Tag Archives: Arsenal Football Club

Colin Firth House Hunting in Highbury

31 Jul

Barely 2 months have passed since the FA Cup final frenzy, two weeks since the 2014 World Cup Final and yet, Fever Pitch is once again brewing.  With the Emirates Cup taking place this weekend in Islington, a new Premiership season is looming. Let’s hope for Arsenal that it is as successful, if not more, than the last one.

Arsenal Fans around the borough (and worldwide) would have kept an eye on the market transfers, the fixtures calendar, and all the gossips. What would be the ultimate goal for an Arsenal Fan: The Champions League Trophy? A Premier League Title? Retaining the FA Cup?

For most Arsenal fans those would do. For Paul (Colin Firth) however, the ultimate dream is another. A Gunner since he was a kid, he wants to live his passion to the full this means live as close as possible from his family. Having conquered Sarah’s heart (Ruth Gemmell), not so keen on football herself, they look for a place to move in together and Paul has found the perfect house…on Conewood Street, opposite Highbury Stadium, where else?

Fever Pitch - Arsenal Stadium - Main Entrance - FILM 01

Having parked outside the house, they visit it.

Fever Pitch - Colin's House - FILM 02

Fever Pitch - Colin's House - FILM 01

 

Fever Pitch - Colin's House - MRX

Paul is over the moon. Even better, the bedroom windows allows him to keep an eye 24/7 on the Directors’ Entrance !

Fever Pitch - Arsenal Stadium - Main Entrance - FILM 03
Fever Pitch - Arsenal Stadium - Main Entrance - MRX

Sarah is less than impressed and is adamant that, had it been possible, Paul would have moved in Highbury Stadium. Just as well for her that Arsenal Football Club had not yet moved to the Emirates. No doubts that Paul would be looking for a flat in Highbury Stadium Square!

Fade Out

 

Related Fever Pitch posts

Highbury: It’s Fever Pitch around Here

Fever Pitch rises again around Arsenal Station

Night Stroll in Camden Passage for Colin Firth 

 

How to get there?

Islington Film Locations Map

Conewood Street N5

Arsenal Tube Station: Piccadilly Line (Zone 2)

Drayton Park Train station

Many buses to Holloway Road station and Highbury Park Road

 

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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Northampton Square: Home of Ewan McGregor and Michelle Williams

17 Jul

When starting Lights, Camera… Islington! a few months ago, I made the conscious decision to concentrate on the borough. In doing so I was aware that I would only be mentioning a few scenes from each movie. Three, four or five at best with movies such as Happy-Go-Lucky, Notes on a Scandal or Fever Pitch, more often than not just the one. What I had not anticipated was to find a full length feature movie shot primarily in Islington, and where most scenes were filmed around one square or within yards from it!

Despite boosting a promising cast (Michelle Williams, Ewan McGregor and Matthew Macfadyen), and being directed by Sharon Maguire (Bridget Jones’s Diary), Incendiary (2008) did not hit the headlines.

In fairness, the subject and the timing (the 7/7 London bombings still fresh in people’s mind), probably did not help. Based on a book of the same name, Incendiary depicts the aftermath of a suicide bombing at a North London football ground on a May Day derby game.

A young unhappy and adulterous wife (Michelle Williams) lives in a big estate with her husband and kid. Her life is torn apart when they are both killed by a suicide bombing during an Arsenal football game while she was with her lover, Jasper (Ewan McGregor), a journalist.

Islington appears on screen from the first moment: the opening shot showing huge blocks of flats before descending towards smaller houses. We are in Northampton Square and the blocks of flats are part of the Brunswick Estate.

Incendiary - Northampton Square - FILM 01

Incendiary - Northampton Square - FILM 02

Incendiary - Northampton Square - MRX

However, probably for contract reasons, in the film, when the young mother meets Jasper for the first time, she says that she lives at the Wellington estate.

Him: Are you from around here?

Her: Over there, the Wellington estate.

Him: That’s right opposite me. I can see the Wellington estate from my place.

Incendiary - Northampton Square - FILM 20

Indeed, the two of them live around Northampton Square hence why many scenes are shot in this specific area of Islington.

At various stages of the movie we can spot the path and row of garages leading to Northampton Square. For example. coming back from shopping or when heading towards the Arsenal Football Club game.

Incendiary - Northampton Square - FILM 07

Incendiary - Northampton Square - FILM 08

Incendiary - Northampton Square - FILM 11 Incendiary - Northampton Square - MRX 03

 

Emberton Court, where the family leaves, is easily recognisable thanks to the mosaic by the entrance:

 When Jasper comes to visit her,

Incendiary - Northampton Square - FILM 13

when Terrence (Matthew Macfadyen), her husband’s boss, comes to meet her after the accident or, again,

Incendiary - Northampton Square - FILM 12

when the young mother looks for her son, convinced he is still alive.

Incendiary - Northampton Square - FILM 18

Incendiary - Northampton Square - FILM 19  Incendiary - Northampton Square - MRX 04

Similarly, Northampton Square features a number of times in the movie:

When she sees Jasper getting home late with a date from her window although, technically speaking, she could not possibly see his front door from her flat!

Incendiary - Northampton Square - FILM 04

When Jasper gets into his car parked on Northampton Square,

Incendiary - Northampton Square - FILM 03

and when her husband and kid on the way to the game stop to look at Jasper’s car.

Incendiary - Northampton Square - FILM 09

Incendiary - Northampton Square - MRX 06

When she talks to Jasper on her way back from shopping, and when she leaves, we can recognise the bandstand in the centre of Northampton Square and the red structure of City University.

Incendiary - Northampton Square - FILM 10

Incendiary - Northampton Square - MRX 09

The final scene is also set up on Northampton Square. This time from another angle, where City University stands in for an hospital. Jasper is seating on a bench while behind him a direction sign has been put up and extras in nurse uniform walk.

Incendiary - Northampton Square - FILM 21

Incendiary - Northampton Square - MRX 11

Finally, when he stands up and starts running the camera zooms out and we can see the square quite clearly.

Incendiary - Northampton Square - FILM 22

A lot happening within a small perimeter as you can see. As for Ewan McGregor’s character, I am not sure he did study journalism at City University. Interestingly I believe the director, Sharon Maguire, is a City University alumni and did a postgraduate in journalism there!

Fade Out

How to get there?

Islington Film Locations Map

Northampton Square EC1V 0HB

Angel Tube Station (Zone 1)

Many buses to Goswell Road and 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 TheUnbelievableMrX(at)gmail.com or via Twitter

Fever Pitch rises again around Arsenal Station

17 Apr

Ever since Gillepsie Road Tube station was renamed Arsenal (Highbury Hill) in 1932, football fans across the world have been able to pinpoint where the home of Arsenal Football Club was.

Gillepsie Road Sation  pre November 1932

Gillepsie Road Sation

As we saw in part one of our Fever Pitch (1997) franchise, Highbury: It’s Fever Pitch Around Here, as a kid Paul (Luke Aikman) discovers Arsenal Football Club with his dad (Neil Pearson). As you would expect, in the same way that the old Arsenal Stadium features a number of times, so does Arsenal Tube Station.

On his way to the stadium, we can see him exiting the station on several occasions, here with his dad…

Fever Pitch - Arsenal Tube Station - FILM 01

and returning to it after the game.

Fever Pitch - Arsenal Tube Station - FILM 03

Towards the end of the movie, while looking for Paul (Colin Firth), Sarah (Ruth Gemmell) can be spotted on Highbury Hill with the station in the distance.

Fever Pitch - Arsenal Tube Station - FILM 05

Finally, all is well that ends well. After the celebrations, Sarah & Paul can be seen strolling down Highbury Hill making their way towards Arsenal Station.

Fever Pitch - Arsenal Tube Station - FILM 06

Arsenal Tube Station - 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

Arsenal Tube Station (Zone 2)

Many buses to Blackstock Road and Holloway Road

Highbury: It’s Fever Pitch Around Here

7 Nov

I could not start a blog about Islington film locations in 2013 and not mention Highbury, the home of Arsenal Football Club between 1913 and 2006. The Club, celebrating the 100th anniversary of its move to Islington, and its stadium, have provided the backdrop to both murder mysteries and romantic comedies.

I have to confess that when I first heard of and saw Fever Pitch (1997), many years after its release, I did smile and wonder how Colin Firth, having just dried off from that little swim of his and become the fantasy of half of the UK, had decided to take on such role. An interesting thing for me about this comedy is to see the journey made by both Colin Firth and Mark Strong, arguably two big names in Hollywood today, since sharing the screen on Fever Pitch. And if I do not know why the former made this film, you can find on youtube an interview of Mark Strong explaining how, being born and bred in Islington and an Arsenal season ticket holder himself, desperate he was to get his part!

Based on Nick Hornby’s novel, the story centres on English teacher Paul (Colin Firth) a passionate Arsenal fan who falls for colleague Sarah (Ruth Gemmell), not so keen on football herself. Inevitably, many scenes take place around the stadium.

As a kid, Paul (Luke Aikman) discovers the Gunners and the Arsenal Stadium atmosphere. We can see him and his dad (Neil Pearson) at the West Entrance Gate on Highbury Hill.

Fever Pitch - Arsenal Stadium - West Upper Entrance - FILM

Arsenal Stadium - West Upper Entrance - MRX

At the end of the movie, the last day of the 1988-89 season, Sarah looks for Paul and goes to Avenell Road, passing by the art-deco style East Stand.

Fever Pitch - Arsenal Stadium - Main Entrance - FILM 05

There, she finds him celebrating with Steve (Mark Strong) and other Gunners’ fans, the end of an excruciating season and dramatic last gasp win over Liverpool for the title.

Fever Pitch - Arsenal Stadium - Main Entrance - FILM 04

Arsenal Stadium - Main Entrance - MRX

As many scenes of Fever Pitch were shot in the borough, I’ll get back to it: Arsenal fans beware!

Fever Pitch - Firth Strong - Screaming - FILM

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

Highbury Stadium N5 1BU

Arsenal Tube Station (Zone 2)

Drayton Park Train station (Zone 2)

Many buses to Highbury Park Road and Holloway Road

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