CharenteCultureGirondePlacesSouth of France

Lights, camera, action! It’s Cannes Film Festival time again.

But it’s not the French city associated with the silver screen that we are covering today. Here we take a tour of four other locations celebrated in classic movies, from the Calvados to Carcassonne, and showcase some nearby properties …

French cities are often associated with gastronomy or architecture, but did you know that the silver screen could be added to this list?

It is no secret that France has long been a country of cinema enthusiasts. The Lumière brothers, for example, provided the first free collective screening of photographic films in 1895. Nowadays, several festivals continue to promote this art throughout the country. In addition, many French cities have been used as backdrops for films. Between foreign productions and French classics, let’s take a look at four such cities.

Angoulême (Nouvelle-Aquitaine/Charente): 

Angouleme

In 2021, Angoulême welcomed the American filmmaker Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel) for the filming of The French Dispatch. In this movie, Angoulême becomes “Ennui-sur-Blasé”, a town where the editor of “The French Dispatch” newspaper dies of a heart attack. The newspaper therefore comes to an end, but not before a farewell issue is released.

Adam Stockhausen, the film’s chief set designer, explains that “Angoulême had the age and architecture we needed, but even more than the preserved old town, there were winding streets, stairs, a viaduct, and a whole vertical stack of interesting and unique spaces.”

Angoulême is a human-sized city where property prices are affordable. It enjoys an ideal location between Paris and Bordeaux. The living environment is very pleasant, with a beautiful city centre while the countryside is only a few minutes away. Let’s not forget the murals, which are not to be missed by comic book fans.

This four-bedroom house in Angouleme oozes character. With a pretty, private courtyard it comes with a dressing room/study. The tempting piece offers scope for a light update.

Nice (PACA/Alpes-Maritimes): 

Nice

In 1962, Jacques Demy (Les Parapluies de Cherbourg) chose the city of Nice to film La Baie des anges. The movie tells the story of a bank employee who discovers a passion for gambling. He decides to go to Nice, where he meets Jackie (Jeanne Moreau) who will not leave him indifferent. The contrasting scenery of Nice inspired Demy – between the bright villas and dark alleys – and it highlighted Jeanne Moreau’s platinum blonde hair. Costa-Gavras, the assistant director, found a derelict 17th century palace in the old Nice, which was then used as the couple’s bedroom.

Nice lives up to its name, as the environment is exceptional all year round, with many beautiful places to explore, all under a splendid light. The nightlife is vibrant, and the city also enjoys good public transportation, thanks to several tram lines and an airport.

Just five minutes from Nice’s famous Promenade des Anglais, this stunning, light-filled apartment offers the perfect pied a terre in the revitalised capital of the Frrench Riviera.

Bordeaux (Nouvelle-Aquitaine/Gironde):

Bordeaux

Les Fugitifs, is a very popular French comedy from 1986 directed by Francis Weber (La Chèvre). The film features Pierre Richard, who will stop at nothing to rescue his sick daughter. He will even take Gérard Depardieu hostage and rob a bank. Bordeaux was used as a backdrop for many scenes. For example, the jeweller’s shop visible at the beginning of the film is located “rue Sainte-Catherine”. It is still there today, under the name “Bijouterie Mornier”. The bank where the robbery takes place is to be found “Place Meynard”. Many streets are featured in the film, such as “rue Macau”, “rue Reignier” and “rue Piliers de Tutelle”. Another scene was shot in Bordeaux’s Public Garden.

There are so many places to visit in Bordeaux. This city has a rich cultural heritage, great bars, restaurants, and it is close to the ocean. It displays a beautiful architecture, has quays for long walks, and offers trams, buses and bicycle paths.

In the heart of the stunning and elegant city of Bordeaux, this two-bedroom apartment is beautifully decorated with every comfort considered, from the wooden floors to the German fitted kitchen.

Carcassonne (Occitanie/Aude) :  

Carcassone

In 1993, Jean-Marie Poiré’s Les Visiteurs was a massive and popular success, as it drew nearly 14 million people to the theatres! It was telling the goofy story of Godefroy de Montmirail (Jean Reno) and Jacquouille la Fripouille (Christian Clavier), two medieval characters sent to the 20th century. The city of Carcassonne was used for many of the scenes, e.g. the ramparts, the Aude gate and the “Château comtal”. The scenes of the convoy and the witch were also shot near Carcassonne.

Located between Toulouse and the Mediterranean Sea, Carcassonne boasts a unique historical and architectural heritage. With the Canal du Midi and the Aude running through the city as well as the countryside, there is no shortage of green spaces. Here, hikers are well catered for, with the Montagne Noire and the Alaric – not to mention the hills of the Minervois and the Cabardès.

If you love the idea of being close to the mountains and the sea, this colourful four-bedroom house in Carcassonne with a small swimming pool is ready to move into.