Romantic Paris in Winter Even in winter, romantic Paris proves true to its calling. It may be cold, it may be drizzly, but that doesn’t stop lovers to come and celebrate their romance in the City of Love.
Planning a romantic getaway in the spring is the easiest thing in the world. In April, when the trees are springing back into life and birdsong fills the air, even the grimiest industrial town may feel like the perfect backdrop for a romantic experience.
But it is in winter that Paris proves it is truly the City of Love. Do you think Barcelona or even Monte Carlo can compete?
Paris offers more romance bang for your time and money than any other city on earth. On a cold and wet February afternoon, it is one of the few places that can make you think that this strangely faint and hazy thing called winter light can actually surpass the beauty of a summer’s day.
Although even in Paris, there is no escaping from a cold easterly wind – or is there?
Is romantic . . . → Read More About Hollywood’s Love Affair with Paris: Romantic Paris in Winter
Paris in Movies
Paris Movie Walks identifies locations from about 100 Hollywood films. I had always thought I had pretty much covered virtually all Hollywood movies about Paris, give or take the odd roll of celluloid that is quietly decomposing somewhere in a MGM storage room. But far from it:
Since 1900, Hollywood has produced approximately 800 films that were set in Paris. 800!
That is one thing I learned from the recently opened exhibition “Paris vu par Hollywood” which will be shown in Paris City Hall until 15 December 2012 (entrance free, Mondays through Saturdays from 10 to 7).
Another thing is this great quote from the director Ernst Lubitsch who set more than a dozen movies in Paris without ever bringing one of his cameras there.
“There is Paramount-Paris and MGM-Paris, and of course the real Paris. Paramount’s is the most Parisian of all.”
I want to kick myself for not having found that quote myself, before writing the book – I certainly would have used it.
Or, better still, I would have used the version of the New York Times article about the exhibit:
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An Interview with Michael Schuermann Author of Guide Book Paris Movie Walks
This video interview originally appeared in Omeleturismo
Paris Movie Walks is available on Amazon and as an iPhone App from iTunes
Where Paris Blues was Shot
This is the movie that got away: the only major Hollywood movie with a Parisian theme that I failed to include in the book. At the time, it was not available on DVD, not even in the US, so I had no choice but to give it a bye.
Later, I caught the final two minutes a couple of times by chance on TCM, and although it was too late to cover the film for the book, I looked frantically each time for the next repeat in the channel’s schedules – everything on TCM is repeated – only to find that it would be screened next on a Thursday morning three weeks hence at 3 o’clock in the morning.
Finally, I found the film, again by chance – on YouTube. I did not even know they were showing films on YouTube, but it seems it is a real paradise for lovers of old movies. (Check it out if you don’t believe me.)
Paris Blues is certainly an old movie (it was made in 1961) and, quite frankly, best enjoyed as a period piece.
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The Beatniks of the Beat Hotel
The idea of the artist as someone who spends his life in shabby circumstances, outwardly neglected and caring only for the purity of his art, to find fame only much later, preferably after his death, is one of the great Romantic myths. (It is, of course, the story of the ugly duckling in all but name.)
In truth, for every van Gogh, there are at least a dozen Picassos and Matisses whose geniuses are detected at a fairly early stage and who spend nearly all their lives in great material comfort.
Truth, however, is not something that myth has ever been greatly concerned with.
Circumstances do not come much shabbier than the old Beat Hotel on the Parisian Left Bank, and geniuses not much more self-conscious than William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg who lived there for a while in the late 1950s (together with Gregory Corso and some lesser lights of the “Beat” poetry scene).
A new documentary just released (read a review here) retraces their steps, refreshes their legends and restages some of their antics.
is the name of a . . . → Read More About Hollywood’s Love Affair with Paris: The Beat Hotel