The world observed a dreadful terrorist invasion in Paris on Friday night that killed hundreds of people. Shootings, bomb blasts, and a hostage siege have left at least 129 people dead and hundreds wounded, with nearly 100 in a critical condition. But amidst this bloodshed, violence and atrocities, Paris stands dynamic with her own vigor. When the entire world is spreading sensible words and showing apathy to the unfortunate terrorist slaughter happened in France, we feel buoyant and looking into bringing peace instead of focusing on all the annihilation.
France is a country that cherishes culture, art and dignity in all possible ways. Especially if we talk about movies, then certainly it’s a nation that holds a huge passion for cinema, helping the rest of the world realize it as a true art form. Precisely, the subtle taste of its people and definitely the scenic splendor of the country have driven the filmmakers of all time to set France, rather Paris as the milieu of their dream venture. So here we present a list of 12 films, based on Paris, that won our hearts with their aesthetic beauty.
“An American In Paris” (1951)
Gene Kelly is an American World War II veteran trying to make it as a painter in Paris. The melody and the words may have been written in 1938, but they are forever associated with Kelly and Caron and have created an immortal intrigue of love.
“French Cancan” (1955)
A period fantasy in impressive colour, Jean Renoir’s musical comedy offers a continuous, bustling choreography. It presents the opening of the world-renowned Moulin Rouge and the story behind the success of the Cancan. Although, consciously a historical, distorting known facts about the founder of the Moulin Rouge, it is certainly a much more abstract and less politically anchored version of the films Renoir made during the 30s.
“The Red Balloon” (1956)
Albert Lamorisse’s 1956 film is a story of Pascal, a young Parisian boy who retrieves a balloon tied to a lamppost, only to discover that it seems to have a mind and personality of its own. It follows Pascal around the streets of Paris and the two forms an almost inseparable bond. Despite its seemingly effortless naturalism, the piece required a host of complex cinematic tricks during its filming. In a sense, “The Red Balloon” is one of the all-time greatest examples of pure cinema, winning the 1956 Academy Award for best original screenplay
“Funny Face” (1957)
At one point, Hollywood couldn’t get enough of French existentialism and as example, this film digs out Paris in truly a fashionable way. Iconic Parisian backdrops and Audrey Hepburn’s quintessential style quotient turned the film a treat for the eyes.
Charade is a stylish comedy-thriller, in which a trio of crooks relentlessly pursues a young American, played by Audrey Hepburn, through Paris in an attempt to recover the fortunes her dead husband stole from them. Very much with a Hitchcock feel, this film is often described as “the best Hitchcock movie Hitchcock never made”. Cary Grant and Hepburn have considerable charisma and chemistry. Hepburn epitomized “skinny European chic” in this film, just one of the Hollywood Paris-fests she starred in.
Roman Polanski’s mystery thriller stars Harrison Ford and Emmanuelle Seigner. While attending a medical conference in Paris, Dr. Richard Walker (Ford) is horrified when his wife, Sondra (Betty Buckley), is abducted from their hotel room while he is taking a shower. Using his limited knowledge of the French language and culture, Walker with the help of street waif Michelle (Seigner), infiltrate Paris’ criminal underworld in order to discover what really happened to his wife.
“Everyone Says I Love You” (1996)
Woody Allen is no Gene Kelly and Goldie Hawn, no Leslie Caron. However, Allen’s homage to the Hollywood golden age in “Everyone Says I Love You” proves as charming. The New-York film-maker chose quai de la Tournelle on the Left Bank, under the arches of Notre-Dame, to film Goldie Hawn dancing, literally, in the air.
“Before Sunset” (2004)
A sequel to “Before Sunrise” (1995), “Before Sunset” reunites a couple, an American (Jesse) and a Parisian (Celine), who have not seen or spoken to each other since their last encounter in “Before Sunrise”, some nine years prior. Filmed in real time, the couple spends a limited time together before Jesse’s flight home, slowly rekindling their relationship through a picturesque walk in Paris.
Remy, a provincial rat with a gift of cooking helps a clumsy garbage boy become the chef of a famous Parisian restaurant. This unusual alliance with a young kitchen worker at a famous restaurant in the backdrop of Paris turns the film an all time favorite.
“2 days in Paris” (2007)
Julie Delpy and Adam Goldberg play a couple who decides to stay for two days with Delpy’s parents in Paris. This European vacation was intended to repair the tattered relationship between American, Jack and French native, Marion but by the time they arrive in Paris to visit Marion’s family, it is clear the trip is not going well. A mother, language barrier, and a lot of ex- lovers… makes the film brilliant.
“Julie and Julia” (2009)
Paris, Food, and Meryl Streep… What’s more do you need to not love this film? The story of a woman, revolves how frustrated with a soul-killing job, New Yorker Julie Powell (Amy Adams) embarks on a daring project: she vows to prepare all 524 recipes in Julia Childs’ landmark cookbook, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.” Intertwined with Julie’s story is the true tale of how Julia Child (Meryl Streep) herself, who conquered French cuisine with passion, fearlessness, and plenty of butter.
Martin Scorsese’s first 3D flick follows a 12 year-old-boy who lives alone inside Paris’ Gare Montparnasse railway station where he fixes the clock in secret, befriends Chloe Grace Moretz and finds himself in the midst of a thrilling adventure.
Photo Source: Wikimedia/Ratatouille