From Hollywood classics to French Nouvelle Vague to James Bond, France has provided a backdrop to an extraordinary number of iconic films over the years.
According to Film France, the national film commission, over 250 feature films are produced in France every year. The variety of locations and highly-trained crews contribute to its continuing appeal to filmmakers, which over the years have included the likes of Steven Soderberg, Woody Allen, Lasse Hallstrom, Alfred Hitchcock – and that is not counting the French film directors. Cannes Film Festival attracts the crème de la crème of the film industry from around the world every year, cementing France’s position as a place where glamour and creativity thrive.
The first public film screenings where admission was charged, took place at the Salon Indien du Grand Café in Paris in 1895, when the Lumière brothers made history and showed 10 short films. Paris has since been the backdrop to innumerable films – and one of the most recent ones, Midnight in Paris, is packed with Parisian landmarks. One of these locations is Hotel Le Bristol, which used to be the Parisian base of Hollywood grandees such as Rita Hayworth and Charlie Chaplin. This property nearby, in the Triangle d’Or, could provide a more permanent base in the capital.
Marion Cotillard, who plays Fanny Chenal, is the heroine of another romantic favourite – A Good Year. A number of film critics suggested that the real star of the film was the Luberon, the region where it is filmed, and where the film’s director, Ridley Scott, has owned a property for a number of years. If you can see yourself running a Provençal vineyard, here is one which comes quite close to the château which Max Skinner inherits, and which in real life is Château la Canorgue, near Bonnieux.
If you are more of an action movie fan, there are plenty of reference points there too. The bridge leading up to Eze is featured in James Bond film GoldenEye, as well as Alfred Hitchcock’s To Catch A Thief. Grace Kelly starred in this famous film and her link to the Riviera is unmistakable. While attending the Cannes Film Festival in 1955, Grace Kelly met her prince charming, and went on to become Princess Grace of Monaco. Cannes is definitely the place to be for film fanatics and these properties undoubtedly provide a front row seat to the festival's glitz and glamour.
Generations of film makers are drawn to the Riviera due to its unique light and scenery, which create an incredible backdrop for a film. The setting of Juan-les-Pins and Antibes set the stage for another James Bond film – Diamonds are Forever.
If spies, diamond heists and car chases are your genre of choice, both Ronin and Ocean’s Twelve, which both boast action aplenty, feature scenes in Cannes, Nice and Cap Martin. With these breathtaking views it's easy to see why it was used in the films.
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