métro station) and the Boulevard Saint-Germain. The final tense scenes take place not far from the Boulevard du Montparnasse – Rue Campagne Première. 

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“Inception” Score is Edith Piaf Song in Slow Motion

This is a dated article now written by  [13/09/2014 accessed], but for the fans of Nolan’s “Inception” (2010) who haven’t seen this yet, it will be a very interesting read. “The Edith Piaf song, “Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien” is used by characters in “Inception” as an alarm to wake from dreaming. It’s a lovely touch, but one exploited by composer Hans Zimmer in assembling the film’s entire score.” Here is an audio comparison:

“Technically, Zimmer didn’t just slow the Piaf song down and call it a day, but extracted bits and then used his electroturdmatics to reconstruct a theme in varying “subdivisions and multiplications of the tempo of the Édith Piaf track,” he told [to the magazine]. Normally I’d be restraining myself from using foul language to discuss Zimmer’s approach to creating film scores, but credit where it’s due. I love the idea and the use of Piaf to achieve the encompassing theme. Zimmer is clearly still giddy over the whole thing. “So I could slip into half-time; I could slip into a third of a time,” he said, tripping his balls off over the tempo manipulations he employed to great effect. “Anything could go anywhere. At any moment I could drop into a different level of time.”

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20 Highly Intelligent, Complex & Thought-Provoking Films You Must See

In no particular order:

1)   Fight Club (1999)

2)   The Machinist (2004)

3)   Inception (2010)

4)   Exam (2009)

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