"There is Paramount Paris and Metro Paris and of course the real Paris.
Paramount's is the most Parisian of all." - Ernst Lubitsch
Ernst Lubitsch was possibly the wittiest of 20th century filmmakers, but even he probably couldn't have imagined adding to the list of his famous aphorism "Paris, Serbia" - the recreation of 19th century Paris springing to life on the stages of Pink Studios outside of Belgrade in April 2012 for the production of Emile Zola's classic tragic love story "Therese Raquin".
I don't know if this production will be the most Parisian of all, but if it is it will be thanks to the efforts of our very talented and not-French production designer, Uli Hanisch from Cologne, with whom I had the pleasure of working twelve years ago in Italy on the production of Tom Tykwer's "Heaven" and have happily reunited on this show.
Uli is the wizardly alchemist who makes this:
Which when all the last nails are hammered will conjure up the illusions for our cameras that will turn Serbia into this:
Does every great production designer grow up reading Sir Walter Scott's verse:
"Oh, what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive!"
As Ernst Lubistch knew, our celluloid dreams are made of just such deceptions.