Monday, November 11

Nottingham on Film

There is nothing more brilliant than settling down to watch a film and having a place you know popping up in the background, made even more exciting if like me you feel the uncontrollable urge to shout "I've been there", quite loud.

You'd imagine with the folkloric connections that Nottingham has, that at least one of the many Robin Hood films (and TV shows) would have been filmed here, and yet not a single one has. Despite that, quite a few interesting little films (and one rather big one) have been filmed in the local area, and I really wanted to share a few of my favourites. As a side note, you would not believe how easy it would have been to have all three of the images I chose to have been taken in exactly the same place, but I'll get to that in a second.

And before anyone complains, not all of these films are set in Nottingham, but they are predominantly filmed in Nottingham or Nottinghamshire.

Control (2007)

A profile of Ian Curtis, the enigmatic singer of Joy Division whose personal, professional, and romantic troubles led him to commit suicide at the age of 23.

The most recognisable part of Control that is filmed in Nottingham is the scene in the picture above featuring Lenton flats, which were built in the 1960's. On a personal note, the flats are sandwiched by my Grandma's house on one side and my old primary school on the other.

Although the flats are currently being demolished, they have always been a noticeable landmark in the Nottingham skyline. The flats are Brutalist in style, which perfectly compliments the themes in the film (and Ian Curtis' life), and the fact that it's shot in black and white.

(a couple more after the jump)

Weekend (2011)

After a drunken house party with his straight mates, Russell heads out to a gay club. Just before closing time he picks up Glen but what's expected to be just a one-night stand becomes something else, something special.

I only watched this film for the first time this year, but it is already one of my favourites. I adore the simplicity of it all - simply shot, simple dialogue and simple plot - it's just the story of a relationship from meeting to separation. As I said in my mini review on the film list, it's such a sweet and honest approach to a typical story. 

Weekend is set in and around Nottingham, it's not necessarily the type of film where the place it is set plays a huge part, but it is a noticeable aspect. Main character Russell lives in the same Lenton flats mentioned previously (when watching I could even tell which flat building and which individual flat); he works as a lifeguard at Beechdale baths, where I took my school swimming lessons and the film culminates at Nottingham Train Station.

This is England (2006)

A story about a troubled boy growing up in England, set in 1983. He comes across a few skinheads on his way home from school, after a fight. They become his new best friends even like family.

One of the reasons I chose the picture above is because that underpass is just outside my old primary school, which (surprise, surprise) leads to Lenton flats, mentioned in the previous two films.

It's never really mentioned where This is England is specifically set (although it is based on the experiences of director Shane Meadows who was born in Staffordshire), one can assume that with a title like This Is England, we aren't supposed to view this as the account of a specific place, but more a view of what England was like growing up in the early 80's. That being said, Shane Meadows films a lot of his projects in the East Midlands (Nottm, Derby and Lincs primarily).

Honourable Mentions

The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

This is a pretty well known one; Wollaton Hall (and parts of the park) was used as Wayne Manor in the final film of the most recent Batman films. I'm still reeling from the fact that JGL and Marion Cotillard (and possibly Tom Hardy) were in such close proximity to where I live, but it's pretty cool that I am always in walking distance to Wayne Manor; I mean, Batman is practically my neighbour.

Bronson (2008)

I only discovered that Bronson was partly filmed in Nottingham whilst I was writing this, but apparently it was filmed in two different psychiatric hospitals in Nottinghamshire (as well as a couple of areas in the city). Obviously, the Nottingham places used in the film aren't prominent enough for me to notice, but Bronson is still a brilliant film; I'm always shocked at how Tom Hardy is able to transform between each role that he plays so effortlessly. Charles Bronson himself is, of course, quite a fascinating character 

This post was inspired by Inferior Design's post, Edinburgh on Film, you can see her post here.


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