Cinema: top 10 film locations

Greater Paris attracts directors from around the world. Here are 10 films to prove it!

1. Hunger Games

Film: Hunger Games: Second Rebellion (2015), with Jennifer Lawrence

Film location: the espaces d'Abraxas by Ricardo Bofill in Noisy-le-Grand, Les Étoiles by Jean Renaudie in Ivry-sur-Seine.

The monumental architecture of the Espaces d’Abraxas by Ricardo Bofill has been used as a backdrop by a number of directors, including Terry Gilliam for Brazil in 1985 and, more recently, for US blockbuster Hunger Games: Second Rebellion. The site was featured as the Capitol, the seat of power in Panem. Scenes from the last instalment of Hunger Games were also shot at Les Étoiles de Jean Renaudie in Ivry-sur-Seine.

I’m interested in… Brutalist architecture

2. Rush Hour 3

Aéroport de Paris - Charles-de-Gaulle, terminal 1, vue aérienne © JOUANNEAUX, Jean-Marc pour Aéroports de Paris

Film: Rush Hour 3 (2007) by Brett Ratner, with Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker.

Film location: Aéroport de Paris-Charles-de-Gaulle by Paul Andreu

This French airport set the scene for the third instalment of the Rush Hour saga released in 2007. Lee (Jackie Chan) and Carter (Chris Tucker) are arrested by police on arrival at Paris-Charles-de-Gaulle.

I’m interested in… Futuristic architecture

3. Da Vinci Code

Musée du Louvre, Pyramide © OTCP - DR

Film: Da Vinci Code (2006)

Film location: Louvre Pyramid de Ieoh Ming Pei (Paris 1st)

Da Vinci Code features two heroes whose quest leads them through the streets of the capital. The Louvre plays a key role in this thriller. Several scenes were shot in front of the Pyramid designed by Ieoh Ming Pei. A great opportunity to admire this glass and metal design by the Chinese-born US designer.

I’m interested in… High-tech architecture

4. Lucy

La Cité du cinéma, nef, Paris © Jean-Claude Guilloux

Film: Lucy (2014) by Luc Besson, with Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman

Film location: Cité du Cinéma in Saint-Denis by architects Reichen and Robert

Several films have been shot in this cinema complex designed by Luc Besson, including the blockbuster Lucy. With over 52 million cinema admissions, it is France’s biggest ever box office hit!

I’m interested in… industrial heritage

5. James Bond : Moonraker

Centre Pompidou © Amélie Dupont - Architecte : Renzo Piano et Richard Rogers

Film: Moonraker by Lewis Gilbert (1979), with Roger Moore

Film location: Centre Pompidou by Renzo Piano

The film crew on James Bond used the Centre Pompidou in Paris as the venue for a meeting between James Bond (Roger Moore) and Dr. Holly Goodhead (Lois Chiles).

I’m interested in… High-tech architecture

6. Mood Indigo

Espace Niemeyer - Siège du Parti communiste français, façade, Paris © Ralf Treinen

Film: Mood Indigo by Michel Gondry (2013), with Audrey Tautou

Film location: headquarters of the French Communist Party by Oscar Niemeyer, Saint-Ouen ice-skating rink by Paul Chemetov

The film version of a novel by Boris Vian, Mood Indigo with actress Audrey Tautou, best known for her role in Amélie, features the headquarters of the French Communist Party - the masterpiece of Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer. The Saint-Ouen ice-skating rink (93) by Paul Chemetov also appears in the film.

I’m interested in… Brutalist architecture

7. The Last Tango in Paris

La Tour Montparnasse 56, vue sur la tour Eiffel, Paris © OTCP - DR

Film: The Last Tango in Paris by Bernardo Bertolucci (1972), with Marlon Brando

Film location: Tour Montparnasse

This erotic drama film by Bernardo Bertolucci is set in Paris in the early 1970s. It features the Tour Montparnasse under construction. The tower’s foundation stone was laid in 1970 and the works were completed in 1973.

I’m interested in… Modern architecture

8. La Vie en rose

Film: La Vie en rose by Olivier Dahan (2007), with Marion Cotillard

Film location: Aéroport de Paris-Le Bourget

La Vie en rose is about the life of French singer Édith Piaf (played by Marion Cotillard) and has won multiple awards including two Academy Awards. The film locations included the legendary Le Bourget airport (93).

I’m interested in… 1930s architecture

9. Intouchables

Film : Intouchables by Éric Toledano and Olivier Nakache (2011), with François Cluzet and Omar Sy

Film location: Bondy in the district of Noue-Caillet

An international box office hit, Intouchables is a French film that moved millions of movie-goers. Omar Sy plays Driss, a man who lives on a housing estate in Noue-Caillet, in the north of Bondy. Built in the late 1950s, this public housing complex is typical of the post-war reconstruction period.

I’m interested in… public housing

10. Napoléon

Film : Napoléon by Abel Gance (1927)

Film location: former Pathé-Albatros studios in Montreuil

Behind an iconic piece of street art in Montreuil, at 52 rue du Sergent Bobillot, lies the former Pathé-Albatros studios. Dozens of films were shot here, including silent movie classic, Napoléon by Abel Gance.

I’m interested in… street art


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