Archive | May, 2014

The Shepherdess Café: Storm in a Tea Cup

29 May

This week, we are back in City Road flirting with our Hackney neighbours to visit one of our favourite Islington film location. In fact, one of our favourite Islington spots, full stop.

In Islington Arts & Media School Star among the Stars we saw how Richard Eyre’s Notes on a Scandal (2006) had used extensively IAMS, central to the story of teachers Sheba Hart (Cate Blanchett) and Barbara Covett (Judi Dench).

When not in classrooms or preparing lessons, what do teachers do? In some cases, and like most of us, they enjoy a good old cuppa. And where best to enjoy a good old cuppa than The Shepherdess Café on City Road?

Towards the beginning of the movie, after a hard day’s work, Barbara, Sheba and their colleague Sue (Joanna Scanlan) head off to their nearby caff. Not sure when looking at our Islington Film Locations Map, that The Shepherdess is the nearest local from Islington Arts & Media School nearby Finsbury Park but that’s movies for you!

 Notes on a Scandal - Shepherdress Cafe - FILM 02

Notes on a Scandal - Shepherdress Cafe - FILM 01

Notes on a Scandal - Shepherdress Cafe - MRX 01

Undoubtedly very characteristic The Shepherdess, which recently celebrated its 31st birthday, has become an institution in its own rights and counts numerous guest stars and VIPs among its customers as can be seen on its walls. Plus, bonus for Lights, Camera…Islington! It has starred in a number of films and adverts along the way.

Either as a starting point or a final destination for an Islington film locations tour, not only you can enjoy a cuppa in this good old greasy spoon, but you can also sit in Cate Blanchett or Judi Dench’s seat while enjoying an award-winning breakfast!

A BIG THANK YOU to Hussein and the Café staff for welcoming us and allowing us to take a few pics!

Shepherdress Cafe - MRX

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

Sheperdess Café

221 City Road EC1V 1JN

Old Street Station (Zone 1)

Many buses to City Road and Old Street

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Night Stroll in Camden Passage for Colin Firth

22 May

After last weekend’s excitement and euphoria following Arsenal’s FA Cup Victory and Parade, it seemed appropriate this week to remain in the mood by going back to the one and only Fever Pitch (1997) starring Colin Firth and Mark Strong (an Arsenal season ticket holder by the way – where were you last weekend?)

Today, we visit for a second time one of Islington’s busiest locations: Camden Passage. The first time Lights, Camera…Islington! visited it, we were following the footsteps of an anxious Liam Neeson.

However, Liam was not the first star to grace Camden Passage of his presence. Fever Pitch brings us back to this well-loved Islington’s street. Having spotted them outside Highbury Stadium and Arsenal Tube Station, we can also see Paul (Colin Firth) and Sarah (Ruth Gemmell) enjoying a night stroll….although Paul is in his own world and, when asked about it, pretends to be thinking of English writer D.H. Lawrence.

To be honest, it is rather difficult to recognise Camden Passage while watching the movie. On one hand it is an evening scene with hardly any lights on and the shops are closed, on the other, to make matters worse, it is mostly a close up scene. You only get to see it by scrutinising the scene.

If you do so,  you can first spot the flight of steps on the left, now leading to a Mexican restaurant,

Fever Pitch - Camden Passage - FILM 01

and then the penny drops: Paul stops to look at two antique shops windows…

Fever Pitch - Camden Passage - FILM 02

before the couple crosses Charlton Place!

Fever Pitch - Camden Passage - FILM 03

 

 

Fever Pitch - Camden Passage - MRX

Not the most obvious of our Islington film locations I must admit. After such a romantic night stroll, who knows if Paul might convince Sarah to buy a house 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

Camden Passage N1 8EA

Angel Tube Station (Zone 1)

Many buses to Angel and Islington

The Estorick Collection brings La Dolce Vita to Islington

15 May

This week, let’s forget about Islington film locations for a moment. Worry not, we’ll still be talking film stars and Islington. Indeed, movie stars galore in this post, and of the highest calibre: Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Joan Collins, Jack Lemmon, Rock Hudson, Cary Grant, Launren Bacall, John Wayne, Jayne Mansfield, Robert Wagner, not to forget Marcello Mastroianni  and Anita Ekberg. All of them, and many more, are waiting for you in the heart of Islington, at the Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art.

Estorick Collection

Estorick Collection

Located in Canonbury Square, the Estorick Collection’s latest exhibition, The Years of La Dolce Vita opened on 30th April. We are invited to travel back to 1950s and 60s Rome, where many Hollywood producers and filmakers went to, to shoot at its Cinecittà studios for a fraction of what it would have cost them in California. Those were Cinecittà’s golden years with epic films such as Ben-Hur (1959) and Cleopatra (1963) being made, and young Italian directors producing some of their finest movies.

At a time where the Internet and social media seemed light years from us, and where most people could not travel long distances, how did people know about what was going on in Rome? Thanks to gossip and people magazines, thanks to photographers, thanks to Paparazzi

In fact, the name Paparazzi comes from Fellini’s La Dolce Vita itself. In it, Mastroianni plays Marcello Rubbini, a journalist writing for gossip magazines who works with a photographer friend, whose name is… Paparazzo! Marcello Geppetti (1933-1998) was one those photographers. It is mainly from his archive that the 80 pictures on display at the Estorick Collection are. Here are some of them to whet your appetite.

Audrey Hepburn who shot to fame and won her first Oscar for Roman Holiday (1953) was no stranger to Rome.

1. Estorick La Dolce Vita - Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn, Rome, 1961 MGMC & Solares Fondazione delle Arti

Neither was Rock Hudson, seen here with Cary Grant, who filmed in Italy A Farewell to Arms (1957) and the romantic comedy Come September (1961), which is at the heart of our Hollywood on the Italian Riviera project.

4. Estorick La Dolce Vita - Hudson and Grant

Rock Hudson and Cary Grant at Cinecittà, June 1961 MGMC & Solares Fondazione delle Arti

British actress Joan Collins, whom Lights, Camera…Islington! came across in her early career exiting Holloway Prison was by now rubbing shoulders with Jack Lemmon and Robert Wagner.

9. Estorick La Dolce Vita - Lemmon, Collins and Wagner

Jack Lemmon, Joan Collins and Robert Wagner at “Caffè dell’Epoca”, Rome, October 1961 MGMC & Solares Fondazione delle Arti

Mr Universe 1955 and actor Mickey Hargitay and his wife Jayne Mansfield were having the time of their life.

10. Estorick La Dolce Vita - Mansfield and Hargitay, Rome 1962

Jayne Mansfield and Mike Hargitay leaving “Piccola Budapest”, Rome, October 1962 MGMC & Solares Fondazione delle Arti

From one curvy blonde to another: Brigitte Bardot, Bardot…la la la la la lalaaaaa

2. Estorick La Dolce Vita - Bardot

Brigitte Bardot in Spoleto, June 1961 MGMC & Solares Fondazione delle Arti

In the meantime in Ischia, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton were enjoying a break from shooting Cleopatra.

5. Estorick La Dolce Vita - Burton and Taylor

Richard Burton and Liz Taylor kissing in Ischia, June 1962 MGMC & Solares Fondazione delle Arti

We truly enjoyed discovering those Marcello Geppetti’s snapshots on display in The Years of La Dolce Vita. For an hour or so we were mingling with the stars in sunny (and warm) Rome, wondering along Trastevere, Via Veneto, la Fontana di Trevi… I guess the miserable weather made it all the better, not to mention the 3 D experience offered by the Estorick Collection.

The 3-D experience??? Yes, la ciliegina sulla torta (the cherry on the cake as the Italians say). While you go trough the rooms looking at the pictures of the stars having a coffee, enjoying a drink or a meal in a Trattoria, an incredible smell comes from the Estorick Caffè and tickles your nose. How clever! So clever that we ended up extending our stay in Rome for a Frittata of the day, some Gnocchi Sorrentina and 2 Espresso.

No pictures of Marcello? Anita Ekberg? John Wayne? Federico Fellini?

Oh yes. Plenty of those. At the Estorick Collection.

The Years of La Dolce Vita is on until the 29th June.

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.

How to get there?

Islington Film Locations Map

Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art

39a Canonbury Square N1 2AN

Essex Road Train Station (Zone 1)

Highbury and Islington Station (Zone 2)

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

Islington Arts and Media School Star Among the Stars

7 May

Just over two months ago Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett went head to head for the Best Actress in a Leading role Oscar. No strangers to such feat, it was not long ago that the two actresses collected awards and nominations around the world for their roles in a drama shot mainly in North London and Islington in particular.

In Richard Eyre’s Notes on a Scandal (2006), adapted from Zoe Heller’s book of the same name, Judi Dench plays Barbara Covett, a history teacher nearing retirement who befriends Sheba Hart (Cate Blanchett), a younger and new art teacher. Upon realising that Sheba is having an inappropriate relationship with one of her student, Barbara realises that Sheba’s mistake might be her opportunity.

Now that we have set the scene, we need, well, a school for our teachers. Where do Barbara and Sheba teach? At St George’s School. St George’s? No such school in Islington… unless of course, we are talking the old George Orwell School…the Islington Arts and Media School!

Before going any further, we would like to thank Islington Arts and Media School (IAMS) for opening their doors to us and making this post possible, in particular Martina and Ashley Grey, Community Arts Coordinator, for being our Tour Guide.

Considering the school is the workplace of our two main characters, it appears time and time again throughout Notes on a Scandal – as Leading Role do.

Although since filming took place IAMS underwent a major redevelopment, many key features seen in the movie are still visible today.

In the opening minutes we get to see the Victorian building facing Marriott Road.

Notes on a Scandal - Islington Arts and Media School - FILM 04

Notes on a Scandal - Islington Arts and Media School - MRX 04

And again later in the movie from a slightly different angle.

Notes on a Scandal - Islington Arts and Media School - FILM 02

Notes on a Scandal - Islington Arts and Media School - MRX 02

Also in the opening minutes, once Barbara has parked her car, we can see her walking towards the school. However, we are being slightly tricked since what looks like to be the school entrance is in fact the interior courtyard of Islington Arts & Media School. Thanks Ashley for spotting this one!

Notes on a Scandal - Islington Arts and Media School - FILM 01

Notes on a Scandal - Islington Arts and Media School - MRX 01

Again in this initial sequence, Barbara watches the students entering the school through the school gates on Marriott Road, and within seconds Sheba Hart arriving on her bicycle.

Notes on a Scandal - Islington Arts and Media School - FILM 06

Notes on a Scandal - Islington Arts and Media School - FILM 07

Notes on a Scandal - Islington Arts and Media School - MRX 05

The Sports Hall has also a ‘Supporting Role’ in the film. Initially when Head Teacher Sandy Pabblem (Michael Maloney) meets all the teachers and Sheba Hart arrives late.

Notes on a Scandal - Islington Arts and Media School - FILM 03

And again from a different angle for a School Event hosted by the Head Teacher.

Notes on a Scandal - Islington Arts and Media School - FILM 05

Notes on a Scandal - Islington Arts and Media School - MRX 03

Angle from first scene

A special thank you to the class who allowed us to enter the Sports Hall during their classroom for a quick snapshot!

Other ‘Guest Appearances’ in the movie include  the black staircase which used to be in the main entrance is still there but the entrance has now been relocated, and the school canteen.

Notes on a Scandal - Islington Arts and Media School - FILM 09

Notes on a Scandal - Islington Arts and Media School - FILM 10

Notes on a Scandal - Islington Arts and Media School - FILM 08

Notes on a Scandal - Islington Arts and Media School - MRX 06

Quite a Star among the Stars our Islington Arts and Media School as you can see. Who knows, next time you visit it, you might bump into Cate Blanchett, Judi Dench or another film crew!

Once again a BIG THANK YOU to Islington Arts & Media School, Martina and Ashley.

 

Looking for a space to organise an event?

Be it for training events, conferences, sports facilities or arts studios, Islington Arts & Media School has plenty to offer: http://www.iamschool.co.uk/about/facilitieslettings

For any enquiries feel free to contact Ms Ashley Grey: Ashley.Grey@iams.islington.sch.uk

or Mr Tony Derrett, Lettings Manager lettings@iams.islington.sc.uk

 

With many scenes of Notes on a Scandal shot in Islington, we’ll soon get back to it for more. 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

Islington Arts and Media School

Turle Road N4 3LS

Finsbury Park Station (Zone 2)

Crouch Hill Overground Station (Zone 2)

Buses to Hanley Road, Hornsey Road, Tollington Park and Crouch Hill and Finsbury Park stations

Monty Python’s Terry Jones filming in Campdale Road

1 May

Barely less than a month after Meryl Street, Helena Bonham Carter and Carrey Mulligan where spotted filming Suffragette in Myddelton Square, and more Action! is taking place in Islington.

Icing on the cake, this is taking place in Tufnell Park, an area I have struggled to find movie locations so far. Having said this, thanks to a few Tufnell Park readers and followers, I do now have a ‘Tufnell Park to watch list’ and it is thanks to one of them that we have this post and pictures. She prefers to remain anonymous unless of course you want to purchase (for an insane amount of money) her photos!

A few weeks ago Simon Pegg and Sanjeed Bhaskar were already spotted filming in Campdale Road: Monty Python’s Terry Jones was in the borough filming his first movie in 18 years, Absolutely Anything. Simon Pegg plays a disillusioned school teacher who discovers that he has the ability to do anything he wishes, that is Absolutely Anything!

On Sunday 27th, crews took over Campdale Road once again to shoot another scene…and shooting there was!

Thanks to our Tufnell Park photographer, we are proud to present, ‘exclusively for the readers of Lights, Camera Islington!’ some behind the scenes pictures of what went on in Campdale Road this week. Absolutely Anything is due to be released in 2015.

06 lci

Crew members and passers-by

07 lci

05 lci

The Baddies not looking that scary actually

And…Action!

01 lci

We need to get him in the car…NOW!

02 lci

03 lci

04 lci

The chase is on…

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?

Campdale Road N7 0EA

Islington Film Locations Map

Tufnell Park Station (Zone 2)

Many buses to Tufnell Park Road and Tufnell Park Station

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