Last Tango in Paris

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Remember Bertolucci’s controversial film, Last Tango in Paris?  Wildly sophisticated for 1972!  Here’s the bridge that Marlon Brando walked across in the opening scene while the sublime Maria Schneider, only 19 at the time, strode past wearing that great fedora hat.  Love that scene.  Both Brando and Schneider are now dead, but nothing has changed, architecturally speaking, since 1972.

In the late 1990s I lived near this bridge and walked across it twice a day.  It’s called the Pont de Bir-Hakeim.  One end is located at Bir Hakeim metro station in the 15th arrondissement, the other end at Passy metro station in the 16th arrondissement.  Below is the shot from the opening scene of Last Tango.  Bertolucci could have panned the camera more to the left to catch the Eiffel Tower in the background.  But he didn’t.

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Here’s the wooden footbridge (below) that Schneider walks across.

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Here’s the door that Schneider stands in front of and then rings the bell because she sees a small note advertising an apartment for rent.  This is the door to the apartment building where they met for their trysts.  In the film, the fictional street name is rue Jules Verne, but in reality the name is rue de l’Alboni, steps away from Passy metro station.

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Here’s the café from where Schneider (Jeanne) telephones her mother.  It’s located directly across from the apartment building.  Abandoned and boarded up now.

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I love visiting film locations of my favourite movies.  If you plan to visit Paris, this is a nice area to explore. The Eiffel Tower is 20-minutes away on foot, the Seine River is right there and there’s a wonderful produce market twice a week (Wednesday and Sunday mornings) on the boulevard de Grenelle, etc.

Everything I’ve mentioned above is here in the opening scenes. Take a look –

 

Chocolate heaven

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The good news is that Chapon Chocolatier is located far from my apartment. Far away on the other side of town. Across the river on the Left Bank.  (I live on the Right Bank.)

The bad news is….well, there is no bad news.  Other than the fact that Chapon Chocolatier is closed on Monday mornings.

Patrice Chapon has won numerous awards for his chocolate concoctions.  But the placing of four big bowls of rich, silky mousse in his shop window deserves the biggest prize.  As I stood in the hankie-sized shop, at least 8 people pressed their faces to the window to gaze inside.  Each mousse is made from the cocoa beans of a different region: Madagascar, Venezuela, Ecuador….and each mousse has varying degrees of sweetness and intensity.

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Does chocolate make you happy?

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Here’s my euphoria:  buying some Chapon chocolate, crossing the street to the café, standing at the counter to order a double espresso and then slowly savouring the blend of coffee and chocolate.

Cocoa and coffee bean heaven.   Amen.

69 rue du Bac
Paris 75007 (7th arrondissement)
Metro: Rue du Bac