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Features Four Frames

Four Frames: Manhattan (Woody Allen, 1979)

Until the late nineteen-seventies, Woody Allen had only produced farces and slapstick comedies. It was with the release of Annie Hall (1977), a significant turning point in his career, that Allen demonstrated his intent to produce films that were thematically mature, dramatic, and emotionally engaging. What followed broke the mould for the filmmaker. Beautifully photographed by Gordon Willis in […]

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On Location: Glasgow

World Film Locations: Glasgow is one of the latest releases in Intellect’s World Film Locations book series. Representing Scotland’s biggest city, it is a book of contrasts, from Glasgow’s kitchen sink social realism by Ken Loach and Peter Mullan to the recent trend for using Glasgow as a set for Hollywood backdrops. Last year the […]

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Architecture and Film #9 Fade out

Aside from representing architecture in terms of meaning, mood and method, film has also simply recorded it. Much of this has subsequently disappeared through redevelopment, neglect or enemy action, leaving a memory encoded in celluloid. Unsurprisingly, London has been particularly affected. Ealing Studios filmed around the capital in the immediate post-war years, capturing vast swathes […]

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Architecture and Film #6 Exposed

Much of the architecture on show in films doesn’t actually exist, as a location or even a set. Instead, buildings are conjured through the alchemy of models, matte paintings, photographs or computer-generated imagery. Miniatures have been used to represent the unbuilt or unbuildable for many decades, either on their own or in combination with live […]

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Architecture and Film #5 Field of View

In the 1966 thriller The Quiller Memorandum, George Segal is sent to West Berlin to dismantle a neo-Nazi cell. Filming in a city where buildings hold particularly powerful associations, director Michael Anderson employs architecture as a metaphor for its past and its present. Segal meets his controller in the stadium built by the Third Reich […]

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On Location: Astral House as it appears in ‘The Limey’ (Steven Soderbergh, 1999)

Much has been made about the rich heritage of LA’s modernist residential architecture but Thom Andersen, in his wonderful film-essay Los Angeles Plays Itself (2003) suggests that ‘Hollywood movies have almost systematically denigrated this heritage by casting many of these houses as the residences of movie villains.’ A look back at many of the houses […]

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Architecture and Film #4 Day for Night

In the opening scenes of Patriot Games Jack Ryan foils an IRA plot to kill the Queen Mother’s cousin outside Buckingham Palace, preventing a car bomb from exploding and engaging in a lethal shoot-out with the terrorists. It is an exciting and involving moment, and sets up the revenge motive that drives the remainder of […]

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The bridges spanning the Los Angeles river as seen in ‘Mi Familia’ (Dir. Gregory Nava, 1995)

Continuing our tie-in series of articles to celebrate the launch of the World Film Locations book series, Isis Sadek looks at how the many bridges that span the iconic Los Angeles river were used to evoke both a sense of generational connectivity and disharmony in Gregory Nava’s epic Mi Familia. The bilingual multi-generational saga My […]

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On Location: The LA River as seen in ‘Drive’ (Nicolas Winding Refn, 2011)

The LA River is one of the most familiar sights in cinema, though many filmgoers might be hard-pressed to recognise it as a river. A hard-sided cement trench sluicing through the city, it’s rare to see it adorned with so much as a puddle. Indeed, this ‘river’ is a startlingly inauthentic place, empty and barren, […]