Sunday, October 28, 2012

Paris Viewed by Hollywood

A few weeks ago, while in Paris I visited the exhibit Paris Vu par Hollywood (Paris Viewed by  Hollywood ). It is held at the Paris City Hall from September 18-December 15.  More than 800 Hollywood movies have represented Paris real or imagined.  Iconic Parisian spots frequently featured include: Eiffel Tower, Place de la Concorde, Notre Dame, the Ritz Hotel, Place Vendome, the banks of the river Seine and Montmartre.  In the Hollywood movies Paris has a certain allure representing sophistication, sex appeal and a certain "je ne sais quoi." Cliches abound about Paris in the early Hollywood movies.  Often you see people drinking Champagne, attending fashion shows and partying the night away in Parisian cabarets. Starting with silent movies, Paris was the setting for major historical epics such at the French Revolution and Notre Dame de Paris.  Then in the thirties, Paris was depicted as the high society's pleasure ground, refined and sophisticated; after  WWII,  Hollywood movies featured the Paris of the artists, bohemian life and French Cancan. In almost  every movie  romance is associated with Paris. Many of the early movies were actually shot in the Hollywood studios and only in the 50's did American productions companies come to film on location in Paris.  The Paris Vu Par Hollywood exhibit features film clips, photographs, costumes, scripts, small model of decors and  posters. Directors who used Paris as backdrop include Ernst Lubitsch who featured Paris in ten different movies; Minnelli, Blake Edwards, Hitchock, Donen, Huston, Woody Allen, and Sophia Coppola to name a few.

Here are  10 iconic Hollywood movies set in  Paris :

  • An American in Paris (1951)
  • April in Paris (1952)
  • Gigi (1958)
  • Charade (1963)
  • The Pink Panther (1963)
  • Irma la Douce  (1963)
  • Da Vinci Code (2003)
  • Devil Wears Prada (2006)
  • Marie Antoinette by Sophia Coppola (2006)
  • Midnight in Paris (2011)
Midnight in Paris

Paris Vu par Hollywood -Paris City Hall- 5 rue Lobeau.

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