Dream Weaver

I’m not a movie buff by a long shot. Charlotte and her family go crazy for them, each with their own ever-expanding library of DVDs and maxed out external hard drives. My wife will watch and re-watch a film so many times she can tell you exactly what Harry will say every time he meets Sally. I’m not one of these people, but from time to time I’ll take a shining to a movie and let it seep through the cracks onto my hermetically sealed “happy-to-watch” list (they’re not always gems either — can you say Charlie’s Angels?)…

One of my recent favorites was Inception, and the fact that it was filmed partly in Paris didn’t hurt. I just found out a few of its shooting locales are really close to where I do some English tutoring, so today I did some exploring. Fans of the movie may find this interesting; the rest of you I’m afraid have just wasted precious time that could’ve been used Facebooking.

All these spots are in Ellen Paige’s first dream scene where she’s learning to be an “architect”. The first one is the cafe where she’s sitting outside with Leo DiCaprio and the street starts going to hell. Interestingly the cafe as seen in the movie doesn’t exist; in real life it’s a high-end deli with a bit of outdoor seating.

This next one shows the stairs and pillars she magically raises to walk up to…

the Bir-Hakeim bridge, where Paige slides huge mirrors to seemingly create the scene from scratch as DiCaprio looks on. For more seasoned film fans this bridge is also famous for a Marlon Brando scene in Last Tango in Paris.

Bottom line: you can’t spend all your time searching Paris for the deep historical and existential meaning behind its spaces. Sometimes it’s cool just because you saw it in a movie, Leo was there, and it’s nice to look at. Also, Leo was there.


  • I rarely watch movies and, coincidentally enough, Inception was the last movie I watched – 5 days ago! And another coincidence is that I have a blogger friend who lives in Paris who would be willing to send me some dirt from wherever my beloved Leo’s shoes might have stepped. Maybe…possibly…perhaps not.

    I’m heading to Savannah Sunday morning, a southern favorite for filmmakers. Sadly, they took Forrest Gump’s bench to a safer locale so the only thing I have to look at is stuff from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. I hated that movie.

    • Ah, you’re a Leo lover? Until Inception I wasn’t a very big fan, although I was always amazed at his performance in Gilbert Grape, or as it’s known in France, Jheel-behr Grahp. I can send you Parisian dirt if your friend doesn’t come through (maybe I could turn it into a business — I knew this blog would become a cash cow for me some day!) Have fun in Savannah.

  • Funny coincidence: I recently tweeted sarcastically about the National Treasure movies. I just saw a scene from the second one when they’re briefly in Paris, and guess which bridge they’re on! You got the last laugh for now Nick Cage — for now.

    • Of course — a fellow American with a French girl, not a bad role model! Maybe today’s the day I start growing my hair out…

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