Home Movies

What’s it like to see your hometown on the cinema screen? It would be weird for me, as Exeter has never, as far as I know, been seen in any major modern film or TV series. Its historic quay area was used for some sequences in the TV series The Onedin Line,but I’ve never really seen a place with which I’m intimately familiar on the big screen. This applies to pretty much everywhere I’ve lived – Exeter, Norwich, London, Dublin, Genova and Brussels. Even though some of those are capital cities, London is the only one you ever see with any regularity (and even then it’s just a token shot of the Houses of Parliament or the London Eye before they cut to a studio interior). It has to be said that this is partly because the local authorities make it so much more difficult for film crews over here than they do on the other side of the Atlantic

But for some people this must be normal. How does it feel if you live in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington D. C.? Does it make the movie feel closer to you, like it’s part of your world, or does it make you feel like your world is part of a movie set, filled with recognisable views, streets, buildings?

Michael Winterbottom is currently shooting a film called Genova, and, as far as I know, this is the first time such a high profile (it stars Colin Firth! Swoon!) international production has been made (and set) there. It’ll be interesting to see it when it comes out next year, but I worry that it’ll take me out of the story a little. When I watch a film and they go somewhere I know, it breaks the spell, like they’ve stepped out of “movieland” and into the “real world”, à la Last Action Hero.
There are advantages to your town never being in a famous film. New Zealanders must by now be sick of hordes of Tolkein fans trampling over their landscape saying “Look! The Fields of Pelennor!”


One thought on “Home Movies

  1. simonlitton October 16, 2007 / 4:22 pm

    Comments from:

    Posted on Sep. 18th, 2007 09:07 pm (local)
    You will find yourself inevitably disappointed and exasperated. And thrilled a bit. The movies shot in DC, which is pretty visually interesting, are somewhat annoying when they decide to intersperse footage of somewhere with much taller buildings, etc.
    My Dad’s family is from the section of western North Carolina used as the setting for the movie Nell, and that they got right because they actually shot it on location and didn’t try to insert sweeping panoramic shots of, I don’t know, the Alps or something.
    Colin Firth? Swoon!

    Posted on Sep. 19th, 2007 11:23 pm (local)
    Minneapolis has been in a few movies and it is always rather weird and thrilling to see it on the big screen. It does tend to get in the way of just watching the movie, because you’re focusing much more on the setting.
    I’ll never forget the time they were filming part of the inane Christmas movie Jingle All the Way (with Ahhnold) in a neighborhood just down the street from my house. It was April, but it snowed like crazy that morning, big perfect fluffy snowflakes – several inches of it. But Hollywood being what it is, they actually had the gall to melt all the snow and then spray the area down with fake snow. It was sort of disillusioning.

    Posted on Sep. 20th, 2007 09:20 am (local)
    So – did you see him? Did you get any photos? Did you get him to autograph your flesh?
    I know I would have.


Your opinion is important to us

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s