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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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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

Westland Place: Julia Roberts’ Studio!

16 Jan

One of the funniest aspects of Lights, Camera…Islington! and one of the main reasons I started it, is the time spent walking around the borough discovering areas, streets and corners I did not know before, including its boundaries. Last week we stopped by Farringdon Station and were therefore within yards of Camden. Today, we stay in the southern part of Islington but head off to City Road, an area we have not yet covered.

The reason I mention Islington boundaries here is that when I was strolling along City Road towards Old Street, as I was getting closer to our destination, I realised that at some point, on one side of City Road I was in Islington, on the other Hackney… Damned! Yep, you’ve guessed it. Our film location was on the ‘wrong’ side of the road. Dilemma. What should I do?

In the end, I opted to take the picture. I mean Come on !!! Five steps before I was in Islington. Worry not dear reader, Islington has film locations galore and I will not make a habit of trespassing our boundaries to travel all over London. I may on  similar occasions to this one do so when the location is within yards of the borough, and when other scenes of the same movie were shot in the borough. This point clarified, let’s reveal our Islington Film Location of the Week!

Closer (2004), is Mike Nichols’ adaptation to the big screen of Patrick Marber’s award winning play. This drama with a stellar cast that included Julia Roberts, Natalie Portman, Clive Owen and Jude Law, tells the story of 2 couples whose relationships become, well, slightly complicated shall we say.

Early on in the movie, Dan (Jude Law) gets his picture taken by Anna (Julia Roberts) for his book. Dan’s girlfriend Alice (Natalie Portman), comes to meet him at the end of the session. It is when Dan steps outside to greet Alice that we can spot that Anna’s studio is in Westland Place, off City Road, in what used to be John Redman ltd & British Empire Pipe Company.

Closer - Ana's Studio - FILM 01

Closer - Ana's Studio - FILM 02

If you go there today, I am pleased to say that you will still be able to find studios. However, I am equally sad to report that, after months of keeping an eye on the door in thunder, lightning or in rain, no signs of Julia. Bet she’s moved to Islington! 

Closer - Ana's Studio - 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

Westland Place N1 7LP

Old Street Station (Zone 1)

Many buses to City Road and Old Street

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