Movies and books as travel preparation

When we prepare for upcoming trips, partly for "research" and mostly to establish a connection with the area we'll be visiting, we look to movies and novels set in the locale. Sometimes music if it jumps out. So, here are some ideas we have specifically for the Cruising the Seine + Versailles, Paris and London river cruise though they may be appropriate for some other French trips with overlapping itineraries. Note, I'm not listing documentaries or travel guides since those are another subject, entirely.

Since this forum allows edits to messages apparently forever, I'll keep this up-to-date with suggestions from others

Movies
Paris...where to begin?
Midnight in Paris - shows Paris present and at earlier times with ties to artists like Monet
Phantom of the Opera - makes a visit to the opera house more fun
Hunchback of Notre Dame - watch it and then visit the gargoyles on the towers of Notre Dame
Normandy (I've led numerous staff rides for senior US military to Normandy, so these were my recommendations to them)
The Longest Day - while a bit dated in terms of effects, it effectively "paints" the scale of the D-Day landings
Saving Private Ryan - watch the first 15 minutes or so to get an understanding of what it was like to land on D-Day. The opening sequence along with the ending were both set in the American Cemetery at Omaha Beach.
Band of Brothers, Episode 2, Day of Days - what it was like beyond the beaches on D-Day
Seine
Chocolat - OK, not filmed on the Seine, but is set in a small village on a French River so you get the ambience

Books
open to suggestions

Music
Les Miz
"Anything by Edith Piaf … including her biography
The theme from The Third Man, by Anton Karas.
The baroque splendour of Jean-Baptiste Lully
Charles Aznavour … close your eyes and just soak it all up." - suggested by jdurkin (post #2)
"Wicked (the musical) is very relative for where ever I am, or what ever I am doing!!" - suggested by Katie J (post #3)

Please suggest additions.

Comments

  • Music:
    Anything by Edith Piaf … including her biography
    The theme from The Third Man, by Anton Karas.
    The baroque splendour of Jean-Baptiste Lully
    Charles Aznavour … close your eyes and just soak it all up.
  • edited June 2014
    Music

    Totally Les Miz!! Ilove that musical!!
    Since I'm a theater gurl, I've noticed that the musical Wicked is very relative for where ever I am, or what ever I am doing!!

    Thanks,
    Katie
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