This Friday, watch Twilight’s Rob Pattinson sleep his way through 1890’s Paris in Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod’s Bel Ami. The film is based on 19th century writer Guy de Maupassant’s novel of the same name and follows the Cosmopolis actor as an ex-soldier. He rises to power by seducing the female social elite, the likes of which include Uma Thurman, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Christinia Ricci.
The film encompasses everything people have come to associate with the City of Light and it’s most decadent time — a sexy and romantic, artistically vibrant, and culturally fascinating period. The lavish city has been the setting for many stories in cinema, inspiring passionate encounters we won’t soon forget. Let Paris intoxicate you after the jump, then entice us with some of your favorite films below.
We know from the opening of Bernardo Bertolucci’s Last Tango in Paris that the film’s powerful emotions will drive everything two strangers share in a dim apartment that comes to personify the erotic menace of their encounters. We first see a man deeply distraught and wandering the streets under Paris’ pont de Bir-Hakeim. A young woman hurriedly passes him, looking on with concern. The violent sounds of a train seems to signify the tumultuous journey that lies ahead, unable to drown out the man’s animal cry. Later, they remain lost and lonely in each other’s arms, and although their days on a dirty mattress in Paris seem incongruous with the city of love, it’s a fascinating, intense contradiction to watch unfold.