6 Jul 2014

A View to a Kill - Paris

The most obvious Bond location in the world is probably the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Despite the fact that it is the most popular tourist attraction in the world, it took Bond until A View to a Kill (14 films and 23 years) to visit Paris. Even though Moonraker was largely shot in studios in France and one scene, from the Moonraker factory, was filmed inside the Centre Pompidou (doubling for California), Bond himself had never actually visited Paris before A View to a Kill. For the establishing shot over the Eiffel Tower, the camera was placed at Avenue Gustave V de Suède, just below the famous view point at Place du Trocadéro.

Mi6 is investigating Max Zorin's Anglo-French combine, and Bond goes to Paris in order to meet with the French detective, Achille Aubergine who is hired by the French jockey club to investigate Zorin's winning streak in horse racing.

Bond is having dinner with Achille Aubergine at the Eiffel Tower. Evidently, Zorin does not care for Monsieur Aubergine's investigation since he sends May Day to Kill Aubergine at the restaurant. This scene was shot in studio, on a set constructed by the brilliant production designer Peter Lamont. The restaurant however, is based on Alain Ducasse's restaurant 'Le Jules Verne' that is located on the 2nd floor at the Eiffel Tower, the same floor as Bond's restaurant in the film.

Bollinger, seventy-five. A bottle of Perrier is also visible on the table.
                                    "-Qu'est-ce qu'il y à Monsieur?! 
                                                 -There's a fly in his soup!"

Needless to say, the Eiffel Tower is a spectacular landmark as well as a beautiful building, and a must see when in Paris. More accurately, it is impossible to miss during a visit in Paris, since it is visible from almost everywhere. You have the classic view from Place du Trocadéro, but a good way to enjoy the Eiffel Tower is to have a pic-nic on the big field Champ de Mars, on the other side of the tower. A field that used to be the training ground for the French army. From here you have an undisturbed view and less tourists.

Bond's visit to Paris in the film is a nod to the original Ian Fleming short story From a View to a Kill. In the beginning of the story, Bond is spending an afternoon in Paris, debating with himself about where to go and what to drink before dinner. Bond ultimately ends up at Fouquet's at Champs-Elysée, drinking Americano. Bond stipulates that he wants his Americano made with Perrier because "a good mineral water is the best way to improve a poor drink". A reference to this is probably the bottles of Perrier that can be seen on all the tables in the restaurant.

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