This site goes all cultured as it moves into French cinema though admittedly this film did transcend across the English Channel to become something of a hit in the UK. Whenever I go on location to find these filming spots I do my research which includes many things but the most important one is of course to have seen the movie! However, I must confess that when I was in Paris at the start of this year visiting some of these locations I hadn’t actually seen Amélie! The reason was that I couldn’t find a streaming of it or pick up a dvd (with English subtitles) cheap enough but on my return to Tokyo I was alerted by a colleague that it was on YouTube of all places. So simple and obvious but I’d never given that site a thought.
This 2001 film takes the viewers around the Montmartre area of Paris amid this surreal tale of of love found in life’s little things. Amélie Poulain is a 23 year old who works as a waitress at Cafe des Deux Moulins (below left) at 15 Rue Lepic just round the corner from the the world famous Moulin Rouge. As part of her vow to help others she escorts a blind man en-route to Lamarck-Caulaincourt Metro station (below right) and its double staircase. Her description of the bustling market lets him ‘see’ the sights of his daily walk to the station.
Amélie’s apartment (lower left) can be found at 56 Rue des Trois-Freres and just round the corner as part of the same building on Passage des Abbesses is the fruit and vegetable store run by Collignon who she gets revenge on for his cruelty to his hapless Algerian assistant Lucien.
The sex shop where Nino works isn’t too far down the road from Moulin Rouge. Palace Video in the film is now Toys Palace (below left) and the address is 37 Boulevard de Clichy in the neon-lit Pigalle district. For some reason I didn’t go inside the place and thats one reason why one should never do the locations of a film they haven’t seen! Having seen it since I am well aware that there was a scene filmed inside the shop though you would maybe assume that that bit was filmed in the studio.
Sacré-Coeur (above right) is of course a famous landmark in Paris and the only one I saw on this particular trip to the French capital. Its around this area that Amélie plays a game of telephone tag with Nino as she goes about the process of getting his album of passport photos back to him in a mysterious, unconventional way.
Canal St Martin, Gare de l’est, La Motte-Picqet-Grenelle metro station, Au Clown de la Republique (11 Boulevard St Martin) and La Verre a Pied (118 Bis Rue Mouffetard) are the various other Amélie locations used throughout the film which I didn’t make it to as I only had a day in Paris and so had to prioritise the places I would try and hunt down.