Archive | March, 2014

Myddelton Square’s Week with Meryl Streep

27 Mar

Today I was due to talk to you about a film shot in Myddelton Square and outside St Mark’s Church. I had it all planned for months, set in stone in my blog calendar: Thursday 27th March, Myddelton Square, The End of the Affair (1999) with Julianne Moore and Ralf Fiennes.

Hummm… maybe not. Let’s put it this way, we will still visit Myddelton Square and St Mark’s Church but for the time being we’ll forget about Julianne More and Ralf Fiennes. All this because I realised a few weeks ago that although I had drafted the text, selected the pictures from the movie, I was actually missing those from the location itself! As a result, making the most of a sunny afternoon, I made my way to yet another beautiful square of our borough.

As I arrived Myddelton Square some familiar yellow signs grabbed my attention.

Suffragette - Myddelton Square - MRX 01

Well, well, well…Parking spaces booked …for Filming…24 to 26 March… How interesting…

Back home, I started searching the Internet for any information I could possibly get. Eventually, some light at the end of the tunnel:  Suffragette…Biopic on Emmeline Pankhurst… First film to get permission to shoot inside Houses of Parliament…Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter, Meryl Streep, Ben Whishaw, not bad, not bad…MERYL STREEP? Oh oh oh…Now we’re talking.

Islington has had its fair share of Oscar and BAFTA winning movies and stars as we have seen on our blog, but this was different: filming was taking place on our doorsteps within days!

Another cause for celebration maybe is not only the fact that the shooting and such cast were coming to Islington this week, but also that Ruby Film and Television, an Islington based production company, based a stone’s throw from Myddelton Square, is behind such project. Although Islington Film Studios (later Gainsborough Studios) and Highbury Studios have long gone, Islington’s cinema industry is still going strong!

Ruby Film & TV Offices

Ruby Film & Television Offices

My initial excitement was short lived. The 24th, 25th and 26th March were all weekdays, i.e. workdays. I enlisted the help (and camera) of LadyPinkLondon who already contributes to this blog and who went to Myddelton Square during her spare time.

We are proud to present, ‘exclusively for the readers of Lights, Camera Islington!’ some behind the scenes pictures of what has been going on this week in Islington. This should keep you going until the release of Suffragette in 2015.

 

Before

Myddelton Square Before…

 and After!

and After!

Suffragette - Myddelton Square - MRX 02

Setting the scene

Suffragette - Myddelton Square - MRX 06

Banners for the Suffragettes being delivered

Suffragette - Myddelton Square - MRX 09

A few vintage cars

Suffragette - Myddelton Square - MRX 08

a Police van

Suffragette - Myddelton Square - MRX 07

Suffragette - Myddelton Square - MRX 04

Lights ready and THE balcony…

And the Oscar goes to…

Suffragette - Myddelton Square - MRX 10

An Oscar ‘Made in Islington’ for Meryl?

Finally, some cast and suffragettes having a well deserved break between scenes

 

Suffragette - Myddelton Square - MRX 13

 

Suffragette - Myddelton Square - MRX 11

Suffragette - Myddelton Square - MRX 18

Suffragette - Myddelton Square - MRX 14 15 16

Selfie Time - Sadly no Meryl on this one!

Selfie Time – Sadly no Meryl on this one!

Suffragette - Myddelton Square - MRX 20

Extras outside St Mark’s Church

 

Suffragette - Myddelton Square - MRX 19

St Mark’s Church

CALL OUT: You live or work on Myddelton Square or nearby? You got involved in the shooting in one way or another? Maybe as an Extra or as a location? Was Meryl standing on your balcony? Carey outside your house? Should you be happy to share your experience with Lights, Camera…Islington!, we would LOVE to hear from you!

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

Myddelton Square EC1R 1XP

Angel Tube Station (Zone 1)

King’s Cross Station (Zone 1)

Many buses to Angel, Pentonville Road, Rosebery Avenue and St John’s Street

 

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Copenhagen Tunnel: The Ladykillers Part 2

20 Mar

In Frederica Street: Sweet Old Lady in 60,000 bank robbery! I explained how Ealing Studios’ classic The Ladykillers (1955) was dear to me: One of the first movie I saw after landing in the UK, one that reminded me of a bygone era and that I was over the moon when I realised it had been partly filmed in Islington’s Frederica Street.

Sadly, we also saw how this excitement was short lived when I walked to Frederica Street and realised that shortly after the filming the area had undergone a major redevelopment to give way to the Nailour Estate: Nothing remained from 1954.

Nothing? Hummm, maybe not. Despite all the changes around Frederica Street, if you look carefully, you will find that 60 years on something is still here: The Copenhagen Tunnel. The bridge and the mouths of the tunnel that stood right at the back of Mrs Wilberforce’s house, so crucial in the final stages of the film, can still be seen today.

The LadyKillers - Federica Street - House and Bridge - FILM

The LadyKillers - Bridge - FILM 01

Alec Guinness (Professor Marcus) and Herbert Lom (Louis)

The LadyKillers - Bridge - FILM 02

The LadyKillers - Bridge - MRX

Yes I confess, it is particularly difficult to reach since Frederic Street is no more but…where there is a will, there is a mean. The long option will take you via York Way and then Yale Road through the industrial estate.

A shorter and maybe more comfortable route might be to simply catch the Overground from the Caledonian Road & Barnsbury Station towards Camden Road. Within seconds of departing, looking north, you’ll see it.

The mouths of Copenhagen Tunnel from the Overground

The mouths of Copenhagen Tunnel
from the Overground

A final option might be to know someone living in the Bunning Way flats (off the former Frederica St) and who may let you have a sneak peek from their window or car park… you know my email.

CALL OUT: In an interview available online Tom Pevsner, Assistant Director on The Ladykillers, recalls that in Frederica Street, the crew “used rooms in various houses as dressing rooms, rest rooms for the artists, make-up, hair and all that fitted in and we were there for quite a long time.” (…)  I should think probably 3 or 4 weeks and the people got quite used to us and enjoyed it (…) I think all the people in Frederica Street or a lot of them knew each other (…).

Pictures found online show a tea party organised by the producers and attended by the cast for the schoolchildren of Frederica Street as a thank you for their co-operation during the many weeks of location shooting.

Frederica Street - The Ladykillers - Tea Party

Do you know anyone who lived in Frederica Street or the area back then? Anyone who may have opened their doors to the crew? Attended the tea party? We would LOVE to hear from them!

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

Vale Royal, N7

Caledonian Road Tube Station (Zone 2)

Caledonian Road & Barnsbury Overground (Zone 2)

Many buses to Caledonian Road and York Way

On Holloway Road, Mind the Driving Instructor #Enraha

13 Mar

In our first Happy-Go-Lucky (2008) post, we left Poppy (Sally Hawkins) confronting Scott (Eddie Marsan) about an earlier incident, outside her house in Mountgrove Road. Once in the car, with Scott behind the wheel, they disappeared onto Wilberforce Road towards Finsbury Park.

Where are they off to one wonders: Hackney? Islington? I am glad to say that you do not have to wait long to get the answer as it lies in the next shot. Here they are again, right in the heart of Islington: Holloway Road.

In fact, Poppy and Scott are at one of Islington’s busiest junction. we can spot them on Tollington Road, turning right onto Holloway Road towards Archway.

Happy Go Lucky - Holloway Road - Waitrose - FILM

Happy Go Lucky - Holloway Road - Waitrose - MRX

And if they have just turned right towards Archway, it would be reasonable to believe that they should next be seen around there, wouldn’t it? Well… they may still be in Islington, but not quite where ‘Enraha’ might expect them… To be continued!

Fade Out

How to get there?

Islington Film Locations Map

Holloway Road N7

Holloway Tube Station (Zone 2)

Many buses to Holloway Road

 

Related Happy-Go-Lucky posts

Mountgrove Road: A Vintage Sally Hawkins Lived Here

At Highbury Corner, Keep Your Lane!

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

Stephen Fry Hides in Alwyne Road

6 Mar

When we last spoke of V for Vendetta (2005), we left Evey (Natalie Portman) recalling her childhood to V (Hugo Weaving), and how she used to hand out leaflets outside Farringdon Station.

Soon after, V tells Evey that, having brought her to his house, she must now remain there until the following 5th November, one year away. When she realises that V kills government officials, she escapes. Now a wanted woman, she cannot go back home and decides to take refuge at her boss’s, comedian and talk show host Gordon Deitrich (Stephen Fry).

In return for her trust, Gordon explains that he conceals his sexuality to protect his career, and shows her a collection of prohibited materials such as paintings, an antique Quran, and homoerotic photographs.

And where better to hide than…Alwyne Road. A quiet leafy street in Canonbury, by the new river footpath.

Unlike other Islington film locations, the house is not instantly recognisable. We only get to see it for a few seconds, at night and mainly from close-ups. First, when Evey rings the bell and Gordon opens the door.

 V for Vendetta - 6 Alwyne Road - FILM 01

Then, later that evening, before the police storms in, we get a quick glance at the whole house but again it is a night shot.

V for Vendetta - 6 Alwyne Road - FILM 02

V for Vendetta - 6 Alwyne Road - MRX 01

Stay on your toes, V for Vendetta will take us to other locations across Islington.

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

Alwyne Road N1

Essex Road Train Station (Zone 1)

Highbury and Islington Station (Zone 2)

Buses to Canonbury Road, Essex Road, Upper Street or Highbury Corner

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