Saturday, May 17, 2014

Some Reelstreets, and other films, last week, this week and next week on UK TV

Did you see them? If not, many of their locations are here on Reel Streets, and if they are not yet discovered, can you help us find them?

Passport to Pimlico, Against the Wind, Young Winston, Four Feathers, The Lady Vanishes,

The 39 Steps, In Which We Serve, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woof?, Goodbye Mr Chips, The Importance of Being Ernest, Billion Dollar Brain, Inn of the Sixth Happiness, Lifeboat, The Conversation, Notting Hill, The Birds, Clockwork Orange, Oliver Twist, League of Gentlemen, Malta Story, The Gentle Gunman and probably several others.

Are you interested in the filming locations? There are many that we haven't spotted, can you identify them? Have you taken any photos? Are there any films that we should add to the list? Will you pull the “then” stills so that we can add them?

And this week; Malta Story, Crooks Anonymous, The Black Tent, League of Gentlemen, Hobson's Choice, all coming to a screen near you, and available here on ReelStreets, the largest provider in the world of real, comparative and illustrated movie and film locations, with almost 28,000 photos.

London’s Borough Market Set To Star Again?

Due for release in July 2015, Bridget Jones’s third big screen adaptation seems to be finally underway. Following the hugely successful novel “Mad About The Boy” by Helen Fielding, this movie will continue the story where “The Edge of Reason” left off. The first two movies were commercial successes so expect a nationwide release through large cinema chains, like Cineworld, and an accompanying heavy-duty marketing campaign. Fans of the comedy drama will be delighted to hear that location shooting could begin as soon as this summer and – it is expected – that Borough Market in Southwark will again feature in a Hollywood film.

Located a stone’s throw from London Bridge, Borough Market has been a favoured shooting location in the capital for a number of directors. Bedale Street ,which runs between the market and Borough High Street was the chosen location for Bridget Jones’ flat, just above the Globe pub which is still there, squashed between two overhead rail lines. The memorable scene in which Colin Firth and Hugh Grant fight was shot in this street, although the steps leading to an Underground station in the background are entirely fictitious.

A traditional wholesale fruit and veg market for decades, Borough Market’s fortunes were dwindling in the mid 1990s with many stall holders moving away or going out of business. Nowadays, the largely Victorian architecture is a huge hit with trendy market traders selling gourmet foods and farm produce directly to customers. The mostly covered roof and intense atmosphere really evokes a bygone era despite all of the newcomers. As such, it really feels very different from somewhere like Covent Garden, itself once a flourishing fruit and flower market.

In 1998, Guy Ritchie chose the alley that is just on the other side of Borough Market from Bedale Street for a number of scenes in “Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels”. By this time in the market’s history, bistros and artisan cheese makers had already begun trading close to the market on Park Street. Yet, the location was simply made over and retained enough of its back street London look to match Ritchie’s gritty visual style. Whether he knew it or not, Ritchie was following in the steps of Merchant Ivory, who also chose to use Park Street for a location in “Howard’s End”.

A year later, some scenes of “Entrapment”, a Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones thriller, were shot in the market itself. The location directors also used part of London’s financial district – just over the river Thames - for some shots. The contrast between the two sides of London that were depicted really added to the sense of location, before the action moved to Kuala Lumpur for the film’s finale.

More recently, Borough Market’s distinctive and historic visual appeal has been selected by location directors working on the Harry Potter franchise. Along with Leadenhall Market, a now defunct market in the City of London, it features as the secret entrance to Diagon Alley. It was perhaps this other-worldliness that attracted Terry Gilliam to the area, too when he chose Borough Market as a location for “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus”. Gilliam’s movie used Green Dragon Court for his shots, just paces away from Bridget Jones’ fictitious home on Bedale Street.

With so many movie locations to spot and such gastronomic fare on offer, Borough Market is really well worth a visit. If you can, head there mid-week, when there are less crowds and it is subsequently easier to spot the various locations used.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Movie Legend Jean Kent

As many of you may know, movie legend Jean Kent was tragically found dead last November. She signed to Gainsborough Pictures during the Second World War and appeared in a number of British films during the 1940's and 1950's before turning to television.  Michael Thornton, film critic and film historian was a close friend of hers and has brought to our attention that the inquest into her death will take place on Thursday of this week, 8th May. Full details and commentary on this is available should you wish to Read More.

The following week, on the 15th May, Michael is introducing the star's most celebrated and notorious film, Good-Time Girl (1948) at the National Film Theatre should you wish to attend.