Monday, October 16, 2017

Heisser Hafen Hongkong - Horst Frank (1962) - Junction of Waterloo Road and Shanghai Street, Mongkok

Here is another impressive find by Thomas when you consider this film is 55 years old. The scene is not really important, it's just one of the many establishing shots that was used throughout this film, but it's just nice being able to locate these small snippets and give them a little bit of historical context. In this shot we are looking up Shanghai Street from the junction with Waterloo Road and there are various businesses that can be seen including what looks like a place called the "Mido" (not to be confused with the famous eaterie in Yau Ma Tei) and this place on the corner called "Goldengate". 

Also notice the rather new looking building on the left in the lower photo. This is #3 Waterloo Road and was built in 1962 - the same year this film was made, hence why it is looking so new. It's still there but, like with many other older buildings with balconies, the balconies have since been filled in (illegally!) to make more internal living space. Let's face it, these days the traffic on Waterloo Road is so busy it's not really the sort of place where you would want to sit outside breathing in all that vehicle exhaust!

Anyway, once again a big thanks to Thomas for going above and beyond the call of duty for this one. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Kung Fu Killers - Grant Page (1974) - Park Hotel, Tsim Sha Tsui

Okay, not the Park Hotel as we would normally expect to see it, but rather the view from the roof courtesy of an interview between Grant Page and Stuart Whitman. You may remember that Whitman was in town for the filming of Shatter and Page managed to get hold of him for a talk about kung fu. The white buildings at the back correspond roughly with the current HK PolyU buildings, so it's possible they were part of the original campus, however, I'm not certain.

Note the KCR track that still ran from the old terminus in Tsim Sha Tsui and was on the other side of the old Chatham Road Army Camp which is just out of site below the hotel, along Chatham Road (today's East TST area where the History and Science museums stand). Anyway, a big thanks to Thomas once again for identifying the location, but does that mean this is the hotel where Page stayed and where they filmed the bar fight in the finale of Shatter? Still not sure.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Around the World in 80 Days - Pierce Brosnan (1989) - Coloane, Macau

When Fogg and the princess arrive in Yokohama, they finally catch up with Passepartout who has joined an acrobatic troupe. In reality, Yokohama is in fact the village of Coloane in Macau. The main scenes were filmed in Largo Eduardo Marques - the famous square that houses the Chapel of St Francis Xavier. In fact you can see the chapel at the back of picture 3, with its recognisable "天主堂" script just visible above the picture of Mt. Fuji.

The last picture is facing back towards the harbour and the set is obviously there to cover up the obelisk that sits in front of the square.

Around the World in 80 Days - Pierce Brosnan (1989) - Stanley Peninsula, Hong Kong

The Tankadere sinks and the shipwrecked travelers manage to row to what is supposed to be Mainland China but was actually a small rocky beach on the western edge of Stanley Peninsula. The land on the right in the top picture is Yuen Kok on Lamma island with Wailingding Island (in Chinese waters) in the far distance.

This location isn't very far from the boundary with the former Stanley Fort. Of course since 1997 it has been renamed Chek Chue Barracks (赤柱 'chek chu' is the Cantonese name for Stanley) and has the PLA stationed there.

Around the World in 80 Days - Pierce Brosnan (1989) - Sai Kung Public Pier, Sai Kung

In order to get to Yokohama on time to catch the paddle steamer "General Grant" to San Francisco, Fogg and friends try to get themselves onto a boat bound for Japan only to find out they can be taken up to Shanghai and catch their crossing from there instead. The small vessel they catch to Shanghai is the "Tankadere" - a small junk that sinks on the way.

They board this junk in what is unmistakably Sai Kung public pier - a place I know quite well from the multitude of times I've hopped on and off dive boats there. In the show though, the white round pillars holding up the roof have been surrounded by some badly painted cardboard to make them look like wood.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Around the World in 80 Days - Pierce Brosnan (1989) - Bela Vista Hotel, Macau

Now that I have finally got round to looking at the locations in this mini-series (I've had it in my drawer for about 2 years but only just mustered enough energy to sit through all 4.5 hours trying to spot HK locations, so please forgive my tardiness), I can finally provide us all with some shots of the interior of the Bela Vista. I did write a post about the place a few years back and it attracted a fair amount of attention, as you can see. Thankfully it's had a bit of a clean up since 1989 as you can see from the link I just provided above.

Around the World in 80 Days - Pierce Brosnan (1989) - Aberdeen Harbour

Finally, a shot taken in Hong Kong that is actually meant to be Hong Kong. The only problem is that this is most definitely some stock footage because is shows a view of Aberdeen harbour (looking east in the top picture) that was probably taken in the 1960's, given the complete lack of development.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Around the World in 80 Days - Pierce Brosnan (1989) - The Rangoon aka The Wan Fu?

The ship that Fogg and Co board to go to HK in the book is called the "Rangoon". The long shot of the ship steaming off to Hong Kong was also actually filmed in Hong Kong and appears to be a shot of our old friend the Wan Fu (the Hongkong Hilton's own pleasure boat). I can't confirm exactly but maybe someone is able to - it looks very similar to the images I've previously posted.

Around the World in 80 Days - Pierce Brosnan (1989) - Sai Kung Waterfront, Sai Kung

So previously the former Marine Police HQ stood in for the central police station in Bombay, and now Sai Kung waterfront is standing in for Calcutta as Fogg and Co try to board the ship, Rangoon, that will take them to Hong Kong. The set looks like it was set up on a newly reclaimed patch of ground that has since had the new East Division Marine Police station built on it behind Lake Court.  

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Around the World in 80 Days - Pierce Brosnan (1989) - Former Marine Police HQ, Tsim Sha Tsui

No, not the David Niven film nor the Steve Coogan/Jackie Chan version but rather the four hour mini series filmed in the late 1980's and starring Pierce Brosnan. In truth, a series that shows there is a limit to Brosnan's acting abilities as well as the production department's budget. We see a few old faces here - Brosnan has already been here before for Noble House and Detonator 2 an Julia Nickson who was also in Noble House as well as China Cry.

The series was filmed in various locations including Hong Kong although, rather ironically, the Hong Kong section of the film was made in Macau and the instead Hong Kong itself stood in for a variety of other locations! The first location we see is that of the former Marine Police HQ in Tsim Sha Tsui which stood in for Bombay Central Police Station.

In case you recognise the passageway where Peter Ustinov is standing, it's the very same one Forest Whitaker et al stood in for Bloodsport a few years earlier.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Batman: The Dark Knight - Christian Bale (2008) - View Over Central, Hong Kong

My original screencaps for this film were done from a TV screen so the quality wasn't good enough to include this rather impressive helicopter (or perhaps drone) shot over Central.

The Centre, where all the lobby shots were filmed, can be seen on the left of screen. But the buildings used for the actual office from where Batman kidnaps the crooked Chinese accountant, Lau, were the towers of the International Finance Centre. So Batman launches from 2 IFC (centre right, lower picture) and grabs Lau from the smaller IFC tower (centre screen).

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Lust, Caution - Tang Wei (2007) - The Verandah, Repulse Bay

This is the restaurant where Tony Leung takes Tang Wei on their first surreptitious meeting. We last saw it in the film Boarding Gate although I have since been informed that the replica building (replica of the original Repulse Bay Hotel, that is) this sits in is constructed from the same bricks that made the original. Apparently when the demolition took place the bricks were put into storage until needed. It's one of those tidbits of information that is not easily confirmed but worth including in case anyone can confirm either way.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Foxbat - Henry Silva (1977) - Robinson Road, Mid-levels

A big thanks to Thomas for spotting this next one from Foxbat. It's one of the locations involved in the bus/ambulance/car chase through town that started in Pok Fu Lam and ends in Wanchai. The main clue here was really the s-shaped bend in the road and the buildings in the background that turned out to be a development called "The Panorama".

The two balconied buildings in the foreground have both sadly been redeveloped into something with less style and character. "The Panorama" is the white building at the back and sits on Conduit Road. You might be able to make out the construction of a new building below it - covered in scaffolding. This looks to be the start of what became "Right Mansion" at 29 Robinson Road and was completed in 1978, so the timeline for the filming fits quite well. Anyway, the modern Streetview version can be seen below.

Lust, Caution - Tang Wei (2007) - Hong Kong University, Pok Fu Lam

In the film, the main protagonist (played by Tang wei) attends Lingnan University where she is first introduced to her revolutionary compatriots through their acting troupe. The scenes were actually filmed at Hong Kong University and there are several familiar locations that we saw earlier in the year when looking at John Lone's Shadow of China.

The initial establishing shot is a computer generated view of what Hong Kong should have looked like in the late 1930's. I think the filmmakers did a fairly decent job and you can see the result in the first picture.

The main building has several courtyards and there are a couple of scenes filmed here on the upper floor and also on the ground around an ornamental pond that was also seen in the aforementioned Shadow of China.

We also get to see a few brief views of the main entrance to the university's main building as the audience files in to enjoy the show.

And, finally, the hall in which the show takes place is the Loke Yew Hall.

Lust, Caution - Tang Wei (2007) - Tin Hau Temple Road, Tai Hang

I have Hiram to thank for this following location (I would never have been able to locate it otherwise) from a comment he left on one of my posts last year. Yes, sometimes it really does take me that long to get around to doing stuff!

It's the dai pai dong scene and as you can read from Hiram's comment, the crew weren't really supposed to be there. The steps mentioned are still around and lead up to a road referred to as New Eastern Terrace, although Centamap still has an offshoot of Tin Hau Temple Road. In the upper picture you can see an old wall at the top of the steps at the back, but either it was fake or has since been replaced by a new development ("The Pavilia Hill"). I suspect the latter.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Lust, Caution - Tang Wei (2007) - Ma Tau Wan, High Island

I'm currently looking again at Lust, Caution and have found a few more locations that I missed following my initial, rather cursory, viewing. You can see the original posts here and here with updated screenshots.

One of the locations I had trouble finding initially was the nondescript beach where the would-be agents are practicing their marksmanship with pistols. This one took me an age to locate but I finally found it nestling on the southern coast of High Island in Sai Kung District. The beach doesn't appear to have a specific name but the maps refer to the general area as Ma Tau Wan (lit: horse head area) and actually, if you turn the map around, that part of High Island does actually resemble a horse's head!

If you want to see the exact location then click on the location label at the bottom on the post but for locals who are familiar with the general area then its quite near to the Sha Kiu Tau restaurants. From a filming point of view, the only way to get here is by boat - although if you aren't lugging around a ton of film equipment, you can hike to it from High Island reservoir road.