12/04/17 >> 14/01/2018
Famous for its Basilica of Sacré Coeur, the Moulin Rouge, its many cabarets, and its studios, which have housed many an artist, including Renoir, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Suzanne Valadon, and Pablo Picasso, Montmartre is probably the most emblematic district in Paris. Its charm and sites have always drawn French and foreign film directors alike. At the end of the 1890s, the films of the Lumière brothers, and then those of Méliès, were screened in the Dufayel Department Store, on the corner of Boulevard Barbès. Subsequently, during the first quarter of the twentieth century, projection rooms were established that would be milestones in the flourishing development of the cinematic art in the Parisian melting-pot. Above all, it has been the Butte’s atmosphere and romanticism, and all of its fanciful connotations that have attracted film-makers. Montmartre was personified in films that transformed its unique and instantly recognisable scenery into a cinema protagonist in its own right. Its various sites were exploited (such as the Moulin Rouge, the Butte, Sacré Coeur, the Place du Tertre, and Le Lapin Agile), as well as its atypical scenes (the stairways, lanes, small houses, and lamp posts) and its residents (the artistes, dancers, ordinary people, cops, thugs, and prostitutes). The Paris of parties and pleasure, as well as that of crime and perdition, often represented by the districts of La Chapelle, Pigalle, and La Goutte d’Or, has been integral to the celebration of art and poetry on the Butte of Montmartre.