Champs-Élysées Film Festival: 6 of the greatest cinematic works featuring the grand Champs-Élysées avenue throughout the years.
6. Holy Motors by Leos Carax, 2012
This drama-fantasy became an instant hit throughout Europe as its artistic meaning and morals are left ambiguous to the audience. Its cast has major star power including such celebrities as Eva Mendes, Kylie Minogue, and Denis Lavant. The main character, Monsieur Oscar, drives a white limo throughout Paris for his mysterious jobs/roles.
The camera follows this white limo everywhere, especially when he drives on Champs-Élysées and passes the infamous restaurant Le Fouquet's. Take the same drive down Champs-Élysées toward l'Arc de Triomphe to follow the path of Monsieur Oscar.
5. Belle de Jour by Luis Bunuel, 1967
This art-house classic film features the timeless French actress Catherine Deneuve in her prime. She plays a sexually dissatisfied housewife who becomes a prostitute, working in a brothel in the afternoons. She forms an extremely close relationship with a young gangster named Marcel, who is filmed robbing a delivery man on 79 Champs-Élysées.
Photo: The Kobal Collection
The building has since been remodeled, but now resides as a Toyota showroom on 79 Champs-Élysées.
Photo: Copyright © Toyota
4. L’écume des jours (Mood Indigo) by Michel Gondry, 2013
This surreal film, based on the book of the same title by Boris Vian, explores the relationship between a wealthy bachelor Colin and the Chloe, the woman he loves who has been diagnosed with an uncommon disease where a flower grows in her lungs. The movie follows his adventurous race to find a cure in order to keep his love alive.
Gondry used the beautiful interior of the Hôtel de la Païva on Champs-Élysées for the setting of where the two love interests first meet at a social gathering. You can find this grand hotel right in the middle of the avenue, at 25 Av. des Champs-Élysées, 75008 Paris
Photo: © Gilles ROLLE/REA
3. C'était un Rendez-Vous (It Was a Date) by Claude Lelouch, 1976
Claude Lelouch created a short film (8-minute short film) like no other: a high speed drive throughout Paris at dawn. It has been deemed the greatest live street racing video of all time. The short film has no dialogue, simply the revving of a Mercedes 6.9 while Lelouch takes the wheel and the audience along with him.
He begins the speedy drive on the Champs-Élysées and passes l'Arc de Triomphe with ease, cutting off many cars along the way.
2. Au-revoir là-haut (See You Up There) by Albert Dupontel, 2017
This film follows the mesmerizing journey of loss, swindling, and friendship found between two broken soldiers in the Roaring Twenties of Post-WWI Paris. Its artistic and playful nature comes from the adaptation of the Goncourt-winning novel by Pierre Lemaitre of the same title.
The Champs-Élysées is featured in the film with the use of the exterior gardens of the Hôtel d'Espeyran on 7 Rond-Point des Champs-Élysées. The exterior shots of this hotel are used to portray the mansion of the main character, Édouard Péricourt.
Photo: Gaumont Distribution
Photo: Richard Desenclos 2014
1. À Bout de Souffle (Breathless) by Jean-Luc Godard, 1960
If you are going to watch any French film, let alone one featuring the Champs-Élysées, this is the one to see. Jean-Luc Godard keeps this film centrally located on the Champs-Élysées - most of its scenes highlight the beautiful views of this famous avenue.
This French New Wave classic follows a charming yet shady French thief on the run from the authorities who falls in love with an American in Paris and begs her to escape with him. The most famous scene takes place where the two lovers first reconnect and stroll down the avenue, not far from where the Champs-Élysées meets the Ave. Georges V.
The New Mission Impossible 6 Film features Tom Cruise in a high speed chase on the Champs-Élysées! Keep a lookout for the daredevil on the famous avenue, in theatres July 26, 2018.
Happy strolling down the world's most beautiful and famous avenue!
Note: This list was compiled by our friends over at Lost in Frenchlation.
Lost in Frenchlation hosts screenings of French films with English subtitles at independent cinemas throughout Paris. They are hosting a one-time only screening of À Bout de Souffle (Breathless) on the 8th of June 2018. They are also taking part in the Champs-Élysées Film Festival on the 18th of June 2018. Hope to see you there! Keep an eye out: www.lostinfrenchlation.com
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