Thursday, September 21, 2017

Meteor - Sean Connery (1979) - Java Road, North Point

Another brief scene showing the screaming masses (actually, most look like they are having a bit of a laugh being extras for the day) was filmed at the junction between North Point Road and Java Road over in North Point. The buildings at the front have since been redeveloped, but the ones at the back AND the pawn shop (全興大押 ) are still around. I believe the pawnshop has recently replaced that large red sign with a smaller LED one though.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Meteor - Sean Connery (1979) - Pottinger Street, Central

After seeing everyone rushing away from the typhoon shelter in Yau Ma Tei the next shot shows, supposedly, the same group of people as they rush up Pottinger Street in Central. I've got to admit, I think even with a tsunami bearing down on me I wouldn't be able to run even half as fast as they did to get there so quickly.

The lower photo shows the junction at Hollywood Road with the former Central Police Station compound in the background.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Meteor - Sean Connery (1979) - Yau Ma Tei Typhoon Shelter, Kowloon

A second outing for Sean Connery on this blog although, similar to You Only Live Twice, he doesn't actually venture to Hong Kong in person. This film is a late 70's disaster movie which features Hong Kong as one of the locations around the globe that suffers the catastrophic affects of having small pieces of a larger meteor crashing into the sea just off the coast. Cue a massive tsunami that hits the territory and destroys everyone and everything in its path.

The Hong Kong scenes are basically just ones of mad panic as everyone runs away from the incoming wave. The first place to be hit is the old typhoon shelter in Yau Ma Tei. The top shot is the view looking north from the area of the Ferry Point Estate, showing the entirety of the shelter up to what was Cherry Street. The last two pictures show the southern end of the shelter with the Ferry Point Estate buildings in the background. Of course that whole area was reclaimed a long time ago and is now full of high-rise residential developments. 

Le Monocle Rit Jaune - Paul Meurisse (1964) - Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

I shall finish on Le Monocle Rit Jaune with this brief view down at the southern end of Nathan Road. It shows the Peninsula Hotel at the end of the road on the right hand side. Immediately behind (or from our perspective - in front) is the Marco Polo - Peninsula Court Hotel. But notice the next building along is covered in scaffolding - I think this is the newly built Prestige Tower undergoing some finishing touches. I think the road on the left must be Mody Road.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Le Monocle Rit Jaune - Paul Meurisse (1964) - Carnarvon Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

There is a brief meeting between the main character and his love interest as he leaves a Japanese sauna. The next shot is supposedly outside the sauna as we look down Humphrey's Avenue in Tsim Sha Tsui. It's possible the building on the right is Humphrey's Court but I don't have anything to compare it to.

Never mind as the next building is unmistakable, it's Carnarvon Mansion which stil sits (and looks almost exactly the same) at the junction where Humphrey's Avenue meets Carnarvon Road (amongst others).

The building at the end of the road (on the left) is Mirador Mansions.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Le Monocle Rit Jaune - Paul Meurisse (1964) - View over Kowloon

Coupled with the previous images of Kai Tak, we get this nice view looking out over Kowloon including a pilots'-eye view of the runway. Unlike a previous image from Golgo that I posted a few weeks ago, this angle looks to have been taken higher up in the hills, so I suspect it was taken from the Lung Cheung Road lookout area. I live nearby and took some pictures a few years back which you can see here.

Autostitch did a much better job this time.

Le Monocle Rit Jaune - Paul Meurisse (1964) - Kai Tak Airport, Kowloon

It's a rare HK-made film that doesn't feature the old airport in some form or another.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Le Monocle Rit Jaune - Paul Meurisse (1964) - King Yin Lei, Wanchai

The same sequence shot above the mid-levels also has a very brief glimpse of King Yin Lei. It's so brief that if you blink you'll miss it, but it's familiar roof and gables are instantly recognisable to geek boys such as myself. We've seen this building many times on this blog, perhaps most significantly in Soldier of Fortune, but I know there are many Bruce Lee fans that read this blog who will be more familiar with it as Mr Han's island mansion in Enter the Dragon.

You can read a bit more about it here, and see how many times it has featured on this blog here. In the meantime here is the single, solitary screen shot from the film.

Le Monocle Rit Jaune - Paul Meurisse (1964) - View from Mid-levels, Central

One of the problems with older films in Hong Kong is trying to figure out where a shot was taken from given how much the landscape and development may have changed in the following years. Take this case for example, the actors all look to be standing on either a balcony or rooftop of a building in the vicinity of Magazine Gap Road in the Central mid-levels. Looking at the first picture below, we can see the old British Military Hospital building on Bowen Road in the background and Bowen Mansion a little bit closer, giving us a fair idea of the location of the scene.

My feeling is that this was filmed somewhere around where Magazine Court stands today, but seeing as the current Magazine Court was built in 1983, if it was here it will have been in the buildings predecessor. Unfortunately I don' really have much of a clue as to what it was or how it looked so I can't confirm my guess. So feel free to pitch in if you have a better suggestion.

In the meantime here are the views looking in the other directions, or at least the best we can do given the closeness of the Paul Meurisse to the camera. The detail in the first one isn't really that great for making out individual buildings, but over his right shoulder appears to be Canossa Hospital and the developments behind it (Kam Yuen Mansion and Pine Court) which were newly built at the time of filming. We can also make out Stonecutter Island in the background and the Botanical gardens on the lower right.

The lower picture shows the fuzzy detail of TST in the distance including the just about distinguishable clocktower but lower left looks like it might be the Hilton Hotel at the bottom of Garden Road.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Le Monocle Rit Jaune - Paul Meurisse (1964) - Temple Street, Yau Ma Tei

This is an interesting establishing shot that gives away a clue to the location at the end of the sequence. The only problem is that I am not sure which part of Temple Street this is.

It looks like the street sign is placed at a road junction and the slight curve in the street makes me think it can only be one of two places: at the junction with Kansu Street looking north, or at the junction with Jordan Road looking south. My only problem is that the first location would have already had the Alhambra Building by 1964 (it was built in 1960), and the second location on Jordan Road still has a building there built in the 1950's, and it doesn't look like this one. 

I will have to rely on eagle-eyed readers who may be more familiar with the area to spot the clues I am missing - but it is always possible that this is on the corner with Kansu Street and the film simply used stock footage made before the Alhambra Building was constructed.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Le Monocle Rit Jaune - Paul Meurisse (1964) - Concrete Causeway in Macau

I'm trying to find old pictures of Macau that feature this concrete breakwater and I think it's the one marked as "長命橋石基" in the top picture of this blog post - I'm pretty certain anyway.  It looks as though this place originated from the southern tip of the peninsula and extended a short distance into the outer harbour. The concrete section ended in the stone wall that can be seen in the lowest picture. It's the location of their (unsuccessful) rendezvous.

The camera shot is a right to left pan taking in much of the bay area when it was fairly pristine and dotted with islands. The distance land in the first couple of shots are of the Chinese islands including Siu Wang Kam Island (now known as Xiaohengqin) with the western edge of Taipa starting on the left of picture 2 before taking the full background up in picture 3.

Unfortunately, I couldn't get Autostitch to recognise anything common in these pictures - I guess it has its limits when it comes to grainy monochrome screen caps - but managed to mash-up a panorama with the help of GIMP 2. You can see the results below. Click for a close up.

The concrete causeway ended in this stone cross section which appears to stretch on for quite a distance. You can't see it here but there were huts on here that contained wooden machinery for hauling up and lowering large fishing nets that had been rigged to lie almost horizontally in the water. If anyone has more information about this type of fishing in Macau, it would be interesting to here about.

Finally an image looking back towards the peninsula. Believe it or not, this causeway location coincides roughly with where the Wynn Casino/hotel now stands on Rua Cidade De Sintra. Even by my first trip to Macau in 1996 (before Taipa and Coloane were connected by the Cotai Strip) this area had long been reclaimed and turned into a commercial district.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Le Monocle Rit Jaune - Paul Meurisse (1964) - Rua do Doutor Lourenco Pereira Marques, Macau

More Macau and a nice view along Rua do Doutor Lourenco Pereira Marques when it still had open views to the inner harbour. These days the old "pontes" have all been built up or replaced by waterside warehousing. This first shot shows us looking north and in the background can be seen the old Grande Hotel (extreme top left) and just in the back middle of the shot is the old Opium godown which can also be seen in this post I did a while back for Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Both buildings are still around (at least they were the last time I was in Macau).

Le Monocle Rit Jaune - Paul Meurisse (1964) - St Paul's Church Facade, Macau

Some of the action takes place in Macau as the French detectives head over there for a rendezvous with a woman who was friends with our TST assassination victim. I've never seen the old church facade quite as deserted as this - any visit these days is similar to trying to walk through Mongkok at lunchtime.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Le Monocle Rit Jaune - Paul Meurisse (1964) - Sai Kung Waterfront, Sai Kung

Sai Kung waterfront was quite an obscure location for this blog just a few months ago, but then all of a sudden I had a two productions that used the concrete jetty in front of town as a filming location. You can see them both on this post I did after paying a visit there not so long ago. Anyway, it turns out that the year after Brad Harris and Dietmar Schönherr were there filming Weiße Fracht für Hongkong, the French production crew for this film shot a major scene there for the film's denouement (just practicing my non-existent French).

There follows a chase and shootout in a small town/village and it's possible it was filmed in the small lanes of old Sai Kung town but it's not something I can confirm at the moment. I may pootle over on my bike next week for a looksee.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Le Monocle Rit Jaune - Paul Meurisse (1964) - Shatin Floating Restaurant, Shatin

Well, I mentioned a floating restaurant the other day when we were looking at Aberdeen, but for some reason (perhaps because they needed to film inside as you will see) none of the Aberdeen based (or the Tai Pak at Castle Peak Bay) were used. Instead the film makers moved to Shatin and utilised the floating restaurant there that was once moored on the banks of the Shatin Sea.

Shatin's transformation from small market village into a massive modern New Town involved a significant amount of reclamation work and the once sea inlet was shrunk down by man made banks and turned into the modern day nullah that goes by the misleading name of the Shing Mun River.

Anyway, not only is this the first time I have seen this place used as a filming location (at least in terms of foreign films) there are a few famous faces to spot in the group of kung fu thugs who turn up to attack the French detectives.

The restaurant was moored approximately where the modern day swimming pool centre stands on the opposite side of the Lek Yuen estate. It's unclear when the restaurant was removed (or indeed, where it went) but the reclamation of the sea started in the 1970's. Anyone who has been to Shatin will know that there is a modern day replacement on the opposite side of the nullah. It's currently run by the Ming Sing restaurant chain and although modeled to look like a floating restaurant, is actually made of concrete. Well, I guess at least it's typhoon proof.

Gwan Jing-leung leads his motley crew across the gangway
Restaurant entrance

And finally a closeup of the thugs. Bruce Lee fans might recognise the chap on the centre right. It's Unicorn Chan, Lee's childhood friend who helped Lee contact the various HK studios on his return to HK. He was also the star of Fist of Unicorn - some information about that can be seen here.