My Five Favourite Movies Set in Paris
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My Five Favourite Movies Set in Paris

I'm going to Paris in a week's time so I thought it would be fun to write a post about my favourite movies that are set in Paris. 

Midnight in Paris (dir. Woody Allen)

Midnight in Paris is like a love letter to the city. It has some of the most beautiful shots of Paris and it takes you right across the city and the surrounding area stopping off at Monet's Garden in Giverny, the Palace of Versailles, the Seine and the Latin Quarter. Written and directed by Woody Allen, it tells the story of a Hollywood screenwriter and aspiring novelist, Gill Pender (Owen Willson) who takes a trip to Paris with his fiancee (Rachel McAdams). Gill has a romantic fascination with Paris in the 1920s and on one late night excursion he seemingly travels back in time to his beloved era. Midnight in Paris is one of the best romantic comedies I've seen and it has a great cast with the likes of Marion Cotillard, Lea Seydoux, Kathy Bates, Adrian Brody and Tom Hiddelston.

Breathless (dir. Godard)

Anyone who knows me knows that I love Godard movies, especially those that are set in Paris - Breathless, Band of Outsiders and Vivre Sa Vie. Breathless is about a small time thief on the run who reunites with an American student in order to persuade her to run away with him. I love Breathless because it gives a much more romanticized look at 1960's Paris. The famous scene in which Jean Seaberg sells newspapers along the Champs-Elysses always come to my mind when I think of Paris. Shot along Paris's left bank, the film travels from the chic bars of St.Germain to the streets surrounding the Notre Dame. Band of Outsider's famous Lourve scene in which the three characters set out to beat the record of running through the Lourve in 9 minutes and 45 seconds is a staple of new wave Paris for me. Vivre Sa Vie is another film you should watch to get a feel of new wave Paris. Vivre Sa Vie documents the life of a prostitute called Nana who is played by the wonderful Anna Karina. Although it gives a lot more realistic look at Paris, it still has the mischievous charm of Godard movies and its fair share of chic cafe scenes.

The Dreamers (dir. Bernardo Bertolucci)

Although a large proportion of The Dreamers takes place in a Parisian flat, the film takes you on an extensive tour through French and Parisian culture. Set to the backdrop of the 1968 student riots, it tells the story of an American student (Michael Pitt) who forms a friendship with a brother (Louis Garrell) and sister (Eva Green). The trio are obsessed with film and often meet to discuss French new wave movies and Hollywood classics. I love The Dreamers because it cleverly intertwines film clips and cultural references with a romantic drama. Based on the French classic Les Enfants Terrible, the Bernardo Bertulocci film is a master class in French culture.

Last Tango in Paris (dir. Bernardo Bertolucci)

Another Bernardo Bertolucci film, Last Tango in Paris, tests the boundaries of the relationship between a widowed French hotelier played by Marlon Brando and a young French woman played by Maria Schneider. Like the Dreamers, the content of the film may put off some viewers (a certain infamous scene was a tough watch) but I think Last Tango is a real masterpiece. Last time I was in Paris, I stumbled across the building by the Bir Hakeim bridge which features a lot in the movie. Its actually a beautiful place to visit because you can view the Eiffel Tower from a relatively quiet spot without the usual tourist buzz.

Cleo from 5 to 7 (dir. Agnes Varda)

Cleo from 5 to 7 is another French New Wave film shot on location on the streets of Paris. It is about a narcissistic young French pop singer called Cleo who has been brought down to earth by a cancer scare. As she waits for the results of her biopsy, she wanders around Paris visiting many of the left bank shopping streets, river fronts and gardens. The film mixes the elements of a musical with a realist drama in a really charming way. I love the day in the life style of this film and I think it gives a really interesting insight into Paris in the sixties.

I hope these movies make you fall in love with Paris too. Let me know in the comments if there are any movies set in Paris that I need to see! :)

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