Paris: Top 10 Gainsbourg film locations, heroic life

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Gainsbourg, the Gainsbarre de Paris

The footprints of the man with the head of cabbage are numerous in the streets of Paris. Serge Gainsbourg, Serge Toujours. Discover the locations where the film was shot and many others in the Paris guide of the 1000 cult locations of films, series, music, comics and novels.

Serge Gainsbourg’s home

Serge Gainsbourg (Eric Elmosnino) lived happy days with Jane Birkin (Lucy Gordon) in their house in rue de Verneuil where they liked 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.

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Lapérouse Restaurant

Although it is a far cry from reality, Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin meet in this superb restaurant in the film. The director took this liberty with the true story of the couple in order to propose a framework that corresponds to his vision of the characters.

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Ferber Studios

In 1979, Serge recorded a reggae version of the Marseillaise called Aux armes et cætera in his Jamaican epic. The recording sequence at Dynamic Sounds studio in Kingston was actually shot at Ferber Studios in Paris. The same place where Gainsbourg recorded his film soundtracks and many artistic works. Since their opening in 1973, Ferber Studios has never ceased to welcome renowned French and international artists. The album of the same name as the song was the first gold record in the singer’s career. But the song gave rise to a lively controversy, with some conservatives and soldiers not accepting that the French national anthem should be hijacked in this way. Gainsbourg indicated that he wanted to adapt La Marseillaise but that he did not know all the lyrics. He then opened a dictionary, but to save space, it was written In Arms and so forth, giving him the idea of the title. Two years later, he bought one of the two original manuscripts of Rouget de Lisle’s anthem for 135,000 francs. The composer had actually written from the second chorus, Aux armes, Citoyens! etc., which is the first one. One hell of a wink of fate!

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art college

After failing at the Lycée Condorcet, Serge Gainsbourg enrolled at the Beaux-Arts. It was in these premises that he met Bambou (Mylène Jampanoï), his future companion. In reality, number 13 where this scene was shot is home to the exhibition gallery of the School of Fine Arts.

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Port of Montebello

Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg kiss each other for the first time on this quay, during a walk. Now a barge parking dock, the port of Montebello was once a place for unloading river cargo. A scene from Woody Allen’s film Everybody says I Love You also takes place there.

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International City of Arts

Serge Gainsbourg receives a surprise visit from Brigitte Bardot (Lætitia Casta). After his second divorce, the singer lived in a student room on the fifth floor of the Cité Internationale des Arts in 1966 and 1967. It regularly welcomes artists from all over the world for short stays in the capital ranging from 2 months to 1 year. The establishment has 315 workshops-accommodations on two sites, one in the Marais and the other in Montmartre.

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Parents’ home

When his father dies in the living room, Serge Gainsbourg leaves the building in tears. He lies down in the street, waiting for a taxi, as Boris Vian taught him earlier. Jane finds him lying down and begs him to get up, helped by some policemen who were passing by. Rue Budé is in the heart of Ile Saint-Louis, one of the two natural islands of Paris, since the Ile aux Cygnes was created artificially.

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Producer’s Office

Music producer Jean-Claude Desmarty (Claude Chabrol) listens attentively to Serge’s new track, Je t’aime… moi non plus. The scene in his Philips office was filmed at the headquarters of the Communist Party. Classified as a historical monument, the building is the work of Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer. The artist wished, through the surprising curves of the building, to evoke a flag floating in the wind. It was built in 1971, but work on the forecourt, the dome and the basement was not completed until 1980.

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Walking at night, Serge and Jane are walking down the stairs of the rue Malebranche and Serge almost gets hit by a car, saved in extremis by Jane. This street has been used for many shootings like the one of Ariane with Audrey Hepburn.

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Rue André-del-Sarte

At the bottom of the steps leading to Sacré-Cœur and at the crossroads of Rue Ronsard, Serge Gainsbourg and Boris Vian (Philippe Katerine) lie down in the middle of the street to wait for a taxi. This scene was shot on a live set.

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The Fantrippers Buying Board

ROME map of 100 cult places (French Edition)

The Rome Fantrippers map, an original way to discover the Eternal City! Through 100 pop culture places, walk through its streets from another angle. Movies, TV shows, music, comics and novels, will allow you to spend a pleasant moment in this fascinating city. With a folded format of 10 x 18 cm and 60 x 54 cm unfolded, it slips easily into your pocket or your bag to be consulted easily.

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By Anthony Thibault

Thursday, August 30, 2018

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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