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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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Lloyd Square: Gary Oldman Spies on You

12 Oct

After a few weeks spent working on movies shot on the sunny Italian Riviera (no I was not in Venice for The wedding), we are back in Islington and to talk about another British actor and A-Lister: Gary Oldman.

Born in South London in the late 1950s, Oldman has been on our screens for the last 30 years, often in enigmatic roles in JFK, Dracula, The Fifth Element or Immortal Beloved – showing my age here. Younger audiences will of course know him from his roles in the Harry Potter and the Dark Knight franchises.

In award-winning Cold War drama Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011), Oldman plays George Smiley, a retired spy back in action to uncover a Soviet agent who has infiltrated MI6.

In the movie, George Smiley’s house is located in a quiet residential area, as you would expect from a spy. We can spot such house on 3 different occasions and from 3 different angles, most probably all shot on the same day in… Lloyd Square!

First at the beginning of the movie when Smiley is forced into retirement,

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy - Lloyd Square - FILM 01

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy - Lloyd Square - MrX 01

Then, halfway through, we can spot him going back home and noticing someone got in,

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy - Lloyd Square - FILM 02

And finally, right at the end of the film.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy - Lloyd Square - FILM 03

 

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy - Lloyd Square - MrX 02

So the next time you find yourself in Lloyd Square, you may want to double check that nobody is looking at you from behind the curtains.

Fade Out

How to get there?

Islington Film Locations Map

Lloyd Square WC1X 9AJ

King’s Cross station (Zone 1)

Angel Tube Station (Zone 1)

Many buses to King’s Cross Road, Pentonville Road and Rosebery Avenue

 

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 LightsCameraIslington(at)gmail.com or via Twitter

Michelle Williams spotted in St John’s Street

14 Aug

A few weeks ago we saw how Northampton Square, the Brunswick Estate and Emberton Court in particular as well as City University had taken centre stage in Incendiary (2008), a movie about the aftermath of a suicide bombing at a North London football ground, starring starring Ewan McGregor and Michelle Williams.

Since they both live around Northampton Square, it is almost normal that another scene, an everyday one for that matter, ended up being shot nearby.

Towards the end of the movie, Michelle Williams, the young mother who has lost husband and son in the terrorist attack can be seen popping to her local food shop.

When she steps out, she meets the child she has befriended since losing hers with his mother: the son and widow of the suicide bomber. There, she realises that the son she had kept alive in her head is no more, and rushes towards her flat in Emberton Court.

Such scene was shot in a place familiar to many residents and students: the row of shops and fast-food restaurants in St John’s Street, opposite Finsbury Library. The Library can be spotted very briefly when the camera faces the mother and her child, the food shop, the ‘Food & Wine’ shop at the corner of St John’s Street and Wyclif Street and the fast-food restaurants can be recognise more easily.

Incendiary - Northampton Square - FILM 14

Incendiary - Northampton Square - FILM 15

Incendiary - Northampton Square - MRX 02

Incendiary - Northampton Square - FILM 16

Incendiary - Northampton Square - FILM 17

Incendiary - Northampton Square - MRX 01

Fade Out

 Related Incendiary post

Northampton Square: Home of Ewan McGregor and Michelle Williams

 

How to get there?

Islington Film Locations Map

St John’s Street EC1V 4PE

Angel Tube Station (Zone 1)

Many buses to St John’s Street

 

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 LightsCameraIslington(at)gmail.com or via Twitter

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

 

Clerkenwell Close: A Fish Called Wanda Returns

20 Feb

 As promised in November we are back for more A Fish Called Wanda adventures, with the sequel of Fishy Wanda on the Run.

As you may remember, we had seen how George, Ken and Otto (Georgeson, Palin, Kline) having just carried out a heist in Hatton Gardens, made their way to Clerkenwell Green where Wanda (Curtis) was waiting for them in a getaway car. We left them vanishing towards Farringdon Road.

One may assume that they would want to go as far away as possible surely. You would not expect to find them just around the corner, would you? Well, that’s exactly what they did!

In the next scene, our culprits swap cars. They can be seen stopping their car in an alleyway, running down a flight of steps where another car is waiting for them, getting rid of potential clues not to mentioned Wanda’s moustache.

A Fish Called Wanda - Exchanging Car - FILM 01

A Fish Called Wanda - Exchanging Car - FILM 02

A Fish Called Wanda - Exchanging Car - FILM 03

A Fish Called Wanda - Exchanging Car - FILM 04

A Fish Called Wanda - Exchanging Car - FILM 05

All this was shot within yards of the previous scene in Clerkenwell Green: They leave their car on Robert’s Place, off Bowling Green Lane and get down the steps to reach Clerkenwell Close.

A Fish Called Wanda - Exchanging Car - MRX 01

While they change cars, a police one passes by coming from Pear Tree Court and rushing towards Clerkenwell Green.

 A Fish Called Wanda - Exchanging Car - FILM 06

A Fish Called Wanda - Exchanging Car - MRX 02

If you look at our Islington Film Locations Map, you will be able to see how close both scenes were shot.

Interestingly, as part of the promotional material used ahead of the release was a photo of the four actors posing in front of the car in Robert’s Place. Not quite as obvious as the Houses of Parliament or Tower Bridge but there you go: Shot in Islington!

A Fish Called Wanda - Lobby Card

Publicity picture for the release of the film

While George, Otto and Wanda are off in their new car, Ken gets on a motorbike.

Will we come across our culprits in Islington again? Probably, and closer than you may think…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 Close EC1R 0AY

Farringdon Station (Zone 1)

Many buses to Clerkenwell Road, Farringdon Road and Mount Pleasant

Related Article:

Clerkenwell Green: Fishy Wanda on the Run

Michael Caine’s Alfie in Exmouth Market

13 Feb

1960s London…The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, the first supermodels Jean Shrimpton, Twiggy, Carnaby Street, King’s Road… Swinging London at its best!  As for movie stars, if there is one who epitomizes the British actor of the mid-1960s, it would have to be Michael Caine.

Following the success of Zulu in 1964, Michael Caine shot to fame and become a household name thanks first to his role as Harry Palmer (The Ipcress File, 1965) and then to the title role in Alfie.

Alfie (1966), for those who really don’t have a clue, is an unrepentant womanizer who only cares about one thing: Himself. He charms women – sorry, birds – cheats on them, treats them disrespectfully… you get the picture. The role earned Caine his first Oscar nomination.

And where best to enjoy life to the full than…Islington!  Whereas James Mason strolled along Chapel Market, Alfie preferred Exmouth Market!

Early on in the movie, Alfie’s official girlfriend Gilda (Julia Foster) is getting back home. She gets off the bus and then can be seen running through Exmouth Market with the Church of Our Most Holy Redeemer clearly visible in the back…

Alfie - Exmouth Market - FILM 01

Alfie - Exmouth Market - MRX 01

… before disappearing in Northampton Row.

Alfie - Exmouth Market - FILM 02

Alfie - Exmouth Market - MRX 02

And what about Michael Caine I hear you say. No Michael Caine in Exmouth Market?

(cockney accent) Let me tell ya something luv. Bet ya he got busy with some bird in Spa Fields. Obvious, innit?

Ah…Swinging London: Carnaby Street, King’s Road…Exmouth 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

Exmouth Market EC1R 4QE

Angel Tube Station (Zone 1)

Farringdon Station (Zone 1)

Many buses to Farringdon Road and Rosebery Avenue

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