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That’s a Wrap!

24 Jan

This post is the first one in a very long time and I write it with a certain melancholy.

Like with all movies and TV series, after months of planning, preparation, research, location scouting and filming, comes the last day of shooting and with it, the director’s final words: “That’s a wrap!”

After writing almost every week for the first 14-15 months, 2015 was a fairly quiet affair. During the first part of the year, although some posts were ready on paper, I did not have a computer. Then, when back online and roaring to go, I was offered the opportunity to move abroad for an internal promotion… and I spent August packing. End of September, after 15 years in the UK and the last 6 in Islington, I took my suitcases and head off to Spain!

I will publish the few posts drafted early 2015 but after that it will be tricky to carry on from Spain and not being able to walk around Islington to take pictures. Talking of which, the Islington Film Locations Map will now be opened to everyone who knows and wishes to share with us an Islington film location. I hope to see this map growing and growing.

Thanks to everyone who dropped by at some point, followed the blog, enjoyed it and commented on it! You never know what the future may have in mind and maybe we’ll have a Lights, Camera…Islington! sequel in a few years time but for now, it is …So long, farewell, au revoir, auf wiedersehen, goodbye!

To Islington with Love, Xavier

4 Weddings & Funeral - Highbury Terrace - Final Kiss - FILM

 

 

 

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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

Love or Disaster at Islington Town Hall

24 Apr

At the end of March, Islington Town Hall hit the headlines and front covers for being the first one to celebrate a same-sex marriage. Today, the spotlight is once again on our Town Hall, again for a wedding and again for a ceremony involving a gay man…or maybe not.

Love and Other Disasters (2006) is a romantic comedy partly produced by Islington based Ruby Films, in which Emily, also known as Jacks (Brittany Murphy), works as an assistant at Vogue UK and shares a flat with her gay friend Peter (Matthew Rhys), a screenwriter. Both worry about serious relationships. Jacks spends her time with her friends Peter and Tallulah (Catherine Tate) and sleeps with her ex, while Peter lives and falls in love in his dreams rather than real people. Enter Paolo Sarmiento (Santiago Cabrera – Aramis in the BBC’s Musketeers to you and me), a charming photographer from Argentina.

Convinced that Paolo is gay, Jacks introduces him to Peter. At the same time she receives him at home in her underwear, when not in her bath. Both Peter and Jacks fell under Paolo’s charm…

All seems going well until Paolo announces that he is packing, going back to Argentina. Someone reported him to the UK authorities, his visa has expired, Paolo must leave.

With a promising photographic career ahead of him, Jacks offers Paolo to get married so that he can stay. And where best to tie the knot than Islington Town Hall!

When Paolo wakes up in finds a note from Jacks saying ‘Meet me at the Islington Registry at 11 a.m. sharp’.

Love and Other Disasters - Islington Town Hall - Film 01

Then we can see Paolo arriving Islington Town Hall.

Love and Other Disasters - Islington Town Hall - Film 02

Love and Other Disasters - Islington Town Hall - Film 03

Love and Other Disasters - Islington Town Hall - MRX 01

Seconds later Peter rushes out of a black cab.

Love and Other Disasters - Islington Town Hall - Film 06

Love and Other Disasters - Islington Town Hall - MRX 02

 

Will Jacks and Paolo get married or will Paolo dare to tell her that he is not the man she thinks he is? More scenes of Love and Other Disasters were shot across the borough so, you’d better watch it to get the answer!

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 Town Hall N1 2UD

Highbury and Islington Station (Zone 2)

Many buses to Upper Street

Liam Neeson rushes through Camden Passage

3 Apr

You may recall that in From Angel Station to Milano, we left Peter (Liam Neeson) a worried man. Following the passing of his wife, he had discovered that she probably had a lover. He wanted to find out who The Other Man (2008) might be and we had left him exiting Angel Station.

But then what next? Would we be lucky enough to spot him again in Islington?

Cinema has always been very good at tricking us, pretending to be somewhere when in fact the scene was shot in a studio or on the other side of the world. It would therefore not have been very surprising to see that on the next shot Liam Neeson was (already) in, say, Greenwich!

However, I am delighted to say that he stayed in Islington. In fact, Neeson follows a route that hundreds of locals and Londoners know very well. Once out of the station he walks past The Royal Bank of Scotland and goes through…Camden Passage!

The Other Man - Camden Passage - FILM

The Other Man - Camden Passage - MRX

Once one of London’s leading antique market destinations, Camden Passage has in more recent years welcomed a diverse range of vintage shops, cafes, restaurants, not to mentioned a British cheesemonger and a Chocolatier extraordinaire. If you haven’t done so already, it is definitely worth a visit the next time you come to Islington!

Having featured a number of times on the big screen Camden Passage will become another hot spot on our Islington Film Location Map. Just as well since I am yet to try half the cheeses on display there. You can take the boy out of France but…

That’s the Wrap!

This post is our last one on The Other Man but if you know otherwise, please do let me know.

Since the two sequences we talked about follow each other, here they are as they appear on screen.

The Other Man - Angel Tube Station - FILM

The Other Man - Camden Passage - FILM

 

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

Liam Neeson: from Angel Station to Milano

30 Jan

After Farringdon Station in V for Vendetta, our Islington Stations mini series bring us this time to Angel for a new movie and a new star to film in our borough.

In The Other Man (2008), Liam Neeson is Peter, a Cambridge based software engineer whose wife (Laura Linney), a shoe designer, passes away at the beginning of the movie. While grieving, Peter discovers emails she kept private and understands that he may not have been the only man in her life. Confused, he decides to get to the bottom of this and track down that other man. A quest he initiates in Islington and will take him to Milan and Lake Como.

Having discovered the emails, he gets on a train. We are left to wonder where is he off to until…we spot him walking out of Angel Tube station, head down, deep in thought.

The Other Man - Angel Tube Station - FILM

Angel Tube Station - MRX

Where is Liam Neeson heading? Will he be staying in Islington? You’ll have to keep reading your favourite Islington Film Locations blog to find out!

 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

Angel Tube Station (Zone 1)

Many buses to Angel and Islington

Chapel Market: McDonald’s is Loving It

26 Dec

Having first visited Chapel Market in October for its appearance in The London Nobody Knows (1967), we are back for more for a slightly different kind of post. As anticipated at the end of that post, on Monday 28th October, making the most of the only day non-market day of the week, a film crew had taken over the street, set up a mini Christmas market and even brought in a snow machine!

Chapel Market Advert 2013

On 25th November, fast-food giant Mc Donald’s unveiled their Somewhere Near You festive TV ad for Christmas.

McDonalds - Chapel Market - Somewhere Near You 2013 Xmas ad

I know what some of you may be thinking. Like many chain outlets that we can find everywhere and anywhere across the UK, retail outlets are pretty much the same wherever you go. Asides for the first opening seconds, the Christmas 2013 advert takes place mainly inside the restaurant which makes it tricky to identify it.

However, it is not the first time that Mc Donald’s UK uses this Islington outlet. They have done so on a number of occasions and, on those TV adverts, it is possible to spot that we are indeed in Chapel Market, albeit using the ‘pause’ button. Here are a few of those adverts and the clues.

You may remember Mc Donald’s First Day advert. A young man turns up for his first day in a new job and is taken around the office at Mach 2 speed, bombarded with information, names, passwords, etc. When finally he has some time for himself, to recover from this frantic and traumatic experience, he pops in the local outlet…in Chapel Market!

McDonalds - Chapel Market - First Day At Work TV Ad FILM

Another campaign you may remember is the Great Tastes of the World one. A man, comfortably seating at home reading the paper, suddenly tells his girlfriend: “Jane I have decided to travel the word.” The adverts were there to support a ‘5 weeks – 5 Burgers’ campaign to invite you to try out tastes from Australia, Mexico, Spain, South Africa and Switzerland. Nonetheless, every single time his exhaustive journey ends up in…you’ve guessed it, Chapel Market again!

McDonalds - Chapel Market - Great Tastes of the World Commercial - FILM

In all these adverts, the clues are the black parking post outside the restaurant, the white mark above the company’s name and the windows in the top right angle.

McDonalds - Chapel Market - MRX

I know, it is not as obvious as Tower Bridge or the Houses of Parliament but this is also what McDonald’s is after: to make it look familiar to all of us independently of where we are in the country.

To sum up, out of their 12,000+ UK outlets, Mc Donald’s is Loving Chapel Market!

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

Chapel Market N1 9ER

Angle Tube Station: (Zone 1)

Many buses to Angel

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

Chapel Market: The London Nobody Knows

31 Oct

Located in the heart of Angel, between Penton Street and Liverpool Road is Chapel Market. Known as Chapel Street until 1936, it changed its name after the busy market that had established itself well in the second part of the nineteenth century.

Chapel market 1906

Chapel Market in 1906

Chapel Market survived the twentieth century without any major changes. It is therefore probably unsurprising that it has appeared time and time again on our screens as we will have the opportunity to see in future posts.

Based on an earlier book of the same name, the documentary The London Nobody Knows (1967) follows British actor James Mason around non-touristy areas of 1960s London. The film encapsulates the real life of those years and is definitely worth seeing for anyone interested in the history of the capital.

It is in this context that Mason introduces the spectators to “Chapel Market, Islington” and its array of stalls in a rather psychedelic visit! 

London Nobody Knows - Chapel Market - FILM

Chapel Market MRX v

As mentioned above, I will come back to Chapel Market in the future. In fact, no later than Monday, only non-trading day of the week, a crew had invaded the street. Watch out for something (an advert?) involving a Christmas market, snow and a world famous fast food restaurant chain…To be continued

Chapel Market Advert 2013

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

Chapel Market N1 1UP

Angle Tube Station (Zone 1)

Many buses to Angel

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