10 filming locations to be seen less than 100 kilometres from Bordeaux

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At less than 100 km from Bordeaux, a wide variety of filming locations

The capital of the New Aquitaine region is home to an immense heritage of great historical, cultural, heritage and geographical wealth. So it seemed logical that many directors would be attracted to these assets and particularities.

Queen Margot (Patrice Chéreau – 1994)

The queen is looking for the body of La Môle…

Rue Saint-Eloi, 33000 Bordeaux

After the Saint-Barthélémy massacres, Queen Margot (Isabelle Adjani) searches for the body of her lover La Môle (Vincent Perez) among the corpses lying in this street. Adapted from the eponymous novel by Alexandre Dumas published in 1845, the feature film tells the life of Marguerite de Valois, known as Margot. Between his marriage to Henri of Navarre (Daniel Auteuil), the future Henri IV, the court plots and intrigues fomented by his mother, Catherine de Medici (Virna Lisi) and the wars of religion, his eventful life was romantic.

With a gigantic budget for the time (140 million francs, or more than 21 million euros), a four-star cast and a prestigious director, the film drew an audience of two million. It was filmed in France (notably at the Basilica of Saint-Quentin, the Château de Maulnes, Rambouillet, Reims and Nanterre) but also in Portugal (Manfra National Palace). Bordeaux is also used as a set for several scenes. In addition to the rue Saint-Eloi, it is in the rue de la Tour du Pin that Margot and La Môle meet and in the lycée du Matin that the scenes of the Saint-Barthélémy massacre were filmed.

Mamma Mia! Here we go again (Ol Parker – 2018)

Donna’s arrival in Bordeaux

Place de la Bourse 33000 Bordeaux

Donna Sheridan-Carmichael (Meryl Streep) recalls her visit to Bordeaux. After graduating from Oxford in 1979, Donna (Lily James) decided to travel the world. She stopped off in the regional capital of Aquitaine.

This rectangular square of 5,000 m2 was built between 1730 and 1755. It was the first open place in Europe. It is bordered by two symmetrical pavilions, the Palais de la Bourse and the Customs House. In its center, thrones the Fountain of the Three Graces. Opposite, along the quays of the Garonne River is the Miroir d’eau, the largest in the world with a surface area of 3,450 m2.

At the graduation ceremony, spectators can see Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, the two founding members of the ABBA group.

Le corniaud (Gérard Oury – 1965)

The Cadillac’s Stealthy Passage

Place de la Comédie, 33000 Bordeaux

Under good escort, Antoine Maréchal (Bourvil) brings the car that contained all kinds of stolen goods (precious stones, drugs, gold…) back to Bordeaux. Without knowing it, the man is carrying tens of millions of francs. It was following his accident with Léopold Saroyan (Louis de Funès), in rue Sainte-Geneviève in Paris, that the latter entrusted him with this mission, as he seemed naive and honest. In Bordeaux, Antoine passes in front of the Grand Théâtre, Place de la Comédie.

This 1,100-seat opera house was inaugurated in 1780 with the performance of Jean Racine’s Athalie. Its façade is recognizable by its 12 Corinthian columns. It is after the construction of this one that the Place de la Comédie was fitted out.

With its 11,739,783 admissions in France and 30,900,000 in the USSR, Le corniaud was undoubtedly one of the film successes of 1965.

Blue Helmet (Gérard Jugnot – 1994)

Patrick and Alicia’s home

Labatut, 33790 Massugas

Patrick (Gérard Jugnot) and Alicia (Victoria Abril) own a large wine estate in the Bordeaux region. The wife has been furious since she learned that her husband had laid eyes on another woman. To calm his jealousy, he decides to take her on holiday to a Balkan island in the Mediterranean. As soon as they arrive, the couple is caught up in the whirlwind of civil war.

The technical teams set up their cameras at the Labatut estate. This castle is the setting for Alicia and Patrick’s home. Covering an area of more than 40 hectares, the vineyard produces top-of-the-range Bordeaux and Bordeaux Supérieur wines of great character.

Small handkerchiefs (Guillaume Canet – 2010)

The oyster shack

5 impasse de la Conche, Les Jacquets, 33950 Lège-Cap-Ferret

Friends often gather at Jean-Louis’ house to eat. This oyster farmer is always cooking good food for them. This allows them to talk about Ludo (Jean Dujardin), their friend who was the victim of a road accident.

In real life Jean-Louis, alias Joël Dupuch, is a restorer and oyster farmer. He is the only non-professional actor in the cast of Les Petits mouchoirs. Before this feature film, he had already participated in the shooting of Ne le dis à personne by the same Guillaume Canet. Later on, he appears in the credits of Jappeloup and Nous finirirons ensemble – the sequel to Les Petits mouchoirs but also in Un sac de billes by Christian Duguay. It was in his hut at Les Jacquets, on the basin of Arcachon, that the scenes of meals in the restaurant were filmed.

Campsite 1 (Fabien Otoniente – 2006)

Camping des flots bleus

Camping de la dune, Avenue de Biscarrosse, 33115 Le Pyla sur Mer

Every year, on August 1st, several families meet at the Blue Water Campsite. There are of course Patrick Chirac (Franck Dubosc), Laurette (Mylène Demongeot) and Jacky Pic (Claude Brasseur), Paulo Gatineau (Antoine Duléry) and his wife Sophie (Mathilde Seigner). They all know and appreciate each other. In the first opus of the saga, they see Michel Saint-Josse (Gérard Lanvin) and his daughter Vanessa (Armonie Sanders) arrive after their car breaks down.

Fabien Otoniente chose the Dune campsite for the sets of the Flots bleus campsite featured in the three feature films. Not far from the Dune du Pyla, visitors will immediately recognize the place because the owners surf on the popularity of the film to attract tourists. Thus, at the entrance, the concrete boat and the reception hut are enthroned. In Biscarrosse, the teams set up their cameras at the discotheque Le sun and the campsite Le vivier, but also at La Teste de Buch for the stage on the banc d’Arguin.

Fantomas vs Scotland Yard (André Hunebelle – 1967)

Lord Mac Rashley’s Castle

Roquetaillade, 33210 Mazères

The third and final instalment of the Fantomas saga, Fantomas vs Scotland Yard takes us to the depths of Scotland to pursue the famous criminal who attacks the wealthiest people on the planet with his “tax on the right to live”. In particular, he went to the home of Lord Mac Rashley (Jean-Roger Caussimon), who called on the French police force and Scotland Yard to protect him. If the second feature film of the Fantomas goes wild saga was shot in Rome, nobody was in Scotland for the shooting of this third opus. Some plans of the country have been used for the credits and wide views, but the castle you can see is located further south, in the Gironde.

In the same family for 700 years, this building has been open to the public since 1956. Several sources, without evidence, claim that the first building was constructed around the 8th century, but it is estimated that the first fortified castle on the site was built in the 11th century. Fantômas vs Scotland Yard was not to be the last opus since it should have been followed by Fantômas in Moscow, in which we learned that Fandor (Jean Marais) was Fantômas’ son! However, Jean Marais and Louis de Funès, whose agreement was far from cordial, refused to work together again.

The head in wasteland (Jean Becker – 2010)

Germain meets Margueritte

Place de la République, 17800 Pons

Germain (Gérard Depardieu) seems intrigued by the presence of Margueritte (Gisèle Casadesus), sitting on a bench in this public garden. He approaches and comes to settle down beside her. Then begins a superb friendship between this elderly lady and this almost illiterate 50-year-old. She will read books aloud to him and it will be a real eye-opener for the city employee. He’s going to discover the magic of reading. Frequently, they will meet to discuss in these places which offer a magnificent panorama of the Seugne valley.

Close to the dungeon built in the 12th century, the public gardens were laid out in two stages, in 1665 (French gardens, inspired by Le Nôtre) then 1885 with the addition of a pond. In the same space, the 17th century Château des Sires houses the Town Hall.

Jean Becker used many places in Pons for the needs of his film. He filmed the café at Francine’s house, the library but also the school of Bron or the Fishermen’s House located at the foot of the ramparts. Many Pontois were chosen to be extras.

Benjamin ou les mémoires d’un puceau (Michel Deville – 1968)

The castle of the Countess of Valandry

Castle of Saint-Brice, 16100 Saint-Brice

At the age of 17, Benjamin (Pierre Clémenti) goes to live with his aunt, the Countess of Valandry (Michèle Morgan). Accompanied by Camille, his tutor (Jacques Dufilho), he discovers a castle of all possibilities. Very handsome, he is assailed by requests from women to initiate him to the pleasures of love. He then learns the codes of libertinism.

Awarded the Louis Delluc Prize in 1967, the film was almost entirely shot in this castle built in the 14th century. Classified as a historic monument since 1971, this private residence is not open to the public, except during European Heritage Days. Situated on the right bank of the Charente four kilometres upstream from Cognac, it also has a large park classified as a historic garden.

Ava (Lea Mysius – 2017)

Arrest of Juan

Boulevard du Front de Mer, 33930 Vendays-Montalivet

Ava (Noée Abita) and her mother Maud (Laure Calamy) are on holiday on the coast. At age 13, the teenager’s field of vision is narrowing due to an illness. Soon she won’t be able to see in low light.

One day, Ava witnesses a violent argument between two men on the waterfront boulevard. Jessica (Tamara Cano) then tries to separate them. One of them, Juan (Juan Cano), is arrested by the police because he does not have his papers. He is then taken to the station.

The director didn’t choose Vendays-Montalivet by chance. It is indeed originating from this commune of the Gironde. Previously, she had already shot two short films there, Les Alouettes and Cadavres exquis. A small seaside town in the Médoc, on the Côte d’Argent, it has 12 km of blue flag beaches, 6,000 hectares of forest, 40 km of footpaths and 30 km of cycle paths. In winter, it has only 2,500 inhabitants but more than 30,000 in summer. Opened in 1949, its helio-marine centre is the largest in Europe and welcomes more than 14,000 patients every year.

Although Léa Mysius’ film did not meet with public success (only 80,000 admissions), critics praised this first feature film. He has won several awards, including the Louve d’or at the Montreal New Film Festival and the SACD award at the Critics’ Week at the Cannes Film Festival.

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By Anthony Thibault

Monday, June 8, 2020

From the "Casimir generation", Anthony has kept (in addition to a passion for Goldorak) a taste for inventive images, experimentation and curiosity. Passionate about travel and pop culture, he co-founded Fantrippers with Nicolas Albert to share his passion with as many people as possible.

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