Tag Archives: Cinema

Yvonne Mitchell and Kathleen Harrison at Holloway Tube Station

2 Nov

The last time we spoke about Turn The Key Softly (1953), we saw how the historic Holloway Women’s Prison also known as ‘The Castle’ stole the show in the first minutes of the movie and how three women of different backgrounds Monica (Yvonne Mitchell), Stella (Joan Collins) and Mrs Quilliam (Kathleen Harrison) were released on the same morning.

The following sequence of Turn The Key Softly was also shot in Islington. Not only nearby the prison, but it somehow followed a certain logic. When the 3 women leave prison, Stella’s fiancé is waiting for her outside and they soon vanish. However, nobody has come to meet Monica or Mrs Quilliam and they make their way together to…Holloway Tube Station!

 They can be seen walking on Holloway Road passing under the railway bridge, opposite the station’s entrance,

 Turn the Key Soflty - Holloway Tube Station - FILM 01

 and waiting at the pedestrian crossing, at which point Holloway Road, the bridge and the tube Station are easily recognisable.

Turn the Key Soflty - Holloway Tube Station - FILM 02

Turn the Key Soflty - Holloway Tube Station - FILM 03

Turn the Key Soflty - Holloway Tube Station - MrX 01

Turn the Key Soflty - Holloway Tube Station - FILM 04

Turn the Key Soflty - Holloway Tube Station - MrX 02

 

Fade Out

Related Turn The Key Soflty post

Joan Collins released from Holloway Prison

 

How to get there?

Islington Film Locations Map

Holloway Tube Station (Zone 2)

Many buses to Holloway 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

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The Estorick Collection brings La Dolce Vita to Islington

15 May

This week, let’s forget about Islington film locations for a moment. Worry not, we’ll still be talking film stars and Islington. Indeed, movie stars galore in this post, and of the highest calibre: Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Joan Collins, Jack Lemmon, Rock Hudson, Cary Grant, Launren Bacall, John Wayne, Jayne Mansfield, Robert Wagner, not to forget Marcello Mastroianni  and Anita Ekberg. All of them, and many more, are waiting for you in the heart of Islington, at the Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art.

Estorick Collection

Estorick Collection

Located in Canonbury Square, the Estorick Collection’s latest exhibition, The Years of La Dolce Vita opened on 30th April. We are invited to travel back to 1950s and 60s Rome, where many Hollywood producers and filmakers went to, to shoot at its Cinecittà studios for a fraction of what it would have cost them in California. Those were Cinecittà’s golden years with epic films such as Ben-Hur (1959) and Cleopatra (1963) being made, and young Italian directors producing some of their finest movies.

At a time where the Internet and social media seemed light years from us, and where most people could not travel long distances, how did people know about what was going on in Rome? Thanks to gossip and people magazines, thanks to photographers, thanks to Paparazzi

In fact, the name Paparazzi comes from Fellini’s La Dolce Vita itself. In it, Mastroianni plays Marcello Rubbini, a journalist writing for gossip magazines who works with a photographer friend, whose name is… Paparazzo! Marcello Geppetti (1933-1998) was one those photographers. It is mainly from his archive that the 80 pictures on display at the Estorick Collection are. Here are some of them to whet your appetite.

Audrey Hepburn who shot to fame and won her first Oscar for Roman Holiday (1953) was no stranger to Rome.

1. Estorick La Dolce Vita - Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn, Rome, 1961 MGMC & Solares Fondazione delle Arti

Neither was Rock Hudson, seen here with Cary Grant, who filmed in Italy A Farewell to Arms (1957) and the romantic comedy Come September (1961), which is at the heart of our Hollywood on the Italian Riviera project.

4. Estorick La Dolce Vita - Hudson and Grant

Rock Hudson and Cary Grant at Cinecittà, June 1961 MGMC & Solares Fondazione delle Arti

British actress Joan Collins, whom Lights, Camera…Islington! came across in her early career exiting Holloway Prison was by now rubbing shoulders with Jack Lemmon and Robert Wagner.

9. Estorick La Dolce Vita - Lemmon, Collins and Wagner

Jack Lemmon, Joan Collins and Robert Wagner at “Caffè dell’Epoca”, Rome, October 1961 MGMC & Solares Fondazione delle Arti

Mr Universe 1955 and actor Mickey Hargitay and his wife Jayne Mansfield were having the time of their life.

10. Estorick La Dolce Vita - Mansfield and Hargitay, Rome 1962

Jayne Mansfield and Mike Hargitay leaving “Piccola Budapest”, Rome, October 1962 MGMC & Solares Fondazione delle Arti

From one curvy blonde to another: Brigitte Bardot, Bardot…la la la la la lalaaaaa

2. Estorick La Dolce Vita - Bardot

Brigitte Bardot in Spoleto, June 1961 MGMC & Solares Fondazione delle Arti

In the meantime in Ischia, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton were enjoying a break from shooting Cleopatra.

5. Estorick La Dolce Vita - Burton and Taylor

Richard Burton and Liz Taylor kissing in Ischia, June 1962 MGMC & Solares Fondazione delle Arti

We truly enjoyed discovering those Marcello Geppetti’s snapshots on display in The Years of La Dolce Vita. For an hour or so we were mingling with the stars in sunny (and warm) Rome, wondering along Trastevere, Via Veneto, la Fontana di Trevi… I guess the miserable weather made it all the better, not to mention the 3 D experience offered by the Estorick Collection.

The 3-D experience??? Yes, la ciliegina sulla torta (the cherry on the cake as the Italians say). While you go trough the rooms looking at the pictures of the stars having a coffee, enjoying a drink or a meal in a Trattoria, an incredible smell comes from the Estorick Caffè and tickles your nose. How clever! So clever that we ended up extending our stay in Rome for a Frittata of the day, some Gnocchi Sorrentina and 2 Espresso.

No pictures of Marcello? Anita Ekberg? John Wayne? Federico Fellini?

Oh yes. Plenty of those. At the Estorick Collection.

The Years of La Dolce Vita is on until the 29th June.

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.

How to get there?

Islington Film Locations Map

Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art

39a Canonbury Square N1 2AN

Essex Road Train Station (Zone 1)

Highbury and Islington Station (Zone 2)

Buses to Canonbury Road, Essex Road, Upper Street or Highbury Corner

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

Lights, Camera…Islington! in the NEWS

31 Dec

Having only started this blog mid-October, I could not decently do a 2013 Review post. However, in the little time that I have been publishing posts, I have been pleasantly surprised by the interest and feedback generated.

Although the topic of film locations is interesting more and more people everyday, by concentrating on the London borough where I live, one of the smallest London boroughs, I had not anticipated such response. I am glad to see that I am not alone in being keen on such subject!

From bloggers, twitter and other social media connections commenting, providing feedback, pointing out some web pages to local people, neighbours and local organisations. I will not mention anyone in particular here – I do not want to have one of those award-winning speech moment when actors start naming everyone but then fail to mention that all important person – but you know who you are so a big THANK YOU to you all.

Local journalists and media have also shown their interest.

First, Amy Smith from the Islington Tribune mentioned Lights, Camera…Islington! and our Islington Film Locations Map on Caught on Camera published on 22nd November, only a month after the blog being launched.

NEWS - Islington Tribune 22112013 750KB

Islington Tribune
22nd November

Online version: Caught on Camera

On 19th December, Yannic Rack from St John Street News, published a very nice article From the Italian Riviera to Islington, referring at the same time to my Hollywood on the Italian Riviera project.

NEWS - St John Street 23122013

St John Street News
19th December

Online version: From the Italian Riviera to Islington

Finally, under the Christmas tree, I found Rory Brigstock-Barron’s present on Page 3 of the Islington Gazette: Lights, Camera, action…it’s Islington .Yes, Ladies & Gents, I have made Page 3!

NEWS - Islington Gazette Article 26122013

Islington Gazette
26th December

Online version from the 25th: French film buff reveals Islington’s famous flick spots

NEWS - sneak peak

With all this media frenzy going on, I’d better keep calm and carry on writing for 2014. I wouldn’t want to disappoint that lady, would I?

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

Islington Film Locations Map

In Great Sutton Street Christmas is All Around, Actually

19 Dec

Switching on the Lights, Advent Calendars, Christmas cards, the Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree, Ice-rinks blossoming across London, Selfridge’s Christmas windows, Christmas jumpers… In case you hadn’t notice the Christmas frenzy is upon us.

It is precisely 10 years since rom-com expert Richard Curtis, already behind Four Weddings and a Funeral, masterminded another one of his little gem: Love Actually (2003).

Using a tried and tested recipe, Love Actually tells us the story of interrelated characters and couples dealing with their love lives in the madness that is the run up to Christmas. To do this, Curtis brought together a plethora of British actors such as Emma Thomson, Alan Rickman, Liam Neeson, Colin Firth, Laura Linney, Billy Nighy, Rowan Atkinson to name but a few, and not forgetting his trusted accomplice Hugh Grant. All this wrapped up in a well-crafted soundtrack and song selection…Bingo! Ten years on cinemas around the UK reprogram the movie while radio stations blast away Mariah Carey’s All I want for Christmas is You.

One item missing from my list above, as you may have noticed, is the sacrosanct office Christmas party. Hate it or love it, this event is an untouchable part of office life, as regular as clockwork. Which is just as well in the present case.

In Love Actually, Harry (Alan Rickman) asks his flirty PA Mia (Heike Makatsch) to find a venue for such party. One of Mia’s friend runs an Art Gallery on the South Bank and this is where the event will take place. Well, sorry to say Richard but this did not fool Lights, Camera…Islington!  The ‘South Bank’ gallery isn’t on the South Bank at all but…in Great Sutton Street, off St John’s Street!

Love Actually - Art Gallery - Day - FILM

Love Actually - Art Gallery - FILM

In the movie we mainly see the inside of the gallery but we get a quick chance  to spot it first by day, and then on the night of the Christmas party.

Love Actually - Art Gallery - MRX

On this Christmassy note, we would like to wish you all, all the best for the festive season.

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

Great Sutton Street EC1V 0DX

Barbican Tube Station (Zone 1)

Farringdon Station (Zone 1)

Many buses to Clerkenwell Road, Goswell Road and St John’s Street

Claremont Square: Harry Potter caught outside Number 12 Grimmauld Place

12 Dec

So, Harry Potter fans and wizards of this world: you’ve travelled the world to come to the UK, went up and down London to visit Leadenhall Market – sorry the Leaky Cauldron and Diagon Alley – tried your luck at Australia House – Gringotts Bank – and made it to King’s Cross Platform 9 ¾ to board the Hogwarts Express…or, failing that, take a picture.

Since you flew on your broomsticks all the way to King’s Cross, you’ll be delighted to know that Number 12 Grimmauld Place, the Order of the Phoenix’s Headquarters, is only a stone’s throw away from you!

Based on the book of the same name published by J.K Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007), is the fifth instalment in the Harry Potter franchise. There is probably no point in me setting up the scene of such story. Suffice it to say that, early on in the movie, a group of wizards come to get Harry and take him to meet his Godfather, Sirius Black.

What follows is a flight over the Thames that screams “Made in London” to the world: Canary Wharf, Tower Bridge, HMS Belfast, Blackfriars Bridge, Houses of Parliament and… Islington’s very own Claremont Square!

Harry and friends emerge from behind the trees, open an iron gate and, seconds later, Number 12 Grimmauld Place appears.

Claremont Square - Harry Potter & Order of Phoenix - FILM 01

Claremont Square - Harry Potter & Order of Phoenix - FILM 02

Claremont Square - Harry Potter & Order of Phoenix - FILM 03

The strange shape of Claremont Square is due to the fact that, back in the 18th century, a water reservoir was there. Following the construction of a larger one nearby, houses were built and, later, the reservoir emptied and covered with grass, hence its steep aspect. A rather wizardly shape you’ll admit.

HP - Claremont Square - Grimmauld Place - MRX 01

HP - Claremont Square - Grimmauld Place - MRX 02

HP - Claremont Square - Grimmauld Place - MRX 05

Later on in the movie, we can spot again Claremont Square for a brief moment with children playing with the snow.

Claremont Square - Harry Potter & Order of Phoenix - FILM 04

So, Harry Potter fans of this world – what kind of wizards are you if you don’t fly to Islington?

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

Claremont Square N1

Angel Tube Station (Zone 1)

King’s Cross Station (Zone 1)

Many buses to Angel, Pentonville Road and St John’s Street

Frederica Street: Sweet Old Lady in £60,000 bank robbery!

5 Dec

 More than ten years ago, a few months after landing on the shores of Dorset, the landlady I was renting a room from, recommended me to join her family for the evening. By then, I had spent quite a few hours with them talking movies and cinema. She knew I was keen on the subject. That evening, she said, I had to watch that movie, a “British classic” starring Alec Guinness and Peter Sellers amongst others. Indeed she was right.

Watching The Ladykillers (1955) I could see how this Ealing Studios black comedy had grown to be cherished and become a national treasure, and is still regarded today as one of the best British film of all time. In many ways, it reminded me of some movies I had grown up with, and my parents before me. Post war films that year after year TV channels keep scheduling and that, invariably, get top viewing figures. Everyone in the family has their favourite characters, their preferred scene, and know the dialogues inside out. A certain melancholy, nostalgia for a bygone era hangs around such films.

I doubt there is any point in summarising the story nor should I want to spoil it should you not – really? – have seen it. Make sure you do, you won’t regret it. I am as honest as Mrs Wilberforce here…

With all this in mind, I was surprised and excited to found out that Mrs Wilberforce’s house was in Frederica Street, Islington. Although the views from her house are actually Argyle Street with St Pancras in the background, her house had been built specially for the movie on an empty plot at the end of Frederica Street with the railway line leading to King’s Cross just behind it.

The LadyKillers - Federica Street - House and Bridge - FILM

Sadly, but understandably considering the year the movie was made, Frederica Street as it was then is no more. In the following years the area underwent a major redevelopment to give way to the Nailour Estate and only a very short part of it remains.

The LadyKillers - Federica Street - MRX 02

Nearly 60 years have passed and I wonder how many locals know about this. Maybe someone out there remembers…

CALL OUT: In an interview available online Tom Pevsner, Assistant Director on The Ladykillers, recalls that in Frederica Street, the crew “used rooms in various houses as dressing rooms, rest rooms for the artists, make-up, hair and all that fitted in and we were there for quite a long time.” (…)  I should think probably 3 or 4 weeks and the people got quite used to us and enjoyed it (…) I think all the people in Frederica Street or a lot of them knew each other (…).

Pictures found online show a tea party organised by the producers and attended by the cast for the schoolchildren of Frederica Street as a thank you for their co-operation during the many weeks of location shooting.

Frederica Street - The Ladykillers - Tea Party

Do you know anyone who lived in Frederica Street or the area back then? Anyone who may have opened their doors to the crew? Attended the tea party? We would LOVE to hear from them!

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

Frederica Street N7

Caledonian Road Tube Station (Zone 2)

Caledonian Road & Barnsbury Overground (Zone 2)

Many buses to Caledonian Road

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

Clerkenwell Green: Fishy Wanda on the Run

21 Nov

A heist-comedy co-written by, and starring John Cleese, fellow Monty Python’s star Michael Palin, Kevin Kline and Jamie Lee Curtis looked to have all the ingredients for success when it was premiered. Indeed, within weeks A Fish Called Wanda (1988) became an enormous critical and commercial success, scooping numerous awards along the way.

In London, George (Tom Georgeson) has a plan. Together with Ken (Michael Palin), Otto (Kevin Kline) and Wanda (Jamie Lee Curtis) they join forces to commit a multi-million pound jewellery heist. After their success, they all try to double cross each other for the loot, as you would. In her quest, Wanda needs to seduce George’s lawyer, Archie Leach (John Cleese).

We can spot our culprits in Islington when, having carried out their heist in nearby Hatton Garden, they arrive Clerkenwell Green walking to meet Wanda, waiting for them in their getaway car.

A Fish Called Wanda - Waiting Car - FILM

The car is parked on the south side of the Green with the Crown Tavern pub in the distance.

Pause for a second. Although Hatton Garden is fairly close to Clerkenwell Green I am not sure, should I ever consider carrying out a similar robbery, that I might want to walk all the way to Clerkenwell Green before getting into a car…Having said that, it suits us perfectly since, in doing so, they leave behind Camden to enter Islington!

A Fish Called Wanda - Waiting Car - MRX

They jump on the car and here they go – not without nearly running over an old lady and her three Yorkshire Terriers.

Where are they heading? Will they stay 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

Clerkenwell Green EC1R 0DU ‎

Farringdon Station (Zone 1)

Many buses to Clerkenwell Road, Farringdon Road, Mount Pleasant and St John’s Street

Islington Film Locations Map Launch

14 Nov

It is once month this week that Lights, Camera…Islington! was thrown into the spotlight.

To celebrate this, here is a slightly different post. Not one about a movie location in the borough, but one about the Islington Film Locations Map I have started.

A link to the map will be available below each post in the ‘How to Get There?’ section, and via the ‘Categories Column’ on the right-hand side menu.

Click on the link to get an overall map with icons spread around the borough.

Islington Film Locations Map 01

On the left, you’ll see a menu with the different film titles. Click on the one of your choice to go straight there or, alternatively, get closer to the icon or area of your choice, and a box will appear. Inside such box you’ll find a still of the scene, a picture of the location today, and the link to the relevant post…Et voila!

Islington Film Locations Map 02

Considering that Lights, Camera…Islington! is only celebrating its first month, there are understandably only a few locations at present. However, I am delighted to say that after spending many weekends going back and forth, up and down the borough, I have now gathered enough materials to publish a post a week for the next year or so.

A BIG THANK YOU to all the Islington organisations, residents and other movie fanatics that have already got in touch with me willing to share their knowledge and open their doors. Glad to see that I am not the only one keen on the subject…When you think that a few weeks ago, I thought I would run out of materials after 3 months!

Hope you get to make the most of the map as it expands and I look forward to seeing many of you with your smartphones, tablets and cameras discovering and enjoying Islington.

 Islington Film Locations Map

 

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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