Christopher Nolan, Leonardo di Caprio and Ellen Page filmed part of the blockbuster – currently n°1 more or less everywhere – on the Left Bank last August. Now that the film’s out, you can visit the places in Paris that you’ve seen in the film… (no spoilers in this article)Filming never stops in Paris, but in August – when part of the population moves out for summer – even more film directors move in. Last year it was Christopher Nolan and Inception, this year it’s Woody Allen and “Midnight à Paris” with (once again) Marion Cotillard, Owen Wilson and our second lady Carla Bruni in a small role. Martin Scorsese will be arriving shortly for his new film “The Invention of Hugo Cabret” and Madonna will be spending a few days, working on her new effort, “We”. And don’t even get me started about Gossip Girl…
The Paris city council has a special division that helps filmmakers to make films about the city. For example, negotiations were allegedly held with Woody Allen so that he put the word “Paris” in the title of his film. In return, tax breaks are on offer. It’s a working arrangement which helps promote the city. One of the advantages for us is that the official Paris site – paris.fr – lets us in on the locations used for shooting.
Let’s start by saying that Paris gets a little roughed up in Inception. Folded, exploded, manipulated… It’s quite amusing to see places onscreen that you know, but transformed as if in a dream. For the café scene, shooting was don on the corner of rue César Franck and rue Bouchut. The Café Debussy we see in the film is actually… an Italian deli – Da Stuzzi – completely transformed for the scene. It’s just 10 minutes away on foot from our new hotel, La Belle Juliette.The monument that we see on a crossroads is a fountain dating from 1904, on place Georges-Mulot, juste next to Da Stuzzi.The bridge that we see in another scene is Bir-Hakeim, close to métro Passy. Some fans of the film have a huge gallery that you can check out, showing all the scenes being filmed in these spots: http://goo.gl/LvRQ
And our fashion museum, the Musée Galliera (currently closed for renovation until late 2011) served as the backdrop for the scene when Michael Caine presents Ellen Paige to Leonardo di Caprio. Now you can go and visit all the areas mentioned and imagine that the actors were standing there just a year ago!
And if you’re looking for Woody Allen, I’m told that his shoot is at the Place de la République until the end of August 2010!