Archive | November, 2013

Islington Green: The Screen on the Green “In Cinemas NOW”

28 Nov

This week, The Screen on the Green cinema in Islington is celebrating a very, very special birthday. It is 100 years since the Pesaresi brothers opened this purpose-built cinema after having acquired and demolished a few old shops. The Screen on the Green has changed hands a few times along the way, seen a few refurbishments, in particular to its auditorium, but its peculiar façade outlined in red neon has survived the years and become a local landmark.

To join in the celebrations, I wanted to find out if the cinema has had its 15 minutes of glory. Surely, in its 100 years, and with all the movies filmed in London and Islington, it must have featured in one way or another in a movie. It took some time to go through all my film locations books and usual resources to find one on time for this week’s celebrations but I eventually did.

Just Ask for Diamond (1988) is a teenage comedy based on The Falcon’s Malteser, the first book of The Diamond Brothers series published by British novelist and screenwriter Anthony Horowitz. Hopeless Herbert, who goes by the pseudonym of Tim Diamond (Dursely McLinden) works as a private investigator and, thank God for him, lives with his younger and smarter brother Nick (Colin Dale).

The movie opens with our heroes in a desperate situation: cold, starving, no money left and waiting for that ever-elusive first client. Out of nowhere comes the mysterious Johnny Naples (José René Ruiz) to leave a package. They must not open it and must take care of it for 2 to 3 days in return for… £200!

With things looking up, the two brothers decide to go to the movies and head off to…The Screen on the Green!

Just ask for Diamond - Screen on the Green - FILM

Once the movie has ended, they can be seen leaving the cinema and crossing Upper Street towards Islington Green with the familiar façade all lit up behind them.

Just ask for Diamond - Screen on the Green - MRX

If you do know of any other film featuring the cinema please do get in touch! In the meantime, let’s all raise our glasses to The Screen on The Green and to the next 100 years!

Fade Out

Enjoyed this post? Feel free to comment, share it with your friends and come to Islington to discover our locations! Don’t forget to send me your pictures.

And if you do know any Islington location used for Film, TV, photo shoot or have been involved in the process, drop me a line at TheUnbelievableMrX(at)gmail.com or via Twitter

How to get there?

Islington Film Locations Map

Islington Green N1 0NP

Angel Tube Station (Zone 1)

Highbury & Islington Station (Zone 2)

Many buses to Angel, Islington Green

Advertisements

Clerkenwell Green: Fishy Wanda on the Run

21 Nov

A heist-comedy co-written by, and starring John Cleese, fellow Monty Python’s star Michael Palin, Kevin Kline and Jamie Lee Curtis looked to have all the ingredients for success when it was premiered. Indeed, within weeks A Fish Called Wanda (1988) became an enormous critical and commercial success, scooping numerous awards along the way.

In London, George (Tom Georgeson) has a plan. Together with Ken (Michael Palin), Otto (Kevin Kline) and Wanda (Jamie Lee Curtis) they join forces to commit a multi-million pound jewellery heist. After their success, they all try to double cross each other for the loot, as you would. In her quest, Wanda needs to seduce George’s lawyer, Archie Leach (John Cleese).

We can spot our culprits in Islington when, having carried out their heist in nearby Hatton Garden, they arrive Clerkenwell Green walking to meet Wanda, waiting for them in their getaway car.

A Fish Called Wanda - Waiting Car - FILM

The car is parked on the south side of the Green with the Crown Tavern pub in the distance.

Pause for a second. Although Hatton Garden is fairly close to Clerkenwell Green I am not sure, should I ever consider carrying out a similar robbery, that I might want to walk all the way to Clerkenwell Green before getting into a car…Having said that, it suits us perfectly since, in doing so, they leave behind Camden to enter Islington!

A Fish Called Wanda - Waiting Car - MRX

They jump on the car and here they go – not without nearly running over an old lady and her three Yorkshire Terriers.

Where are they heading? Will they stay in Islington? To be continued…

Fade Out

Enjoyed this post? Feel free to comment, share it with your friends and come to Islington to discover our locations! Don’t forget to send me your pictures.

And if you do know any Islington location used for Film, TV, photo shoot or have been involved in the process, drop me a line at TheUnbelievableMrX(at)gmail.com or via Twitter

How to get there?

Islington Film Locations Map

Clerkenwell Green EC1R 0DU ‎

Farringdon Station (Zone 1)

Many buses to Clerkenwell Road, Farringdon Road, Mount Pleasant and St John’s Street

Islington Film Locations Map Launch

14 Nov

It is once month this week that Lights, Camera…Islington! was thrown into the spotlight.

To celebrate this, here is a slightly different post. Not one about a movie location in the borough, but one about the Islington Film Locations Map I have started.

A link to the map will be available below each post in the ‘How to Get There?’ section, and via the ‘Categories Column’ on the right-hand side menu.

Click on the link to get an overall map with icons spread around the borough.

Islington Film Locations Map 01

On the left, you’ll see a menu with the different film titles. Click on the one of your choice to go straight there or, alternatively, get closer to the icon or area of your choice, and a box will appear. Inside such box you’ll find a still of the scene, a picture of the location today, and the link to the relevant post…Et voila!

Islington Film Locations Map 02

Considering that Lights, Camera…Islington! is only celebrating its first month, there are understandably only a few locations at present. However, I am delighted to say that after spending many weekends going back and forth, up and down the borough, I have now gathered enough materials to publish a post a week for the next year or so.

A BIG THANK YOU to all the Islington organisations, residents and other movie fanatics that have already got in touch with me willing to share their knowledge and open their doors. Glad to see that I am not the only one keen on the subject…When you think that a few weeks ago, I thought I would run out of materials after 3 months!

Hope you get to make the most of the map as it expands and I look forward to seeing many of you with your smartphones, tablets and cameras discovering and enjoying Islington.

 Islington Film Locations Map

 

Enjoyed this post? Feel free to comment, share it with your friends and come to Islington to discover our locations! Don’t forget to send me your pictures.

And if you do know any Islington location used for Film, TV, photo shoot or have been involved in the process, drop me a line at TheUnbelievableMrX(at)gmail.com or via Twitter

Highbury: It’s Fever Pitch Around Here

7 Nov

I could not start a blog about Islington film locations in 2013 and not mention Highbury, the home of Arsenal Football Club between 1913 and 2006. The Club, celebrating the 100th anniversary of its move to Islington, and its stadium, have provided the backdrop to both murder mysteries and romantic comedies.

I have to confess that when I first heard of and saw Fever Pitch (1997), many years after its release, I did smile and wonder how Colin Firth, having just dried off from that little swim of his and become the fantasy of half of the UK, had decided to take on such role. An interesting thing for me about this comedy is to see the journey made by both Colin Firth and Mark Strong, arguably two big names in Hollywood today, since sharing the screen on Fever Pitch. And if I do not know why the former made this film, you can find on youtube an interview of Mark Strong explaining how, being born and bred in Islington and an Arsenal season ticket holder himself, desperate he was to get his part!

Based on Nick Hornby’s novel, the story centres on English teacher Paul (Colin Firth) a passionate Arsenal fan who falls for colleague Sarah (Ruth Gemmell), not so keen on football herself. Inevitably, many scenes take place around the stadium.

As a kid, Paul (Luke Aikman) discovers the Gunners and the Arsenal Stadium atmosphere. We can see him and his dad (Neil Pearson) at the West Entrance Gate on Highbury Hill.

Fever Pitch - Arsenal Stadium - West Upper Entrance - FILM

Arsenal Stadium - West Upper Entrance - MRX

At the end of the movie, the last day of the 1988-89 season, Sarah looks for Paul and goes to Avenell Road, passing by the art-deco style East Stand.

Fever Pitch - Arsenal Stadium - Main Entrance - FILM 05

There, she finds him celebrating with Steve (Mark Strong) and other Gunners’ fans, the end of an excruciating season and dramatic last gasp win over Liverpool for the title.

Fever Pitch - Arsenal Stadium - Main Entrance - FILM 04

Arsenal Stadium - Main Entrance - MRX

As many scenes of Fever Pitch were shot in the borough, I’ll get back to it: Arsenal fans beware!

Fever Pitch - Firth Strong - Screaming - FILM

Fade Out

Enjoyed this post? Feel free to comment, share it with your friends and come to Islington to discover our locations! Don’t forget to send me your pictures.

And if you do know any Islington location used for Film, TV, photo shoot or have been involved in the process, drop me a line at TheUnbelievableMrX(at)gmail.com or via Twitter

How to get there?

Islington Film Locations Map

Highbury Stadium N5 1BU

Arsenal Tube Station (Zone 2)

Drayton Park Train station (Zone 2)

Many buses to Highbury Park Road and Holloway Road

%d bloggers like this: