Montmartre village, an inspiration for cinema

A journey from the belle époque to the Roaring Twenties in the village of Montmartre

Many nooks and crannies in Montmartre retain the character of bygone postcard Paris, truer than any reconstructed decor. Quentin Tarantino made a good choice in choosing La Renaissance, a few steps from the butte to film a scene from the Second World War. Eight other films had already been filmed there before Inglourious Basterds! The decor of this bistro, founded in 1903, has remained almost unchanged for decades: marble counter, weathered stools, wood panelling, floral glass windows, period neon lights, gilded ceiling, etc.

Here you are bathed in the atmosphere of the time and ready to walk up and down the little streets of old Montmartre, like Gil (Owen Wilson) in Midnight in Paris. Transported by magic into the time of the Roaring Twenties, he strolls around on the arm of the beautiful Adriana (Marion Cotillard) and through the square in front of the Sacré-Cœur from which there is a breathtaking view of Paris. A magical cinema moment that you will want to relive!

To prolong the magic, leap back in time again with A Monster in Paris. This time, you are in 1900; the cabarets are teeming around the basilica that is still under construction. It will be consecrated in 1919, but the funicular serving it is inaugurated … undoubtedly a little more calmly than in the animated film.

A few flights of steps away, in the very steep Rue Drevet and Rue Androuet, you’ll find yourself in the Paris of the popular classes of the interwar years with La Môme. Edith Piaf (Marion Cotillard) and her friend Momone (Sylvie Testud) sing for passers-by to earn a few coins.

To continue in a musical vein, go to the Moulin Rouge, at the edge of the old village of Montmartre, , where, in the past, the middle classes used to go and mix with the riffraff, as wine used to flow freely there. Revues, French cancan, bohemian life, artists, painters and poets … It is this end of the 19th century that Baz Luhrmann recreates in his film Moulin Rouge. Most of the film was shot in the studio, in Australia. But to write the script, the film maker carried out a lot of documentary research and immersed himself in the atmosphere of Montmartre. If you are one of the millions of fans of the love affair between the courtesan Satine (Nicole Kidman) and the young poet (Ewan McGregor), you should opt for a dinner and show here or a visit to the Moulin Rouge shop.Finally, for autograph collectors: the Pigalle district, its nightlife and its undisputable scandalous reputation still attract numerous film shoots. So, keep a look out!