Movies and Paris, Paris
On the corner of rue des Trois Freres and rue Androuet is the well known ( in Montmartre) grocers, familiarly called "La Maison Collignon", now the "Marché de la Butte". This is the site of the grocers where "Amelie Poulain" did her shopping. Inside the shop is an incredible bric-a-brac where souvenirs of the film abound midst the usual fare of a local shop.
Abbesses is the closest metro.
Bordering the square, Place du Marche Ste-Catherine, is the rue d'Ormesson. Both the square and this street served as locations for the the film The Bourne Identity.
The first scene for this area is a brief flash across the screen indicating this is the safehouse for Treadstone, located above one of the restaurants (Au Bistrot de la Place, I think) on the east side of the square.
The scene for this street is where Conklin bit the dust.
Off of rue Saint-Antoine through rue Caron, take a left onto rue d'Ormesson. 5 minutes from the Place des Vosges and around the corner from my favorite little hotel in the Marais, Hotel Jeanne d'Arc.
Photo: Feb 2006
In Eric Rohmer's wonderful Rendezvous in Paris we meet his charming lovers, The Professor & his Girl, on the Place Emile Goudeau. They pause at the Bateau Lavoir arguing whether or not this building housed Surrealists or Cubists.
Well they’re both correct as this historic building was where Cubists Picasso & Braque, along with Surrealists Matisse & Modigliani kept their studios during the early 1900s. In 1907 (he worked here from 1904-1909 although he officially retained the studio until 1912) Picasso painted his ulra-famous Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (which he referred to as "my first exorcism painting") considered the cornerstone of Modernist Art due to his attempt to paint an object's 4th dimension. In it you see the beginnings of Cubism later lauded by French writer/poet André Breton. Picasso also did his last Blue Period & all of his Rose Period paintings here. It burned down in 1970 & has since been rebuilt; on its backside you can see remains of the original on the corner.
Max Jacob dubbed it the Bateau Lavoir due to its boathouse shape & because it was so paint splattered he thought it could use a good washing.
Modigliani kept a studio here before the rent became too expensive, then he moved to Montparnasse with other artists and philosophers. Also, in 1908 a famous banquet was held for the artist Henri Rousseau & the guest list included Gertrude Stein, Picasso, Apollinaire and Braque. Max Jacob did not attend, though, because he'd had a falling out with Picasso. A falling out with Picasso? How strange!
Also located on Place Emile Goudeau (11, rue Ravignan) is Timhotel Montmartre, the hotel where the professor’s girl wishes to rendez-vous with him. Eventually they do sneak off here pretending to be tourists only to be confronted with her fiancé and his mistress.
To see the prettiest rendition of Place Emile Goudeau (one of my favorite squares in Paris) go to fellow VTer davequ's Paris page:
Photos: November 2007 & September 2005
Jeanne Hébuterne's familial home
8-bis r. Amyot
This was the familial residence of Jeanne Hébuterne, Modigliani's 9-month's along pregnant lover & elongated-necked oval-faced model, who killed herself by jumping from the top floor of the building shortly after his death.
She had gone to the morgue to identify him. Unfortunately, artist Moïse Kisling's attempt to create a death mask had gone awry and bits of skin were pulled from Amedéo's face along with the removal of the mask. Knowing she was desolate & desperate, her father had placed a suicide watch over her placed in the charge of her brothers. One brother fell asleep during his sentry and she took this opportunity to kill herself. It was said that she fell backward in order not to see the ground as she fell but I believe she did it in an effort not to fall on the baby.
This morbid chick actually looked at the sidewalk to see if a crack from mademoiselle Hebuterne's fall could be ascertained. Alas, no, not at this late date.
They are together at last in Père Lachaise.
Read about Modigliani's studio in Montmartre.
A biopic of Modigliani has just been made starring Andy Garcia (who says it's his favorite character thus far). It was due to be released in the U.S. December 15th, 2004 but as of this date it has not. The DVD is due to be released September 27th, 2005.
Photo: September 2005
Place du Marche St-Catherine is a beautiful little square in the Marais with restaurants lining it and tons of people hanging out - prime location for local people watching. It's very much off-the-beaten-path so not overrun by tourists.
This charming square takes its name from the convent of Sainte-Catherine-du-Val-des-Ecoliers that once inhabited this spot.
This square was one of the locations used for the film The Bourne Identity. It flashes very briefly on the screen but I recognized it. The safehouse for Treadstone is above one of the restaurants (Au Bistrot de la Place, I think) on the east side of the square. Also, if you'll take a gander at rue d'Ormesson, you'll recognize it as the place where Conklin bit the dust in the same movie.
Restaurants on the Place:
Au Bistrot de La Place #2
Le Marche #2
Arirang (Korean) #6
La Belle Histoire #6
Pitchi Poi #9
Beautiful wedding dresses are sold at Suzanne Ermann at #7 on the square.
Off of rue Saint-Antoine through rue Caron. 5 minutes from the Place des Vosges and around the corner from my favorite little hotel in the Marais, Grand Hotel Jeanne d'Arc.
Photos: Feb 2006
17, rue Malebranche
Audrey Hepburn's & Maurice Chevalier's apartment in the movie Love in the Afternoon.
Look closely. In one scene of the movie you see Maurice Chevalier pull out a card that lists 17, rue Mallebranche as his address. I checked it out on PagesJaunes and sure enough it was the same apartment; a slightly different spelling but the same apartment. I walked here my last trip and it was so cool to see the doorway just as it's seen in the movie! Here is where Gary Cooper reels down the street and parks, jumps out to talk to the detective, Maurice Chevalier, in order to find his lady love.
This is super close to the Panthéon. Go west on rue Soufflot from the Panthéon, right on rue Saint Jacques, left on rue Malebranche.
Or from RER Luxembourg, go east on rue Soufflot, right on rue Le Goff, left on rue Malebranche.
Photos: Nov 2007 & Feb 2006
In the 2nd courtyard you’ll find the filming location for Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec's apartment in the 1952 version of Moulin Rouge directed by the great John Huston and starring José Ferrer (who was married to Rosemary Clooney, and was uncle to George Clooney) who played artist Toulouse-Lautrec. Although in reality his apartment is supposed to be in Montmartre, this location was used for filming instead.
In this cour you'll also see a 3-story Renaissance building originally built for the mistress of Henri II (husband to Catherine de Medici), Diane de Poitiers, in the 16th century, which is also when a street was built through here.
In the 2nd photo, you can see a stone block that some sources state is a pas de mule, a point from which people could climb onto a mule or horse or into carriages. This is supposed to be the only pas de mule left from medieval times in all of Paris!
1 - Once you've passed into the 2nd courtyard turn around to view Gigi's home throught the archway into the 1st Cour. Do you see the blocks on either side of the archway that prevented carriages from banging into the walls?
2 - Supposedly a movie star lives here but I don't know who. Pas de mule is to the left beside the bush.
3 - Pretty vine-covered lamp with leaves in autumn colors.
4 - Diane de Poitiers Renaissance home.
5 - Details in the Cour de Rohan.
Photos: February 2006 & November 2007
Called the "Best Hidden Courtyard" by Frommer's Irreverent Guide to Paris is a cluster of 3 cloistered, cobblestoned, medieval courtyards collectively known as the Cour du Rohan found in the St-Germain-des-Prés district of the 6th arrondissement. Accessed via rue du Jardinet (street of the small garden) or Cour du Commerce St-André (both accessed from rue du St-André-des-Arts or Bd St-Germain), the courtyards sat just inside the Phillippe-Auguste wall. You may still see a tower inside 4, Cour du Commerce St-André. Rohan is a bastardization of the name Rouen, as this was once the hôtel of the bishops of Rouen, built during the 15th century.
Because this is a private courtyard, the gate is marked Privé and is sometimes locked and only accessible via a digicode. Gates are definitely locked on Sundays. However, I've you have a better chance entering in the morning as this is when deliveries occur and also when the gates are open to parents dropping off their children to a nursery/daycare/school inside. Thirza Vallois, who wrote Around & About Paris and also Romantic Paris says the best time is to "come back after dark (hopefully the gates won’t be locked). I shall refrain from saying more and let you unwrap the surprise on your own."
In the first courtyard at 9, Cour de Rohan you’ll find Madame Alvarez's (Hermione Gingold) apartment (10), where Gigi (Leslie Caron) lived with her Grandmamma in the Lerner/Lowe film classic, Gigi.
1) Cour de Rohan from Cour du Commerce St André - a glimpse of Madame Alvarez' home.
2 - Madame Alvarez's Home in Gigi. You'll remember the scene when Leslie Caron runs up these steps to return home.
3 - Blue Skies over Cour de Rohan. Just on the other side of this wall is the Cour du Commerce-St-André which will lead you to the back entrance of Le Procope, the oldest café in Paris.
4 - Roses in a window box.
5 - Elephant set inside a niche in the wall. Walk around to discover more unusual details!
Photos: February 2006 & November 2007
Place de Montebello in the Latin Quarter is another one of my favorite squares in Paris. Film makers must agree because it's also shown in at least 2 movies:
An American in Paris - A classic Paris film starring Gene Kelly & a young Leslie Caron in her first movie. The scene is at Café Bel Ami, the cafe where Lise & Jerry regularly met (by the Pont de l'Archevêche) (MGM Studio rendering)
The Fatal Image - starring Justine Bateman & Michelle Lee, they're shown at Le Montebello, the cafe they sit at in the beginning of the movie.
You'll find this charming square located right at the Pont de l'Archeveche.
Photos: March 2001, Feb 2006 & Nov 2007
7, place Jean-Baptiste-Clément
Amedeo Modigliani was an Italian artist noted for the oval faces & elongated necks of his models done in the Expressionist style, influenced by Toulouse-Lautrec.
He lived at this address in 1907 after his temporary tenure at Le Bateau-Lavoir. It is here that he met fellow Montmartois artist, Maurice Utrillo along with his soon-to-be patron, Dr. Paul Alexandre. It is while he is living here that he discovered Cézanne at the Salon d'Automne. Between these two artists there developed mutual respect & admiration.
Upon leaving the site of Modigliani's Montmartre studio I met a nice German couple & showed them where Modigliani had painted – funny how people from different countries pronounce his name (Mo-dill-iyani, Mo-dig-liani, MO-dil-yani).
A biopic of Modigliani has just been made starring Andy Garcia (who says it's his favorite character thus far). It was due to be released in the U.S. December 15th, 2004 but has not yet. DVD release date is September 27th, 2004
Photos: Sept 2005 & November 2007
Rue Paul Albert & rue Feutrier
Because I’d done some movie sites research of French Kiss I was eager to see the corner of rue Paul Albert & rue Feutrier where Meg Ryan and Kevin Kline had their argument over her money. I knew it would be a switchback street but it took me forever to find the location. But this is it!
This is the famous scene in the film French Kiss where Meg Ryan & Kevin Kline argue over her stolen goods and the fact that she has "no suitcase, no ticket, no passport".
In the first photo they walk down rue Paul Albert arguing all the while to this corner.
In the 2nd & 3rd photos Meg Ryan & Kevin Kline argue over her having "no suitcase, no ticket, no passport". Kline's character, Luc, then hands her some money saying this is what was gotten for her stolen goods. On this corner is where Kate throws the money at Luc ("I don't want YOUR money!") then comes back to pick it up.
In the fourth photo, Kate walks down rue Feutrier to get lost in Paris on her way to the American Embassy (and thus not seeing the Eiffel Tower) via the Marais!
Photos: Feb 2006
Rue Maurice Utrillo in Montmartre is featured in one of Bill Murray's great highly underrated films, The Razor's Edge, based on the novel of the same name by W. Somerset Maugham. After Izzy (Catherine Hicks) and Gray (James Keach) drop off Larry and Sophie from their taxi, Larry (Bill Murray) drags Sophie (Theresa Russell) up Rue Utrillo while she emits q hacking cough the whole way up; she asks him how much further and with his inimitable wry long-suffering patience he replies, "just these steps and then another". And it’s plainly apparent it is a long set of steps!
At the bottom is one of my favorite inexpensive restaurants in Paris - L'Ete en Pente Douce, the name taken from a film of the same name, which means the summer on a gentle slope.
You may find rue Maurice Utrillo running from the left side of Sacré-Coeur. In the 1st photo, it's the stairs to the left running east of rue du Cardinal Dubois.
Photos: Feb 2006 & Nov 2007
In Montmartre on the east side of Sacré-Coeur at the bottom of the steps of rue Maurice Utrillo sits the café Au Soleil de la Butte. You'll find the spot where it meets rue Paul Albert, rue Muller, and rue Charles Nodier. This café is shown in the 1995 film version of Sabrina. This is where Sabrina (Julia Ormond) quotes Gertrude Stein in a letter to her father shortly before she triumphantly returns home. The camera shows her sitting serenely on the terrace, then pans back to show it beautifully from the vantage point of rue Maurice Utrillo (the steps).
We also see it in L’Auberge Espagnole (The Spanish Apartment) when Xavier (Romain Duris) returns to Paris from his year of studies in Barcelona and happens upon his ex-girlfriend Martine played by Audrey Tatou.
It’s also glimpsed briefly in a background shot in The Razor's Edge when Isabel (played to evil perfection by the normally pristine Catherine Hicks) and Gray (James Keach) drop off Larry (Bill Murray) and Sophie (Theresa Russell) from their taxi.
Just to the left is the spot where Meg Ryan & Kevin Kline argue over money in French Kiss.
Photos: February 2006 & November 2007
Throughout the film Amélie, we see our heroine quoting the failed writer Hippolyte with this quote:
Sans toi, les émotions d'aujourd hui ne seraient que la peau morte des émotions.
Which translates to:
Without you, today's emotions would be the scurf of yesterday's.
She reads it to herself, memorizes it, quotes it to the train conductor who in return looks at her like she's nuts!
Towards the end of the film, Hippolyte descends Passage Cottin to find his quote graffitied on the wall and he walks away with renewed purpose!
To access this petit picturesque passage, walk northeast from Sacré Coeur down the flight of steps known as rue du Chevalier de la Barre. When you hit rue Paul Albert, you'll see an opening between 2 buildings; walk down those steps. At the bottom you'll find the scene of Hippolyte's reawakening.
Photos: November 2007
Le Consulat, located at 18 rue Norvins & rue des Saules, is a restaurant where the Impressionists used to meet. In doing research for a book I'm writing, I also discovered Le Consulat is featured in Woody Allen's great Paris flick Everyone Says I Love You, starring (of course) Woody Allen, Julia Roberts, Goldie Hawn, Alan Alda, Drew Barrymore, Natalie Portman, Edward Norton, famed voilinist Itzhak Perlman, and Tim Roth. The genius of this film was the number of actors singing, most of whom don't normally sing!
A sign on the side of the building says:
One of the oldest houses of the butte, located at the angle of rue Saint-Rustique, 9 centuries old, with its paving stones and its central pathway.
Les Consulat was the rendezvous of the great painters Picasso, Sisley, Diaz, Van Gogh, Toulouse Lautrec and Monet.
In the Georges Pompidou museum, one can admire Utrillo's painting Le Consulat.
Today, this restaurant, an historical place, accomodates the travellers of the whole world, without forgetting the films of Claude Brasseur, Annie Girardeau, Julia Roberts, Drew Barrymore, Woody Allen one of whose latest films was Everyone Says I Love You.
It's also featured in a beautiful Paris screensaver I have from art by Liudmila Kondakova. One of my favorite memories is walking to the confluence of rue Norvins & rue des Saules to find the site of one of the scenes on my beautiful Paris screensaver! I felt like I was coming home.
Another film featuring this building was Forget Paris starring Billy Crystal & Debra Winger (as Ellen). In the film, we see Ellen sitting at a table of this restaurant, then she gets up to walk home via the picturesque rue St-Rustique with Sacré-Coeur beaming in the background. See photos for perspectives of the restaurant and the street!
Photos: November 2007