By Esin Huseyin
So I thought I would go with a film theme this week, I think it’s pretty apt considering this weekend marked the end of BFI’s London Film Festival.
I’m having a pretty cinematic week, as this week I wrote about how I believe London is becoming one of the main hubs for films, you can read what I thought here.
Okay, it’s not everyone’s most loved film, and it’s not exactly the hardest hitting of stories, but it is a classic; this film has pretty much become synonymous of “London”, and depicts the markets of Portobello Road pretty well. I guarantee you can walk down Notting Hill and you’ll catch a group of tourists trying to find the famous blue door from the film; the truth is though, that this film only captures a lens width of the area, and there is a lot of the diversity in the area which is omitted – but I guess you guys will have to see for yourselves.
28 Days Later
This film is a British marvel, and has soon turned in to a cult classic; okay I may be a little biased on that one. But, the opening scenes showing a lone guy walking down Westminster bridge is pretty eerie. If you inhabit, or have visited London, you’ll know pretty well that at no time of day is London ever that empty. The crew were able to close of sections of the streets, for only a few minutes, to capture these shots – they were only given the opportunities for early morning shots before sunrise on Sundays, and could breach dawn with about 45 minutes of filming. Either way, the footage is haunting.
No list would be complete with this series, it’s pretty much like marmite, you either love it or hate it. They shot in one of the busiest stations in London, Kings Cross, and even created platform 9 3/4s, which still semi exists at the station (you can expect a heap of fans still queuing up for their photos. Not to mention London Zoo, Piccadilly Circus, and the Great Scotland Yard and even Westminster Station; most of these locations were just cornered off to avoid some unexpected extras in shots, but Westminster Station had to be closed for the whole day when filming was happening. Eek!
V For Vendetta
Again, similar to 28 days later, this film captures locations in Westminster such as Parliament and Big Ben. But, the film crew was given access to this area for filming during the hours of midnight – 5:00am. It was actually the first time that this highly-secured area was shut down for filming. It was also rumoured that the crew was given 4 minutes only to stop traffic, crikey! But, this film also secured the deal to film in the abandoned Aldwych tube station – which is pretty common nowadays.
One of London’s most iconic characters, he is obviously well known for having his flat down Baker Street; but did you know that some of the scenes from the 2009 film were actually shot down the winding stairs in St Pauls – I’ve climbed those, and it’s honestly not something to take lightly. But, like most films, locations were used to suggest different locations; such as the restaurant The Royale, in actual fact is the reform club in located in Pall Mall – ironically one of the most iconic gentlemen’s clubs in London.
What’s your favourite film locations in London? Let me know in the comments below.