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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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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

Mountgrove Road: A Vintage Sally Hawkins Lived Here

23 Jan

From one Islington boundary to another and yet again it is with our Hackney neighbours that we are getting cosy. No surprise here when this week’s film was mainly shot in North London between Camden, Hackney, Islington as well as Southwark.

In Mike Leigh’s sparkling comedy Happy-Go-Lucky (2008), Poppy (Sally Hawkins) is a cheerful and cheeky primary-school teacher whose happiness and exuberance irritate in no small measure her bitter driving instructor Scott (Eddie Marsan). Screenwriter and director Mike Leigh and his actors went on to collect countless awards and nominations for their work.

Once again ladies and gentlemen, we can proudly say that the main character of a movie ‘Lived in Islington’.

Happy Go Lucky - House - FILM 01

Or can we? Did she really?

Poppy’s house is on the corner of Finsbury Park Road (Hackney) and Mountgrove Road (Islington). Technically speaking the house’s door is the last one on Finsbury Park Road but the living room and its 3 windows overlook Mountgrove Road!

Since Poppy is taking driving lessons and getting in and out of the flat, you can spot it, the street and the area many times throughout the film. In fact, this is likely to be a familiar corner to many Islington residents. What in the film is an empty orange corner shop ‘To Let’ has since Happy-Go-Lucky become the popular Cafe Vintage.

 Happy Go Lucky - House - FILM 03

Happy Go Lucky - House - MRX o

On another occasion, when returning from a day out to visit her pregnant sister, Poppy and her flatmate Zoe (Alexis Zegerman) can be seen driving down Canning Road, at the corner of which Scott is standing, looking at their flat. When Poppy spots him, he shoots off, up Canning road.

Happy Go Lucky - Canning Road - FILM

Happy Go Lucky - Canning Road - MRX 01

At her next driving lesson, Poppy confronts Scott. While walking towards the car parked on Mountgrove Road you can recognise the blue front shop of Bennet & Brown, the peculiar grey double-doors next to it and the small food market store.

Mountgrove Road - Bennet & Brown FILM

Happy Go Lucky - Mountgrove Road - MRX

Once in the car, they turn left onto Wilberforce Road, back to Hackney. Where will we next spot our heroes? Yet again another movie we’ll be coming back to.

For now, and since you have made it that far, you may as well want to reward yourself with one of Cafe Vintage’s yummy treats!

Fade Out

How to get there?

Islington Film Locations Map

Mountgrove Road N5 2LT

Arsenal Tube Station (Zone 2)

Finsbury Park Station (Zone 2)

Buses to Blackstock Road and Clissold Park

 

Related Happy-Go-Lucky posts

On Holloway Road, Mind the Driving Instructor 

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

 

 

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