There is one character filmmakers use time and time again, indifferent to its age. It can, like actors, take on different guises, whatever the storyboard requires. With one distinction: it always plays itself, ever ready for the close up. This is Paris acting as Paris.
Hollywood helped more than any other institution to implant the myth of Paris in the collective imagination. Every generation had its stock of Parisian stories. We all fed from those images embedded in our memory after leaving the theatres. The cult of Paris reached a zenith in films like “Funny Face” “How to Steal a Million” and “Charade” where an adorable Audrey Hepburn seemed the ideal counterpart to the City of Light. French moviemaking has also poured affection upon the city. From “Hôtel du Nord”, with the iconic Jean Gabin in 1938 to “Amélie” in 2001, it has never ceased to cast its adoring eyes on this unique set. Upon reflection, we wonder who was the true protagonist? The city, whose presence is lovingly shot, or the heroes and heroines confronting their destinies through its streets? Be that as it may, the plot and the location remain intrinsically intertwined, feeding on each other, building the legend.
Every new day brings a filming crew to the streets of Paris. The dame is so delighted that in exchange, she displays with relish secret passages, dormer windows with views, sedate tree-lined avenues and a majestic river. Anything to charm and seduce.
In my wanderings through the city, I always capture images of professionals letting the camera roll, planning the frames, selecting one background or another, hoping the city will continue to return to them the favor of their admiration.