Action films banned in Paris after terror attacks

High speed car chases, shoot-outs and other stunt scenes from action movies have been barred from being filmed in Paris over fears actors could be targeted by terrorists.

Action films banned in Paris after terror attacks
A scene from the Bourne Identity where police chase Matt Damon or a stunt driver through Paris. Photo: Screengrab YouTube/Harshit Goyal

People often say Paris is just one big film set, but authorities have been forced to limit the kinds of movies being filmed in the capital in the light of the terror attacks last month.

Police commander Sylvie Barnaud announced this week that the shootings that left 17 dead have had an unexpected impact on the film local industry.

“There’s a problem with these action-type scenes, as the actors in uniform could be targets for terrorism, Barnaud said.

“Also the actors could cause confusion for the general public during this highly sensitive period.” she said.

The police chief also said the use of fake weapons and special effects using pyrotechnics were also banned.

Barnaud said the ban, which would remain in place indefinitely, was common sense for a city still tense after the series of three shootings in three days at Charlie Hebdo offices, a Jewish store and in a street to the south of the city.

“I was shocked to hear witnesses of the Charlie Hebdo attacks say on television ‘it seemed like a movie shoot to us’,” she said.

Hundreds of soldiers have been deployed on the streets of the capital at famous monuments such as the Eiffel Tower or at shopping centres as well as outside Jewish places of worship.

Over the years Paris has proved popular as a location for movies with its historic streets and famous monuments both with French and international film-makers.

Last year alone there were 930 film shoots in the capital, 20 of which were international productions, according to the Town Hall website.

One of the most famous action scenes filmed in Paris was the car chase in the 2002 film The Bourne Identity (see video below) where Jason Bourne, played by actor Matt Damon and probably a few stuntmen sped through Paris in a red mini pursued by French police.

But local film industry chiefs played down the financial impact that any ban would have on the capital.

The head of the Ile de France Film Commission told the New York Times there was “no impact on current productions” and that the ban would be “perfectly manageable”.

READ MORE: New interactive map plots Paris film locations


The one French film you need to see this month

If there's one film you have to see in France this month then "Le Chant du Loup", starring some of France's most famous actors is the one. French movie experts Lost in Frenchlation explain why.

The one French film you need to see this month
Photo: Screengrab YouTube trailer Le Chant du Loup

Submarine films are a subgenre of war films that are able to heighten intensity due to their unique setting.

They are able to go beyond the normal tensions of the average action film by highlighting the close quarters and removal from civilization.

In addition to the claustrophobia and isolation, there’s a number of things that can go wrong that far down, from machinery fires to decompression sickness.

Over 150 submarine films have been made in the past 100 years.

This genre is popular with French and Americans alike, leading to successful films such as The Hunt for Red October in America and now Le Chant du Loup (The Wolf's Call) in France, and even a cultural overlap in the English-language French-Belgian film Kursk.

Le Chant du Loup stars César Award winning actor, Omar Sy, who became one of France’s most popular actors after his role in Les Intouchables.

Mathieu Kassovitz of Amelie fame also stars in this film.

He is popular in France and abroad, earning him numerous awards from Cannes to Chicago.

Le Chant du Loup is “the wolf’s call” the sound of a sonar that can be detected by the main character of the film, an acoustic analyst known as “the golden ear”.

This film provides insight into French politics and warfare, fueled by director Antonin Baudry’s personal experiences from his time as a diplomat and advisor to the prime minister.

A realistic element is also added by the fact that the film was shot using real submarines and sets that were built in real scale.

Having the cast and crew move around in a confined space when filming allowed them to connect to the story.

Don’t miss this film being screened on Thursday March 14th at 7 pm at Cinéma Luminor with English subtitles by Lost in Frenchlation: