books and movies
The Art of Eating
M. F. K. Fisher
She is classic, the best food writer of all time. To read anything she wrote is an absolute joy.
The Book of Salt
A fairly recent novel about Paris and Vietnam from Gertrude Stein’s
A fun chick-lit novel.
A terribly interesting portrait of the city through the eyes of a gay writer, who chronicles his strolls throughout Paris. Excellent.
French Ways and Their Meaning
Written in the early 1900s; it’s quite amazing how much still holds true.
A Moveable Feast
The classic—Paris in the 1920s.
A collection of Green’s writings on Paris in the postwar years.
You have to love Gertrude.
Paris to the Moon
A near-perfect yet realistic portrait of today’s Paris from an expat New Yorker.
Time Was Soft There
A book about the author’s time living at Shakespeare & Co.—a fabulous read.
A Year in Provence
Yes, we realize this is not about Paris—though it will definitely get you in the French mood, as will anything by Mayle—but this is the book, if you haven’t read it, that started the rage over going to Provence.
movies to put you in the mood
With Audrey Tautou, set in Montmartre. This movie is absolutely adorable and a must-watch if you have been so unlucky as to have not yet seen it.
With Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant in Paris—what more could a girl want?
Henry and June (1990)
With Fred Ward and Uma Thurman, about Henry Miller’s life in Paris in the 1930s. A very sexy story about the love triangle with his wife and Anaïs Nin.
The Last Tango in Paris (1972)
Who could forget Bernardo Bertolucci’s classic starring Marlon Brando? After viewing that film, it is hard to look at a stick of butter the same way—enough said. Do not view this film with any children in the room!
Paris, Je T’Aime (2006)
A collection of 20 short films, each set in one of the 20 arrondissements of Paris.
La Vie en Rose (2007)
Features Marion Cotillard’s Oscar-winning performance as the singer Edith Piaf.
some classic french films
2 ou 3 Choses Que Je Sais d’Elle (1967)
By Jean-Luc Godard, about a woman in Paris. Very interesting.
Belle de Jour (1967)
With Catherine Deneuve. One of director Luis Buñuel’s best pieces of work.
Hotel du Nord (1938)
One of the all-time great French classics.
Les Quatre Cents Coups (1959)
By François Truffaut. Said to have begun the French New Wave movement (tough to find on DVD).