A bike tour of a film location in Paris to be done by bike

Whether it's on World Bike Day or a simple Parisian stroll, take advantage of this tour of 10 places to visit by bike in the capital.

Paris by bike, quite a story

As Yves Montand has sung, on a bicycle you feel wings sprouting. And why not take advantage of this opportunity to go to filming locations in Paris by bike? Especially since, according to Joe Dassin, “In Paris by bike, you outrun the cars”. 1:25, 10 locations, here’s your challenge.

1. Bistrot La Renaissance – Inglorious Bastards

Bistrot La Renaissance Paris
Bistrot La Renaissance Paris. Photo credit: Fantrippers

Leave from the Bistrot La Renaissance located on rue Championnet in the eighteenth. This is where Shosanna (Mélanie Laurent) first meets a German war hero in this café in Inglorious Basterds. The man enables him to achieve his goal by meeting Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz), the Nazi colonel responsible for the death of his parents. It was only after seeing this bistro in Claude Chabrol’s film Le Sang des autres that Quentin Tarantino decided to shoot this scene there. Opened in 1904, the establishment has kept its retro decor. The Ripoux and Fanfan also took advantage of the place for some scenes.

Address: 112 rue Championnet, 75018 Paris

2. Le café des Deux Moulins – Amélie

Café des deux moulins
Photo credit: Fantrippers

Go along the rue Damrémont and put your bike down towards another café, the one of the two mills made world famous by Amélie. The heroine (Audrey Tautou) works as a waitress in this café, which has become an icon of international cinema since Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s film. And yet, the director had to insist to the former owner to be able to put his cameras there.

After discovering the place at a luncheon in October 1999, his first application was turned down. at the head of the establishment since 1986, Claude Labbé does not wish to impose any upheaval on other businesses. Jean-Pierre Jeunet is committed to doing everything possible to disturb as little as possible: no weekend shoots or delivery hours, no cables on the sidewalk or production trucks on the street…

After interviewing his loyal customers, almost all of them in favour, Claude Labbé agreed. He won’t regret it. “I had a wonderful and unique experience with this film. Today, we’ve come all the way from the United States to visit Les Deux Moulins. Jean-Pierre Jeunet knew how to perfectly transcribe the charm of the Parisian cafés and all the poetry of the neighbourhood,” he said when he retired in 2002. And this connection with the work is so strong that he decides to sell his establishment, not to the highest bidder, but to the one “most able to preserve Amelie’s cafe.”

It still lives on and is part of the attraction of the place. The map is entirely turned around the film, with crème brûlées among the best sellers, and tourists parade to photograph it. Years after filming, some even asked Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Jodie Foster to step aside so as not to be on their picture. They had not recognized either the director or the actress. Only the tobacco counter, run by Georgette (Isabelle Nanty), no longer exists today. During filming, smoking customers sometimes begged the actress to sell them cigarettes. More than just a coffee, a myth!

Address: 15 rue Lepic, 75018 Paris

3. The apartment of Saint-Laurent and Bergé – Yves Saint-Laurent

Fondation Pierre Bergé - Yves Saint Laurent, 5 avenue Marceau by Celette (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent, 5 avenue Marceau by Celette (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Then take your bike and head southwest towards the Arc de Triomphe, then follow Avenue Marceau to number 5. This is where the former apartment of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé is located. Director Jalil Lespert obtained permission from Pierre Bergé to shoot Yves Saint Laurent in the actual dwelling occupied by the couple from 1974.

And to ensure that the reconstruction is faithful, Pierre Niney has also put on the real glasses of the great couturier. Since the House of Yves Saint Laurent stopped haute couture on October 31, 2002, the building has been transformed to house, since 2004, a foundation dedicated to the master’s creations. The site has become a state museum since the death of Pierre Bergé on 8 September 2017.

Address : 5 Av. Marceau, 75116 Paris

4. Bir-Hakeim Bridge – The Night Caller

Follow the Seine in a westerly direction to get to the Bir-Hakeim bridge. In The Night Caller, the scene is one of the most legendary tours on this bridge. In pursuit of the mobster Marcucci (Giovanni Cianfriglia), Superintendent Jean Letellier (Jean-Paul Belmondo) jumps on the roof of a metro line 6. The sequence runs between the Charles-de-Gaulle – étoile and Dupleix stations and takes place on an MP73 train, which was put into service just a few weeks before shooting.

National Treasure: Book of Secrets, Inception or The Last Tango in Paris were also filmed on this magnificent bridge.

Address : Pont de Bir-Hakeim, 75015 Paris

5. Café Les Deux Magots – The Intouchables

The following route will take you to the Saint-Germain-des-Près district. After a panic attack from Philippe (François Cluzet), Driss (Omar Sy) takes him to the streets of Paris for a very early morning stroll in The Intouchables. They then settle down at the café Les Deux Magots and have a long discussion, especially about Philippe’s wife.

This emblematic café in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés district was a source of inspiration for another great name in cinema. According to Vanity Fair, this is where J.J. Abrams and his co-writer Lawrence Kasdan worked for eight hours on the seventh installment of Star Wars. The brewery also appears in The Mad Adventures of Rabbi Jacob.

Address : 6 Pl. Saint-Germain des Prés, 75006 Paris

6. House of Serge Gainsbourg – Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life

Serge Gainsbourg's house, Rue de Verneuil, 5bis, Paris France, image from 2010 by Britchi Mirela (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Serge Gainsbourg’s house, Rue de Verneuil, 5bis, Paris France, image from 2010 by Britchi Mirela (CC BY-SA 3.0)

A little further north, meet up in front of Serge Gainsbourg’s house. In the eponymous film, the singer (Éric Elmosnino) lives happily with Jane Birkin (Lucy Gordon) in their house on rue de Verneuil where they like to sing Le Canari sur le balcon. It was in 1967, during the three months of his idyll with Brigitte Bardot, that the singer bought this residence which he liked to call his “hôtel particulier”. He lived there until the end of his life in 1991.

Since then, his daughter, Charlotte Gainsbourg, has not altered the interior her father had fitted out. Everything is still there as if the singer still lives there. A museum project dedicated to him was for a while envisaged. On the outside wall, fans around the world continue to pay tribute to this great artist.

Address : 5 bis Rue de Verneuil, 75007 Paris

7. Pyramid of the Louvre – The Da Vinci Code

Louvre Museum
Louvre Museum – Photo credit: Pixabay

Cross the Pont Royal or the Pont du Carrousel, even by bike, to get to the Louvre Pyramid. In The Da Vinci Code, Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) visits the Louvre twice. First of all at the beginning of the story, when the curator is found murdered inside the museum, with strange symbols near his body. Then, at the end for the plot’s denouement.

It is here, under a stone reproduction, that Mary Magdalene’s tomb is supposed to be hidden. Following the book and then the film, many people thought that this story was real, because of the concordance between the dates and the historical facts. Small precision however, the pyramid does not count 666 but 689 facets.

Jacques Chirac intervened with the Louvre Museum to obtain the necessary authorizations for Ron Howard to film there at night. A large part of the scenes were filmed in the studio, however, to avoid putting the works of art at risk. The pyramidal edifice is regularly used, as it also appears in Wonder Woman or Prêt à porter.

To the north of the pyramid, the gardens of the Palais-Royal bear witness to a discussion between Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and Isla Faust (Rebecca Fergusson). The Mission Impossible officer warns his MI6 counterpart and begs her to abandon her mission in Mission Impossible – Fallout.

Address : Le Louvre, 75001 Paris

8. Shakespeare & Company – Midnight in Paris

The Shakespeare and Company bookstore in 2013 by Shadowgate (CC BY 2.0)
The Shakespeare and Company bookstore in 2013 by Shadowgate (CC BY 2.0)

Cross back over to the other side of the Seine with your bike as you ride across the Ile de la Cité to Shakespeare & Company. The English-language bookstore was used as the filming location for Midnight in Paris. In the film, Gil (Owen Wilson) strolls through the shop, located at 37 rue de la Bûcherie, in the fifth arrondissement. Rumor has it that Owen Wilson, who plays Gil, is a regular at the establishment. Before Sunset fans will also recognize the place.

Address : 37 Rue de la Bûcherie, 75005 Paris

9. Place of the car accident – The Sucker

The last point, further south, is unavoidable. In The Sucker, the most famous car accident in French cinema takes place at the back of the Pantheon, in front of the Sainte-Geneviève church.

Coming from rue de la Montagne-Sainte-Geneviève, Antoine Maréchal’s 2CV is dislocated by Léopold Saroyan’s Rolls-Royce (Louis de Funès), coming from rue Clovis. Shooting the scene required cutting the car into 250 pieces. They would disengage using small electrical devices triggered at the right time.

During the take, Bourvil improvised the line that had become cult: “What am I going to do now?”. This surprise statement triggered a laughing stock in Louis De Funès, who is seen turning his head so as not to be forced to replay this scene so complex to set up. The replica is moreover used on many occasions in numerous French and international works. In the french version of NCIS, agent Anthony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly), a film fan, uses it in episode 11 of season 2, in Taxi 2 and in the foolproof, the replica is used once again and finally it appears in the 33rd Asterix album Le ciel lui tombe sur la tête (The sky is falling on his head). Cult we tell you.

Address : Place Sainte-Geneviève, 75005 Paris

The Fantrippers Buying Board

The Paris guide to the 1000 cult places of films, series, music, comics and novels

The Paris guide to the 1000 cult places of films, series, music, comics and novels

The coolest guide in Paris!

The café of Amélie, the mansion of Untouchables, the jazz club of the finale of La La Land, the Hôtel du Nord of the mythical replica of Arletty “Atmosphere”, the cinema of A bout de souffle, the restaurant of Ratatouille, the quays of the Seine of Midnight in Paris, the secret places of the Da Vinci Code, the grocery store of January in La Traversée de Paris , the Bridge of Inception and Peur sur la ville, the addresses of the spectacular scenes of Mission Impossible 6, but also series Call my agent, Gears, Le Bureau des légendes, Sense8, Sex and The City, Gossip Girl…

Etienne Daho’s Café de Flore, Jay-Z and Kanye West’s hotel in Nas in Paris, Serge Gainsbourg’s Poinçonneur des Lilas metro station, Serge Reggiani and Marc Lavoine’s Mirabeau Bridge, Mc Solaar’s Lyon station…

The places evoked in the comics Adèle Blanc-Sec, Largo Winch, Blake and Mortimer, Michel Vaillant…

But also in the novels of Ernest Hemingway, Victor Hugo, Leo Malet, Daniel Pennac, Marc Levy, Guillaume Musso… you’ll find all the must-see places of Parisian Pop Culture in this new guide.

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By Damien Duarte

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Passionné par la culture pop depuis son enfance, ses références vont de Donald Duck à Batman en passant par Marty McFly. Fantripper dans l'âme, voyager sur les traces de Ghostbusters, James Bond ou des héros de romans comme Cotton Malone fait partie d'un séjour idéal et réussi !

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