Tag Archives: Highbury

Closed for Extended Bank Holiday Weekend!

28 Aug

Making the most of the last UK Bank Holiday before Christmas, yours truly is… enjoying a few days off!

No new Islington Film Location this week then, but feel free to peruse our previous posts and Islington’s Filmography to choose a movie to enjoy, discover which Movie Stars ‘Live’ in Islington, find out which of our Tube Stations appears on screen and which Films were recently shot in the borough!

If walking and wondering around Islington is more your thing, wherever you live or whichever area you fancy we will have covered it at some point. From Clerkenwell to Finsbury, Tufnell Park to Highbury or Holloway to St Luke’s, you can plan your walk with our Islington Film Locations Map.

 

  ‘Coming Soon’

To whet your appetite, in the next few weeks we will be spotting Gary Oldman’s House, having a date with Ricky Gervais, and travelling back in time with a 1933 black and white movie featuring not only a scene but also a song to the glory of one of Islington’s iconic landmark!

 

Usherettes 1

 

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

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Judi Dench: From Highbury Place to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

7 Aug

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011) is a British comedy about a group of retirees from different backgrounds who travel to India to stay at what is supposed to be a magnificent and luxurious hotel.

Before their departure, we get to briefly know them in their UK environment and see why each and everyone of them need or want a change. This is how we end up in Islington to meet Evelyn.

In fact, this is the very first scene of the movie. As the camera zooms out, we can hear Evelyn (Judi Dench), a recent widow, trying to reach a call centre (in India) to understand her Wi-Fi from her broadband: an unchartered territory her husband used to deal with.

When the camera zooms out towards the inside of her house, we can see some grass, a footpath leading to a building and some trees.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - Highbury Place - FILM 01

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - Highbury Place - FILM 02

We are in Highbury Place, and the footpath is the one leading to Highbury Pool and Fitness Centre!

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - Highbury Place - MRX 01

After filming in Islington for Notes on a Scandal and the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Judi Dench must love our borough…She was recently spotted with Dustin Hoffman shooting around Bevin Court!

 A big Thank you to Islington resident and film producer Nicola Gallani of Greengrass Media for this tip!

Fade Out

 

How to get there?

Islington Film Locations Map

Highbury Place N5

Highbury and Islington Station (Zone 2)

Many buses to Highbury Corner

 

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

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

 

Joseph Fiennes and Heather Graham’s Naughty Games in Highbury New Park

24 Jul

This week, Lights, Camera…Islington! is particulary pleased to take you to an area of the borough we have not yet visited. Something quite surprising considering the strong connection to the movies this road has.

In British drama Killing Me Softly (2002) Alice (Heather Graham), is a young American who lives with her boyfriend in London and is happy in her secure and steady job. One day on her way to work she meets Adam (Joseph Fiennes), a well-known mountain climber. A passionate encounter follows that same day. Once back at home she realises that she cannot replicate the same feelings with her boyfriend. Dropping everything for Adam, the two initiate a torrid affair. Adam proposes to Alice and although she is over the moon, she starts receiving a series of calls and notes warning her about her husband’s past.

The film was mainly shot in London, and to our knowledge, there is only one Islington film location in it. Such location can actually be seen a few times in the movie but only for a few seconds each time and from close ups, making it hard to spot it. We are referring to Adam’s house where Alice comes time and time again for their intense encounters.

Killing Me Softly - 59 Highbury New Park - FILM 01

Killing Me Softly - 59 Highbury New Park - FILM 02

We will probably never know if the interiors of Adam’s house were filmed on location or in a studio but the steps and front door of his house can be seen at the South end of …Highbury New Park!

Killing Me Softly - 59 Highbury New Park - MRX

In fact, this quiet and leafy Islington street looks beyond suspicion. Who could possibly imagine what Joseph Fiennes and Heather Graham were up to behind closed doors (if you forget the  20+ crew around them that is!)

More interestingly maybe is the fact that Adam’s house is only yards from what was once the home of Highbury Studios.  Film and TV Studios since 1933, they were acquired by the Rank Organisation in 1945 but would eventually be demolished in 1960. Next to those, in a disused church hall, was a training school, The Company of Youth, also known as the Rank Charm School.

If the studios and school are no longer here, many of the young actors who trained at such school made a name for themselves…Christopher Reeve or Joan Collins to name but two. So when a twenty-year-old Joan Collins stepped out of Holloway Women’s Prison in 1953’s Turn the Key Softly she was only minutes away from her school!

Fade Out

 

How to get there?

Islington Film Locations Map

Highbury New Park N5 2ET

Canonbury Overground Station (Zone 2)

Highbury and Islington Station (Zone 2)

Buses to Grosvenor Avenue, Highbury New Park and Highbury Corner

 

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

Highbury Terrace: Hugh Grant Lived Here

23 Oct

It’s nearly 20 years since British comedy Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994) took the world by storm and propelled Hugh Grant to international stardom. I was far to imagine back then that, years later, I would be living in the UK, let alone within walking distance of Hugh Grant’s house.

Yes, Ladies & Gentlemen, Islington can proudly say “Hugh Grant Lived Here’. Or maybe we should say ‘Charles’.

4 Weddings & Funeral - Highbury Terrace - House - FILM

The first time you can see the Highbury Terrace house in the film is when Charles (Grant) and his housemate Scarlett (the late Charlotte Coleman) wake up late for the second wedding and rush to get a cab.

4 Weddings & Funeral - Highbury Place House MRX

The second and last time we get to see the house is for the final scene. Charles and his friends are discussing the outcome of his wedding ceremony when Carrie (Andie MacDowell) knocks on the door.

4 Weddings & Funeral - Highbury Terrace - Andy - FILM

“ (…) There, totally oblivious of the torrential rain pouring down upon them, the two fall happily and tenderly into each other’s arms. The two enormous and highly paid heads come together for that ultimate and inevitable moment. The final, earth-moving, studio-rent-paying, theatre-filling, popcorn-selling… kiss”*

In that scene, not only you can spot the footpath behind Carrie (between the sport courts and the lawn), but also the house number when Charles closes the door behind him. Seconds later, after Charles kind of–perhaps-maybe-or-maybe not-sort-of-but-not-really-popped-the question, the two kissed passionately under the pouring rain, you can see the row of houses on Highbury Terrace.

4 Weddings & Funeral - Highbury Terrace - Final Kiss - FILM

4 Weddings and a Funeral - Final kiss MRX

One could argue that the Highbury Terrace property might well be Islington’s equivalent to Notting Hill’s blue door.

Of course by 1999, and thanks in no small part to Four Weddings and a Funeral, Grant had become a global star and his partner in the movie needed no introduction either.

Nevertheless, in 1994, in parallel to a successful modelling career, Andie MacDowell had already 2 Golden Globe nominations under her belt. Besides, from a box office point of view, the 1994 comedy proved more profitable: yes Notting Hill did generate bigger figures – approx. 363 millions vs. 245 – but it did also cost significantly more to produce – approx. 43 millions vs. 4.5!

Ultimately I guess, neither Islington nor Highbury Fields featured in the title of the movie, the trailers and posters across the world. But you can’t say anymore that you don’t know where Hugh Grant did not propose to Andie MacDowell. You may even want to pop up the question there yourself!

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, advert or have been involved in the process, drop me a line at TheUnbelievableMrX (at) gmail.com or via Twitter

*FREE coffee to the first person to tell me from which Audrey Hepburn movie this quote is

How to get to there?

Islington Film Locations Map

Highbury Terrace N5 1UP

Highbury & Islington Station (Zone 2)

Drayton Park Train station (Zone 2)

Many buses to Highbury Corner and Highbury and Islington Station

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