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Thomas Hobbs

Thomas Hobbs

Articles (5)

How Saoirse Ronan’s new whodunnit recreates London’s theatreland

How Saoirse Ronan’s new whodunnit recreates London’s theatreland

Flipping the Agatha Christie thriller on its head, ‘See How They Run’ is an enjoyably self-aware take on the whodunnit. Its plot has mismatched cops Constable Stalker (Saoirse Ronan) and Inspector Stoppard (Sam Rockwell) investigating the backstage murder of an odious Hollywood producer (Adrien Brody) at The Ambassadors Theatre’s 100th performances of ‘The Mousetrap’. Or as Ronan’s loveable, yet clumsy copper puts it: ‘He took a ski to the face, and it all went downhill from there!’The world of the film may be a heightened take on theatreland’s caprices, but its London locations are very real. Thanks in part to lockdown, the production was afforded unprecedented access to a number of West End venues that doubled up for the Ambassadors Theatre of the movie. The Old Vic, Freemasons’ Hall, and Dominion Theatre were used for interiors; St Martin’s provides its glamorous façade.As production designer Amanda McArthur explains, those iconic spots are the film’s secret sauce. We asked her to walk us through five key London locations from the shoot.

Meet the former pro footballer who’s now fighting for mental health

Meet the former pro footballer who’s now fighting for mental health

‘I’ve always been a fighter. My uncle Duke was a champion boxer and instilled that aggression in me from a young age. I ultimately became a footballer, but because of my background in boxing, managers knew I would give them that bite. When I first came through at my local club Crystal Palace at 17, the manager Steve Coppell really believed in me and I played explosively for him. But even though the fans saw me as a fighter for the team, they didn’t see how vulnerable I was behind closed doors. At Palace I struggled with injuries at times, and that’s when depression really started to take hold. When you’re a professional footballer, maybe because there’s a lot of money involved, the public can’t understand how you could ever get depressed. You have to project this idea of being invincible. But we’re all human beings, and when people expect you not to show any chinks in your armour, you just end up bottling things up. I left to join Peterborough in 2000: it was a fresh start. But while I was there, I found out my sister had died by suicide. The Saturday after I found her, I played a match. As footballers, we have a lot of self-pride and ego. I guess I felt too ashamed to take time out to mourn her. As I kept getting more injuries and my marriage broke down, it all built up. In 2009, when I was a player at Charlton Athletic, I tried to end my own life. People thought I had it all, but at that point I didn’t want to live any more. Not long after, I signed to Northampton Town and

Alan Elliott: ‘Aretha didn’t want a film that felt like a eulogy’

Alan Elliott: ‘Aretha didn’t want a film that felt like a eulogy’

When Aretha Franklin played an intimate gig in an LA church in January 1972, the audio track was turned into the highest-selling gospel album of all time. However, most people were unaware that the performance had been filmed too. That footage was mishandled by director Sydney Pollack, then mothballed. Enter music producer Alan Elliott, who has spent 30 years magicking it into a spectacular music doc, ‘Amazing Grace’. He shares its incredible story. Why has it taken so long to make this film? ‘Sydney [Pollack] used an inexperienced crew to film [the gig] and it was a bit of a mess. When I found out about the footage in 1990, I knew I had to fix it but there’s been a lot of obstacles: I had to remortgage my house, then Aretha sued me. It was painful, but when I found out she had cancer I understood. She didn’t want there to be a film that felt like a eulogy.’ What is it that makes this gig so special? ‘Aretha’s energy is like this tsunami and it feels like the building is going to implode. The small setting gives it a unique intimacy too. I watched Beyoncé’s “Homecoming” and she could fit ten of those churches on that stage.’ Aretha Franklin performing in ‘Amazing Grace’. What do you think is driving her on stage? ‘She’s aware Diana Ross and Barbara Streisand are also making films, and she knows she has to nail this performance [to remind people who the Queen of Soul is]. Remember, there’s so much footage of The Beatles and other white musical acts, but this footage of a black

The film lover’s tour of central London

The film lover’s tour of central London

Given its iconic landmarks, red buses and stunning architecture, it’s no wonder that countless movies have filmed on location in London. The city is brimming with countless spots perfect for film locations, whether it's Hamleys (‘Eyes Wide Shut’) or the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel in Kings Cross (‘Batman’).  Of course, massive film franchises such as James Bond and Harry Potter have filmed in London, the latter producing many walking tours so that muggles can visit those famous wizarding hotspots.  However, for those film lovers who fancy taking a movie meander through the capital, we've put together a map of some famous film locations in London. Below you'll also find the location that each number on the map relates to. So, from the chapel in ‘Love Actually’ to (formerly sordid) Soho backstreets, get your clogs on and explore.  [Click here for a zoomable map.]

The unexpected life of a movie location manager

The unexpected life of a movie location manager

When I tell people I’m a location manager for Hollywood movies they assume it’s incredibly glamorous, but I actually spend most of my time on the phone trying to persuade people to let directors do something crazy. I have to make a director’s vision come to life by finding the perfect location while avoiding anything that could expose a studio to legal liabilities. I love the challenge of finding the right location. For ‘Holmes & Watson’ we couldn’t use the real Baker Street, as it just didn’t look right, and it was too open for us to control the area while we were filming a musical number. We ended up using Gordon Square in Bloomsbury instead. For period films I have to find places that are frozen in time. At the moment, I’m working as location manager on [2019’s ‘Fast and Furious’ spin-off] ‘Hobbs & Shaw’ with Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. One of its scenes involved landing a helicopter outside St Paul’s Cathedral, the first time a film had got permission to do that. The current terrorism fears made it really tricky to pull off, but my aim is always to persuade people that they’re helping to create movie magic. I was lucky to get my first job as a runner on ‘Band of Brothers’. I got to share a set with Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, even if I just washed cars and cleaned the loos. But I caught the filmmaking bug instantly. I was a student at the time but I dropped out of university. From there I moved through the ranks, graduating from location assistant to an assistant lo

Listings and reviews (7)

The Street

The Street

4 out of 5 stars

A revealing portrait of how gentrification is transforming everyday life in London, ‘The Street’ is a fly-on-the-wall documentary focusing on the changing fortunes of Hackney’s Hoxton Street. Famed photographer-turned-director Zed Nelson has spent years filming the area and interviewing locals, and the result is an intimate, almost Dickensian-feeling, film that captures the widening gap between the capital’s working and middle classes. Nelson keeps his lens tightly on local business owners (including bakeries, carpet shops and mechanics), capturing their dejection as they’re forced to sell up to major property firms. The locals talk of feeling isolated while blaming ‘yuppies’ for destroying these beloved local fixtures. By way of bleak juxtaposition, one landlord boasts of offloading a one-bedroom flat for £1,600 a month in just a day. What makes ‘The Street’ so refreshing is Nelson’s even-handedness in exposing flaws in both sides’ arguments. Where another director might have run with a clichéd underdog story of working-class people losing their town to villainous capitalists, he shows the toxicity behind some locals’ resistance to change, as well as the regressive racism that, in a few instances, drives it. You’re left with a feeling that the owners of new upmarket beer shops and galleries aren’t the real villains here, but a capitalist system that has allowed such a rapid rate of change in such a salt-of-the-earth community.If there’s any ambiguity or muddle in this sharpl

Amazing grace

Amazing grace

5 out of 5 stars

Lo más natural sería pensar que una grabación de Aretha Franklin cantando gospel en el momento álgido de su carrera estaría conservada como un tesoro. El cineasta Sydney Pollack, director de títulos como 'Tootsie' y 'Memorias de África', filmó a la diva durante un concierto muy íntimo que tuvo lugar en una iglesia del barrio de Watts, en Los Ángeles. Pollack no archivó el material, ni sincronizó la imagen y el sonido, y la filmación no ha llegado a ver la luz hasta ahora. El productor musical Alan Elliott y el montador Jeff Buchanan han pasado horas en una sala de edición intentando restaurar el metraje que Pollack dejó empantanado. El resultado es 'Amazing grace', uno de los mejores documentales musicales de los últimos tiempos. Con el acompañamiento de las voces del Southern California Community Choir, con sus chalecos plateados, y bajo la dirección del enigmático reverendo James Cleveland, que intenta aguantarse las lágrimas, la película capta a la reina del soul en su máximo esplendor.

Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace

5 out of 5 stars

El més natural seria pensar que una gravació d’Aretha Franklin cantant gòspel en el moment àlgid de la seva carrera estaria conservada com un tresor. El cineasta Sydney Pollack, director de títols com 'Tootsie' i 'Memòries d'Àfrica', va filmar la diva durant un concert molt íntim que va tenir lloc en una església del barri de Watts, a Los Angeles. Pollack no va arxivar el material, ni va sincronitzar la imatge i el so, i la filmació no ha arribat a veure la llum fins ara. El productor musical Alan Elliott i el muntador Jeff Buchanan s’han passat hores en una sala d’edició intentant restaurar el metratge que Pollack va deixar empantanegat. El resultat és 'Amazing grace', un dels millors documentals musicals dels darrers temps. Amb l’acompanyament de les veus del Southern California Community Choir, amb les seves armilles platejades, i sota la direcció de l’enigmàtic reverend James Cleveland, que intenta aguantar-se les llàgrimes, la pel·lícula capta la reina del soul en la seva màxima esplendor.

Asterix: The Secret of the Magic Potion

Asterix: The Secret of the Magic Potion

2 out of 5 stars

Despite being one of the biggest selling comic-book series of all time (352 million copies and counting), ‘Asterix’ has always seemed to polarise English-speaking audiences. Perhaps it’s that this story of a village of Gauls who resist Roman occupation by drinking a magic potion that gives them superhuman strength has an oddly old-fashioned sensibility (man protects his village from outsiders). It’s ironically told, sure, but its oddly nationalistic look at history can feel a little detached from the modern world. With this tenth animated ‘Asterix’ film, directors Louis Clichy and Alexandre Astier work hard to correct this perception with a quirky tale involving the plucky pint-sized Gaul and his portly bodyguard Obelix accompany ageing druid Getafix on a quest. They have to find a young druid who they can trust with learning the recipe for their magic potion, while evil wizard Sulfurix is both a persistent thorn in their side and gets all the best lines. It all moves at a fair old whip and there’s a fun action sequence or two, including one that involves magically enhanced chickens, but a solid quest alone isn’t enough: great animated movies make you get lost in their world and this take on the French countryside looks synthetic and lifeless. The jokes are hit and miss, too. For every gag that lands (like one where Jesus fails to excite a crowd despite being able to magic up fish), another falls flat. Asterix’s plans to infiltrate our borders still need some work.

Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace

5 out of 5 stars

You’d have expected footage of a peak Aretha Franklin powerfully singing gospel to be protected at all costs. However, the singer’s intimate 1972 show, filmed over two days at a Baptist church in the Watts neighbourhood in Los Angeles, was fumbled by famed director Sydney Pollack (‘Tootsie’, ‘Out of Africa’). He failed to properly archive the filming, which resulted in audio and visual footage that didn’t sync and a film that never saw the light of day. ‘Amazing Grace’ is the result of music producer Alan Elliott and editor Jeff Buchanan remedying this issue by spending hundreds of hours in an editing suite fixing Pollack’s mishandled footage. And their sacrifice is worth its weight in gold, with the result being one of the best music documentaries of recent times. Backed by the Southern California Community Choir, who are each bizarrely dressed in silver vests that look like the inside of a crisp packet, and conducted by the enigmatic Rev James Cleveland, who fights back the tears as he watches Franklin hit frankly outrageous high notes, this documentary captures the Queen of Soul at her purest. It will make even the biggest atheist want to shout out ‘Yes Lord!’ from the back of the cinema – something that happened three times in my screening. One of the best moments in ‘Amazing Grace’ captures Franklin as she struts through the church in a fur coat, a sparkily confident blueprint for the modern pop diva. Another brilliant sequence shows her forcefully instructing one of the

El bosque maldito

El bosque maldito

4 out of 5 stars

¿Qué pasaría si tu hijo fuera un impostor? Ese es el temible tema de esta película de terror irlandesa que explora el peso emocional de la crianza y del cómo educar a un niño puede ser absolutamente desconcertante.  La madre soltera Sarah —Seána Kerslake— está criando a su hijo Chris —James Quinn Markey— sola en el campo cuando una noche desaparece en el bosque. Sarah, desesperada, no reconoce al niño nervioso que regresa y pronto se convence de que su hijo fue reemplazado.  Aunque muchos de sus temores se sienten reciclados —una secuencia tiene una deuda demasiado obvia con La bruja de Blair— esto no interfiere demasiado. El director Lee Cronin aporta el talento visual suficiente para encerrarte en su mundo, creando una atmósfera temblorosa gracias al penetrante escalofrío. Los dos protagonistas también aterrizan. Kerslake es convincente como la mamá, mientras que Quinn Markey es brillantemente espeluznante como Chris, los ojos del actor infantil que insinúan horrores invisibles, su desempeño al presionar los mismos botones emocionalmente torturados que hizo Danny Torrance en El resplandor o Cole Sear en El sexto sentido.  Mirar más allá del miedo a los saltos convencionales y El bosque maldito se trata realmente de las aterradoras incertidumbres de la paternidad, provocando tensiones en las inquietudes cotidianas. Al igual que Babadook, es una película de terror basada en la idea de que criar a un niño a veces puede ser, literalmente, una pesadilla.

The Hole in the Ground

The Hole in the Ground

4 out of 5 stars

What if your child was an imposter? That’s the dread-inducing theme of this Irish horror film that explores the emotional weight of parenting and how bringing up a child can feel utterly bewildering. Single parent Sarah (Seána Kerslake) is raising her son Chris (James Quinn Markey) alone in the countryside when he goes missing in the woods one evening. A desperate Sarah doesn’t recognise the twitchy boy who returns and soon becomes convinced that her son has been replaced. Although many of its scares feel recycled (one sequence owes an all-too-obvious debt to ‘The Blair Witch Project’), this doesn’t get in the way too much. Director Lee Cronin brings enough visual flair to lock you right into its world, creating a shivery atmosphere aided by a piercing score that brings a chill to the mood. The two central performances also land. Kerslake is convincing as the put-upon mum, while Quinn Markey is brilliantly creepy as Chris – the child actor’s eyes hinting at unseen horrors, his performance pushing the same emotionally tortured buttons as Danny Torrance did in ‘The Shining’ or Cole Sear in ‘The Sixth Sense’. Look beyond the conventional jump scares and ‘The Hole in the Ground’ is really about the terrifying uncertainties of parenthood, drawing tension from relatable, everyday anxieties. Like ‘The Babadook’, it’s a horror film built around the idea that raising a child can sometimes be – quite literally – a nightmare.

News (55)

‘He’s one of us now!’ – How ‘Ted Lasso’ re-energised Richmond

‘He’s one of us now!’ – How ‘Ted Lasso’ re-energised Richmond

‘The front door to Ted Lasso’s flat [11A Paved Court] is starting to rival Bridget Jones’ place in Notting Hill for selfies,’ beams Gareth Roberts, the leader of Richmond Borough Council. ‘I guess you could say the show has really put Richmond on the map.’ An unlikely success story over lockdown, Apple TV+’s Ted Lasso is a sitcom about a hapless American football manager (played by Jason Sudeikis) intentionally hired by AFC Richmond’s owner Rebecca Welton (Hannah Waddingham) to derail the club. But when the dopey coach starts inspiring good results, Richmond becomes re-energised, with Lasso treated as an unlikely hero by the locals. ‘Ted has had a transformative effect on the area,’ says Cristina Lelli, the co-owner of Reale Camiceria, a family-owned Italian knitwear business a few doors down from Lasso’s front door in Paved Court. It’s down this historic alley that Lasso regularly swaggers with his trademark goofy grin in the show.  Photograph: Time OutThe Prince’s Head is Ted Lasso’s Crown and Anchor pub Lelli and her husband Claudio, who embroidered face masks for the cast on season two, have seen the area starting to buzz with tour guides showing off filming locations to visiting ‘Ted Lasso’ fans. ‘A lot of people visit the shop because they recognise us from an episode,’ she says. ‘They always ask us if Rebecca is as beautiful in real life.’  ‘Ted Lasso’ has provided a similar lift for the local boozer. ‘There are more American tourists,’ says Dan Creek, the general m

Passport to... Lambeth? How an Ealing classic ended up on the wrong side of the river

Passport to... Lambeth? How an Ealing classic ended up on the wrong side of the river

Ealing’s classic 1949 comedy ‘Passport to Pimlico’ tells the story of how a bombed-out, sleepy corner of Westminster discovers an ancestral secret that suddenly affords it independence from the rest of the country. In reality, the movie’s Pimlico was actually recreated across the river in Vauxhall, where the rubble of the Blitz was readily available as a backdrop. The location: China Walk Estate, SE11  The scene: An unexploded Luftwaffe bomb goes off and treasures are unearthed that prove Pimlico is actually territory of the House of Burgundy. After finally winning back their right to be British, the tight-knit but exhausted band of locals hold a street party to celebrate. Predictably, it rains.  Then: Lambeth doubled up as Pimlico in this Ealing classic. Having been devastated by Nazi bombs and V2s during the war, this bombed-out stretch of Lambeth Road was awaiting redevelopment when Margaret Rutherford, Stanley Holloway and co descended to film in the summer of 1948. Photograph: Jess Hand Now: This stretch of the Lambeth Road hasn’t changed much, with a few of its Grade II listed Georgian townhouses still standing. ‘The film is about an embattled community united against the powers-that-be to preserve its neighbourhood,’ says architectural historian Edmund Bird. ‘Ironically, in the 20 years after its release, the area’s working-class communities were hugely affected by large-scale clearance and housing redevelopment schemes.’ China Walk, where ‘Passport to Pimlico’s stre

How the ‘Joker’ stairs became New York’s Platform 9¾

How the ‘Joker’ stairs became New York’s Platform 9¾

Remember when that Bronx stairway shot to fame when Joaquin Phoenix’s clown prince of crime used it as an impromptu shuffle in 2019’s Joker? Cue an army of Instagrammers descending and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez taking to TMZ to try to get them to stop. She was not successful: fans are still descending to ape Phoenix’s dance, take selfies and otherwise pay homage to this key moment in Todd Phillips’s polarising comic-book flick. The film’s location manager Sam Hutchins explains how it all came to be. The location: 1170 Shakespeare Avenue, the Bronx The scene: Fast-fraying stand-up comedian Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) dances down a staircase in the back streets of Gotham City, thrusting his hips triumphantly as he celebrates his transition into the villainous Joker. Fleck, who is dancing to his own deranged tune, is intently pursued by two murder detectives. Maybe there’s anger from some New Yorkers, but the majority can see that we’ve helped the area Then: The original idea for the sequence didn’t involve a dance at all. Arthur was due to struggle up a staircase, bruised and battered, to showcase his struggle to grow as a human being. Having scouted nearly every staircase in New York City, Joker’s location manager Sam Hutchins chose one just off Shakespeare Avenue, mostly because it was directly connected to the building where they shot the interiors of Arthur’s flat. ‘The police warned us not to film there – it’s a rough area – but we sublet an apartment to get to know the

Did you know you can visit the ‘Bridgerton’ mansion IRL?

Did you know you can visit the ‘Bridgerton’ mansion IRL?

A Netflix mega-hit now in its second season, ‘Bridgerton’ revolves around Georgian society’s much-esteemed Bridgerton family. In the series, the family occupies an opulent mansion in the heart of up-and-coming Grosvenor Square. IRL, you won’t find the gilded pile in central London, but nestled away in south London. That’s right: the Bridgerton clan are actually south Londoners.  The location: Ranger’s House, Blackheath. The scene: It’s the social season of 1813, and, as Lady Whistledown (Julie Andrews) narrates, daughters are being married off to prestigious families. An exterior shot shows the Bridgerton mansion, home to Grosvenor Square’s most enviable family. Then: With its Georgian red brick façade, balustraded parapet, ionic columns, and carved stone decoration, the Ranger’s House (located on the outskirts of Greenwich Park) radiates sophistication. ‘The elegance of the house and its history of wealthy residents makes it very suited to the status of the Bridgerton family,’ says Olivia Fryman, curator at English Heritage. Previous residents include Vice-Admiral Francis Hosier; Princess Augustus, the elder sister of King George III; and 12-year-old Prince Arthur of Connaught, the third son of Queen Victoria. In its heyday it had up to 17 servants. When filming on ‘Bridgerton’ began in 2020, Fryman said ‘months of planning’ went into ensuring the mansion’s epic art collection (assembled by Sir Julius Wernher) was properly protected.  Photograph: Jess Hand Now: ‘Bridgerto

Revisiting the scene of ‘Atonement’s heartbreaking final kiss

Revisiting the scene of ‘Atonement’s heartbreaking final kiss

‘Atonement’ is a movie full of lingering moments. The covert library liaison, the Dunkirk tracking shot, Briony’s blunder that kicks its multi-threaded story into gear. Few, though, are as heartbreaking as the snatched final encounter between doomed lovers Robbie and Cecilia in a bustling corner of London. They don’t know it, but they’ll never see each other again: torn apart by war and fate. We went to find the spot where this achingly romantic moment was captured in Joe Wright’s British period piece.  The location 11 Great Scotland Yard, SW1. The scene Tragic lovers Robbie (James McAvoy) and Cecilia (Keira Knightley) share one final kiss in Blitz-era London before she hops on a red bus and he heads off to fight the Nazis. Then Great Scotland Yard, the Metropolitan Police’s HQ from 1829 to 1890, is no longer the bustling hive of activity that once saw the police investigating the Jack the Ripper slayings. ‘It’s now a backwater that offers a nice contrast to the busier nearby Whitehall,’ says architectural historian Edmund Bird. ‘Its history gives it an elegance that’s perfect for a romantic scene.’  Photograph: JESS HAND PHOTOGRAPHER Now Although the Met’s former home is now a hotel, the area (named after a house English King Edgar gave to Scottish King Kenneth III in the tenth century) is frozen in time. ‘It’s barely changed since the Edwardian period,’ says Bird. ‘Only one bomb fell on the street during the Blitz, so it still looks like it would have done during the war.

Been to the London park where Jude Law and Natalie Portman got ‘Closer’?

Been to the London park where Jude Law and Natalie Portman got ‘Closer’?

A dark snapshot of pre-Tinder dating in the big city, Mike Nichols’ Closer sizzled and skulked through a variety of recognisable London locations. But one of its key locales is a lot less well-known... The location: Postman’s Park, EC1 The scene: Flirty obituary writer Dan (Jude Law) chats up redhead Alice (Natalie Portman) while taking a stroll through the City. They end up in Postman’s Park admiring the garden’s stunning memorial plaques. ‘I’ve been here before,’ notes Dan, mournfully. Then: This beautiful park, which opened in 1880, was at the core of Mike Nichols’ 2004 psychodrama, providing Law’s character with a place to reflect in-between hopping from Portman’s to Julia Roberts’s beds. Its name derives from its position opposite the General Post Office building. In 1900, sculptor George Frederic Watts created a memorial shelter with vibrant glazed plaques in the park. They were dedicated to ordinary men, women and children who lost their lives saving others. Photograph: Andy ParsonsPostman’s Park IRL Now: Bar the tree ferns and a goldfish pond, the park has changed little since 1900. Its historic winding paths, flowerbeds, benches and lawns all remain. Architectural historian Edmund Burd says: ‘It is a truly unique garden with a poignant history – an oasis of calm at the heart of our bustling city.’ It’s easy to miss but well worth a visit. Closer is streaming on Amazon Prime, Apple TV, YouTube and Google Play.How Tom Cruise landed a chopper in Trafalgar Square: the

Here’s what ‘Quadrophenia’s iconic Vespa café looks like now

Here’s what ‘Quadrophenia’s iconic Vespa café looks like now

Nothing says a certain era of late ’70s London life like Sting and Phil Daniels on mopeds, tearing around the city and scooping up bagfuls of ‘blues’ – all while listening to a soundtrack of The Who tunes. Franc Roddam’s ‘Quadrophenia’ is still indelibly associated with its seafront home of Brighton, but it is on the once-mean streets of Islington that its legacy lingers on in intriguing ways. The location 4-6 Essex Road, N1. The scene Jimmy Cooper (Phil Daniels) joins the mods, hoovering up drugs and chanting songs by The Who. His gang park their scooters outside this greasy spoon, plotting how to beat up the rockers over fried egg sandwiches. Photograph: Universal Pictures Home Entertainment Then Built in the Georgian era, this Grade II-listed building has a striking ’40s art deco shopfront. It was called the Cosa Nostra Café between 1920 and 1949, before being renamed Alfredo’s, until it closed in 2000. ‘Although confrontations between mods and rockers in the 1960s usually happened in seaside resorts,’ says architectural historian Edmund Bird, ‘Islington had its fair share, too. It was still largely a working-class borough, before gentrification began to gather momentum.’ Franc Roddam’s 1979 film was honouring history by filming at this café, which had barely changed aesthetically since the ’60s. Now For the last 11 years, the former café has been a bistro called Meat People, specialising in Argentinian steaks and empanadas. Jimmy wouldn’t recognise it, but look close e

Here’s where to find Lindsay Lohan’s mansion in ‘The Parent Trap’

Here’s where to find Lindsay Lohan’s mansion in ‘The Parent Trap’

A family classic retooled for a new generation, 1998’s ‘The Parent Trap’ gave us not one, but two adorbs Lindsay Lohans as twin sisters in a mistaken identity caper that spanned the Atlantic. On the UK side, the film showcased one of the most impressive west London des res this side of a Richard Curtis movie, where Annie (Lohan) lives with her mum (Natasha Richardson). Photograph: Disney‘The Parent Trap’ (1998) The location: 23 Egerton Terrace, Knightsbridge, SW3. The scene: Two girls (Hallie and Annie, both played by Lindsay Lohan) realise they are secret twins after meeting at summer camp, so they hatch a plan to swap places. Hallie, who has to pretend to be British, goes back to London, where her mother (Natasha Richardson) and Annie live in an opulent Victorian home. Then: Built on the site of a Georgian mansion, Egerton Terrace has a rich history. The 1851 census shows lawyers, doctors and even an official in the Queen’s household lived on this exclusive street, each with live-in servants. By the time ‘The Parent Trap’ was remade in 1998, the road had grown to become Britain’s most expensive street, making No. 23 (which was No. 7 in the film), a Grade 2 listed residence with French windows and a doric porch, the perfect location for Lohan’s posh mum to reside.  Photograph: Jess Hand, Time Out Now: The area hasn’t changed much since 1998 – or even the 1800s – and maintains its Georgian grandeur. In 2015, Lohan showed up at the house to take an Insta selfie, writing: ‘

What the London gangland restaurant from ‘Eastern Promises’ looks like now

What the London gangland restaurant from ‘Eastern Promises’ looks like now

The ruthless Russian mobsters at the heart of David Cronenberg’s crime thriller – and their softer-hearted enforcer  (Viggo Mortensen) – fuel up on borsch and vodka at a London restaurant called Trans-Siberian. IRL, it’s Clerkenwell’s Farmiloe Building, a location that has been used in everything from ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ to ‘Sherlock Holmes’ and that has just had a major facelift.The location The Farmiloe Building, Clerkenwell, EC1 The scene Midwife Anna (Naomi Watts) delivers the baby of a 14-year-old girl, who dies while giving birth. Anna spots a card for the mysterious Trans-Siberian Restaurant on her body, which is owned by Russian gangsters. She goes to investigate, where she’s observed by heavy Nikolai (Viggo Mortensen). Then Farmiloe’s mysterious Italianate entrance makes it the perfect frontage for a mobster hideout. (The restaurant’s interiors were filmed at London’s Three Mills Studios, meanwhile). David Cronenberg isn’t the only Hollywood director to make use of the building: it appears frequently in Christopher Nolan’s films, from ‘Inception’ to the Batman trilogy, where it doubles as Gotham City Police Station. Photograph: Ben Rowe Now Renovation work on this Grade II-listed warehouse was completed last year. It has resulted in a six-storey extension and a brick-for-brick restoration of its Victorian façade. The green door has survived but you can now peer into the building from the street, making it a less enticing spot for bruisers to plot a murder. Bloo

Just how did Tom Cruise land that chopper in Trafalgar Square?

Just how did Tom Cruise land that chopper in Trafalgar Square?

Just how did Tom Cruise get permission to land a helicopter in front of the National Gallery in 2014’s underrated sci-fi actioner?The location: Trafalgar Square, WC2. The scene: A voracious alien species has invaded earth and army PR man Major William Cage (Tom Cruise) has been enlisted to fight them. Travelling to London to weasel his way out of combat duty, he lands next to the National Gallery in a chopper. Not a bad entrance, eh? Then: When Cruise signed up to star in this 2014 sci-fi, he had one stipulation: ‘Tom wanted to land a helicopter in the middle of Trafalgar Square,’ says location manager Georgette Turner, who had 14 weeks to organise it all. ‘We had three hours on a Sunday morning to shut everything down and film it,’ she remembers. ‘Tom was flown in by the RAF in a historic Puma helicopter.’ The sequence took a £120,000 bite out of the film’s budget. Now: The Doug Liman sci-fi has gone on to build a cult following. Turner, meanwhile, looks back fondly on her experience working with Cruise. ‘He made sure he knew everybody’s name,’ she says. ‘Someone must have told him I liked cheese because on the last day I got a big hamper of it. I was just glad we landed him safely, as the helicopter actually broke down after we finished filming.’  ​​Edge of Tomorrow is streaming on Amazon Prime, Apple TV, YouTube and Google Play. The 100 greatest sci-fi movies in cinemas history. From Paddington to Peeping Tom: the best London movies.

London on Screen: What happened to the house in Mike Leigh’s ‘Naked’?

London on Screen: What happened to the house in Mike Leigh’s ‘Naked’?

The location: 33 St Mark’s Rise, Dalston Photograph: First Independent Films The scene: The scene Mancunian drifter Johnny (David Thewlis) washes up in Hackney in Mike Leigh’s 1993 classic, slumped on the doorstep of his ex (Lesley Sharp). The musty bedsit becomes a base from which the nihilistic philosopher staggers his way through London, leaving a messy trail of sex, violence and barcode conspiracy theories in his wake. Then: In a 2008 book, Mike Leigh recalls how, during pre-production in 1992, his ex-wife, Alison Steadman, and a location manager ran into his office shouting: ‘We’ve got it!’ when they discovered this gothic E8 pile. He liked that the detached house could be viewed from so many angles, something he wanted viewers to do with the film. ‘It was the edge I was looking for,’ remembers Leigh.  Photographer: Gobinder Jhitta Now: The exterior has barely changed, although the house is now divided into a pair of two-bedroom flats. But the once-fading east London suburb where Leigh filmed is now a desirable postcode with flat whites for a fiver. According to Zoopla, the road has seen a 200 percent rise in property values over the last 20 years. Johnny wouldn’t recognise it. A 4K restoration of Naked is in cinemas Nov 12. Mike Leigh season runs at BFI Southbank, Oct 18-Nov 30. Where does Naked appear in our list of the 32 best London movies of all time?What is Mike Leigh’s favourite London movie? Filmmakers and actors pick their faves.

Where to find the mews from *that* scene in ‘Love Actually’

Where to find the mews from *that* scene in ‘Love Actually’

We all have different opinions about Mark’s declaration of love for Juliet, his best friend's wife (seriously Mark, not cool), in ‘Love Actually’. But for this week’s London on Screen, it’s clear that the mews where that scene occurs is some prime London real estate.  The location: 27 St Lukes Mews, Notting Hill. The scene: Mark (Andrew Lincoln) is in love with his best mate’s wife, Juliet (Keira Knightley). To win her affections, he turns up at her door late one Christmas evening holding up a series of placards that confess his true feelings. As he slinks off, Juliet runs after him to give him a kiss. Then: The scene was filmed at the striking St Lukes Mews, a beautiful cobbled street just a stone’s throw away from Portobello Road Market. Its colourful houses were the perfect spot for a Richard Curtis romcom. Originally constructed as a stables in the eighteenth century, Juliet’s rose-pink house would have been worth around £1 million when the film was made in 2003. Now: With ‘Love Actually’ now a Christmas classic, tourists flock for selfies outside number 27 (it’s still pink). This attention has only added to the property’s value, according to estate agent Lucinda Richardson. One house a few doors down sold in 2016 for £2.6m. ‘The mews is so popular and beautiful, and we have so much demand for it,’ she says. ‘The waiting list is ridiculous; once you own a house on the mews, you tend to stay there for ever.’ Andy Parsons For more of the city on screen, check out our lis

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