Unfortunately, some things now only exist in the images captured by photographers and filmmakers.
After April 15’s devastating fire at the Parisian cathedral of Notre-Dame, a structure where construction began as early as 1163, many around the world are coping with the loss of the landmark by reflecting on how it has featured so prominently within film and art.
In one new video by N. T. Binh, several film scenes with Notre-Dame as its backdrop are collected into one awesome mash-up that shows how iconic the French Gothic cathedral has become.
The video includes scenes featuring Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant in Charade, the famous dance sequence from An American in Paris, the climactic kiss from Something’s Gotta Give, another fanciful dance scene from Everyone Says I Love You, and Ingrid Thulin and Glenn Ford in The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
The above video also features a moment that now feels slightly foreboding from Before Sunset, during which Ethan Hawke and Julie Delphy’s characters remark on how Notre-Dame was almost destroyed before, and that it won’t be with us forever.
You can watch the scene in full below.
We also have a very early appearance of Notre-Dame in this unique 1896 footage from some of the industry’s earliest filmmakers, Auguste and Louis Lumière. This would have been among their first films, which depicted everyday French moments in slice-of-life sequences.
Fans of animation will probably also remember Disney’s 1996 adaptation of Victor Hugo‘s The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, which often goes overlooked in Disney canon but features some of the studio’s most beautiful background paintings.
Check out the background pieces of Michael Humphries for more gorgeous examples like the one in our featured image.
These aren’t the only movies that featured Notre-Dame as a key location. There’s a particularly crazy fight scene from Van Helsing that tears through the structure, and even a quick moment of dark comedy from Amelie. What are some more of your favorites?
From dramas to actioners, examples like these are a testament to the power of film not only to tell stories, but to preserve history with snapshots of particular places and times.