After spending some time in the 16th arrondisement, we recognized many scenes where the film Inception was filmed. The dream training facility is actually the foundations of the elevated metro stop, Passy. The silver columns seen in the movie are authentic but we think the doors on the entrance facade were either reconstructed or color-changed to a darker shade in the movie than the bland grey it is now. Or maybe that’s what it looked like when it was filmed (in August 2009). The actual interior of the building is pretty boring:
The subway line goes across the Bir-Hakeim bridge, which Ariadne creates on her first dream with Cobb (Leo DiCaprio). She move the big mirrors (which don’t exist on the bridge, obviously) and he encounters Mal on the bridge. Even in the film, you’ll notice the track on the right side of the steps which serve to help bikers get down the stairs! Using this location killed two birds with one stone: the bridge and the subway stop are basically connected.
In the movie, you don’t really notice the two lanes of car traffic on either side of the central pedestrian walkway due to the number of people on the bridge in the scene. Today, the only major activity was an Asian wedding photoshoot. Maybe they liked the movie, or maybe they just wanted the view of the Eiffel Tower.
There’s a prominent shot of this graffiti on the columns just before Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Arthur) enters the dream facility:
The bridge is also cool because 1) it’s constructed of red brick underneath in mini barrel vaults 2) has cool lanterns 3) even the metal columns have interesting capitals.
Sorry to disappoint but Cafe Debussy (the explosion scene with Ellen Page and Leonardo DiCaprio) is not real, but an Italian deli called Da Stuzzi in the 15th arrondisement at Place Georges Mulot.
How to Get There:
Metro: M6 to Passy
All photos by Michelle Young.
Get in touch with the author @untappedmich.