On Wednesday night I caught a glimpse of the opening shots of Bertolucci’s “Last Tango in Paris” – an iconic film of the 1970s that I had already watched a couple of times before, while living in the United States, at a time when the only French words I could muster were bonjour and merci.
Curiously enough, the first images that would come into my head when I thought of “Last Tango” were the opening shots filmed on the bridge Bir-Hakeim, when Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider first cross paths. I say “curiously enough” because the film is mostly known for its racy scenes. But what stuck with me was the oversize mystique of Paris: one could almost say that the architectural elements of the city are the third main character of the film.
Yesterday evening, after a rather fruitless walk around the Butte aux Cailles neighborhood with my camera, I decided to venture out to the 7eme arrondissement and check out the Bir-Hakeim bridge instead. I had been on it a few times before, mostly passing though hurriedly without really paying attention to its details. Well, its perspective is absolutely breathtaking. Last night I spent a good half hour on it, snapping dozens of photos of all the different possibilities its pillars and structure offered.
Here is a selection of my photos.