Sunday, February 26, 2017

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Boarding Gate - Asia Argento (2007) - Nelson Street, Mongkok

I haven't quite sussed out where they filmed the industrial building that Sandra flees from (somewhere in Kwun Tong I think) - but she crashes out of a side alleyway (lots of those in Hong Kong) and into Nelson Street in Mongkok. We know exactly which alleyway because we can just make out the "Hon Wing Book Company" opposite. Then as she turns to her right we can see an overhead banner for Ladies Market - situated at the junction with Tung Choi Street in front.

The similar angle from Streetview is below. Note the "Clarks" sign and the red and blue sign in the background (obscured in the screencap).

Boarding Gate - Asia Argento (2007) - Carnarvon Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

The Triads' office appears to actually be on Carnarvon Road. Sandra gets out of the taxi and heads up some steps in the Champagne Court building. The brown hoarding on the right of the top screen cap shows where the Tung Ying Building was being demolished at the time. It has since been redeveloped into "The One" but the demolition began in 2006. This film was released in 2007 but actually there is some footage later that proves the filming was done in the first half of 2006. I'll flag it up when I do the relevant post.

Same angle on Streetview
Champagne Court

Boarding Gate - Asia Argento (2007) - Jordan Road, Kwun Chung

On her way to her next contact, the taxi has switched over to Kowloon-side and can be seen driving along Jordan Road. Streetview comparison underneath. The "Sands Sauna" sign is on the edge of Lucky House that sits on Pilkem Street. The blue sign next to it is for a nightclub that sits in what was once the Oriental Ballroom.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Boarding Gate - Asia Argento (2007) - Gloucester Road, Wanchai

Another shot taken from a pedestrian bridge, this time one over Gloucester Road that runs alongside Marsh Road just before the Canal Road flyover/interchange (actually, it looks like it's called the Wanchai Interchange on the maps). The bus on the right is on the flyover. This shot is looking east with the high rises of North Point in the background. 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Boarding Gate - Asia Argento (2007) - Hennessy Road, Wanchai

After meeting her initial HK contact, Sandra is dumped in a taxi on Hennessy Road and sent to another place. It looks as though this was filmed from the pedestrian bridge that connects Wanchai MTR to Immigration Tower in the north to Johnston Road in the south.

Boarding Gate - Asia Argento (2007) - Hong Kong International Airport, Chek Lap Kok

Boarding Gate is directed by Olivier Assayas who will probably be more familiar to HK film fans as the French guy that Maggie Cheung married after she starred in his film Irma Vep. The first half of the film is set in France and the action doesn't move to Hong Kong until well over an hour later as the main character (played by Asia Argento) escapes there to start her new life.

Sadly for us, many of the HK locations that we could look at are largely obscured and blurred by the multiple close up shots of the film's stars - this may have been deliberate but really means that for the most part it seems pointless to have come all this way when the scenes could have been shot anywhere. It turns out much of the HK filming was done guerilla-style without the required permits (and, no doubt, payoffs to the local gangsters/police - they're both the same these days) which may account for some of the styling.

Anyway, regardless, there are some interesting places to see if you squint your eyes at the screen. But to start off here is a quick view of the main character - Sandra - as she arrives in Hong Kong.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Emmanuelle 2 - Sylvia Kristel (1975) - Queen's Road Central, Central

Another identification from the recent flurry of activity over on my help page. This time it was Thomas once again piecing together various bits of information to help identify the following location from Emmanuelle 2.

I was fairly certain it was along Queen's Road somewhere but just lacked the knowledge to say where definitively. Anyway, the key to identification turned out to be a shop name on the column that rises up from the front of the taxi. It contains the words 大吉毛毯. 

Thomas managed to find a photograph with the same shop but taken from the other end of the street. Here is his comment.
I believe I have a confirmation here ( Please scroll down to the Sheung Wan section, There is a photo showing the photographer looking NE on Queen's Road East with shop houses on both sides. One of the pillars showed 大吉毛毯 , which was also visible in your screen capture.
he also goes on the mention that the text under the photo in question says that the picture was taken very close to the "hundred step stairs" (百步梯) which lead from Queen's Road Central up to Gough Street.

So what we are looking at in the Emmanuelle 2 screen cap is the view down Queen's Road Central from somewhere near to the junction with Wellington Street and Bonham Strand. If you remember my Emmanuelle 2 posts, you should recall that I had already found one screen shot also shot here courtesy of the pillar box. Here is what it looks like today courtesy of Streetview.

Another big thanks to Thomas!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of Gold - Tamara Dobson (1975) - Shek Pai Wan Estate, Aberdeen

Many thanks to Arthur and Thomas for helping solve this long standing mystery about the location of a couple of scenes from Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of Gold. I had sort of already figured out the first one but lacked the confirmation I needed to be certain and the existence of an edit point between the two scenes meant I wasn't confident they were connected as portrayed on screen.

The first section of the sequence shows a long straight stone staircase leading from what looks like a Govt housing estate.

The existence of similar steps in HK is quite limited, so the location was narrowed down to a few places and the fact that a lot of filming for this movie had gone on in Aberdeen meant that the steps from Shek Pai Wan estate were the main contender. My problem, as always, is that the area has changed enough to make a 100% confirmation difficult. In the case of the Shek Pai Wan estate, the original estate was demolished and subsequently rebuilt in the late 1980's. Coupled with the amount of redevelopment around Aberdeen in general (copious additional roads, not just buildings) meant I wasn't confident enough to post. Thomas has subsequently provided some decent aerial comparisons here and here which show the staircase in the hillside and the estate buildings at the top - under construction in the colour picture and top centre left in the black and white one.

Anyway, in response to Arthur's investigation's regarding a screen grab from the next part of the sequence (see below), it has made me confident enough (99%) to say I have the right place. The sequence follows the children running down the steps and then there is an edit point where they then arrive at Cleopatra Jones and her buddy waiting for them. The edit point could've meant this second scene was filmed elsewhere but it turns out Arthur was able to identify the location as Tung Shing Street in Aberdeen - a few metres away from the bottom of the Shek Pai Wan steps.

Here are Arthur's comments:
The [second] photo shows "務實中學" [mou6 sat6 jung1 hok6] at the back...the site is currently occupied by Port Centre of 38 Chengtu Road, Aberdeen. 
For the "美樂電器行" [mei5 lok6 din6 hei3 hong4 - this is the shop on the corner next to the "No Right Turn"s sign]...the same site was later occupied by Yu Lei Tai - one of the earliest "cha chan teng" in HK - was at the end of Tung Shing Rd, near the petrol station.
So the camera was on Tung Shing Road looking northwest and it turns out that the block of buildings on that side of the street are still around (built in 1953). The shop that was once 美樂電器行 is now a Circle-K.

Anyway, a big thanks to Arthur and Thomas once again for some great location spotting.

China Cry - Julian Nickson (1990) - Calcada Do Carmo, Taipa

In a very brief scene we see the heavily pregnant main character walking home up a rather steep slope. This slope is the Calcada Do Carmo that connects the Carmel Church terrace with the Rua Direita Carlos Eugenio below.

These days it has been turned into a very picturesque stone staircase, but before redevelopment it was just a cobbled slope with steps only at the very top.

Monday, February 20, 2017

China Cry - Julia Nickson (1990) - Tao Fung Shan, Shatin

As the main character recalls her childhood schooling, we are treated to flashbacks of her attending what is supposed to be a Christian school in Shanghai but was in fact filmed at at place very familiar to readers of this blog: Tao Fung Shan. The bonus this time is we get a quick peak inside (what I believe to be) the large pagoda seen at the back of the top picture.

China Cry - Julian Nickson (1990) - Yau Kung Tong, Yuen Long

The secret place where the main character goes for her clandestine Christian gatherings is another familiar location to us because we've already seen it twice on this blog. It's the Yau Kung Tong in Yuen Long previously seen in Shadow of China and Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story.

As noted in previous posts, this white wall surrounding the outer courtyard has since been demolished but I have no idea why or what has replaced it.

China Cry - Julia Nickson (1990) - Jardin Luis De Camoes, Macau

Here's a place that will be familiar to Bruce Lee fans. It's the Jardin Luis De Camoes - a park whose gates were made famous during Lee's Fist of Fury when he is told "No Dogs or Chinese" are allowed to enter. We don't see the gates this time but we do get to see the small area just the other side of them. The park is actually fairly extensive and this area is just the entrance. The benches are still around, as are the magnificent large banyan trees, but this section also now contains some rather incongruous bright yellow oldies' exercise equipment - I guess no one does Tai Chi anymore.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

China Cry - Julia Nickson (1990) - Rua Direita Carlos Eugenio, Taipa

More of the bike ride, this time back over on Taipa on a rather quaint little road that appears to have two names. The first name which seems to apply to the western end of it is Rua Direita Carlos Eugenio but it then morphs into Rua Fernao Mendes Pinto as it travels east.

Anyway, regardless, this road is probably most famous for being the site of the Iec Long Fabrica De Panchoes which I wrote about a good few years ago over on the old blog. It was one of the more interesting places I have talked about, so I transferred the article when I changed blog sites. You can read it here.

I haven't been over in a while so I don't know what the Macau Govt is going to do about the rather large site, but I'm hoping it has/will be renovated rather than redeveloped. If anyone has any more recent information then please let me know ion the comments.

Anyway, here are a couple of the screen caps followed by the Streetview so you can compare the difference of 20+years.

The yellow colour of the wall has sadly faded to white, but at least the Chinese characters that adorn it have aged fairly well. The section of wall in the Streetview is the same one they are riding past in the second picture - you can see the characters match on the wall behind. The wall is actually part of the perimeter of the old firecracker factory.

A few metres further down the road and the couple go past some old buildings. Sadly it looks as though the only survivor these days is the one in the middle directly behind Julia Nickson's head. The two either side have already been demolished, although the side wall of the closest one to camera seems to be still standing.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

China Cry - Julia Nickson (1990) - Avenida da Republica, Macau

Another stop on the whirlwind bike tour of Macau is the Avenida da Republica. In this scene the two stop as a group of Communist soldiers on exercise run past (led by British Chinese actor Philip Tan). The place they stop is actually right in front of where the former Bela Vista Hotel (now the Portuguese Consulate's residence) stands. You can see the hotel's terrace wall on the right had side of the second screen grab.

This was before the extensive reclamation work that created Sai Van and Nam Van lakes from former sea area.

China Cry - Julia Nickson (1990) - Estrada de Cacilhas, Macau

The pair of lovers embark on a bike ride that takes them seemingly all over Macau (though don't forget we are actually still supposed to be in Shanghai). This reminds me of the fact that Macau has stood in for Shanghai on a couple of occasions on this blog previously - for Fist of Fury, Shanghai Surprise and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

Anyway, part of this bike ride takes place a few metres away from the location of this post along the road that is more famous for being the location of the Taipa Houses Museum: Estrada de Cacilhas*

The top picture shows that although all the houses along the strip are now nicely restored, it wasn't always the case with the one on the right hand side looking quite unloved. The lower picture is actually from a later scene with Nickson looking over towards what would have been Coloane on the other side of a body of water. These days she would be staring straight into the Cotai Strip.

* This is the one on Taipa, but there is another road of the same name over by Guia Hill on the Macau peninsula.

China Cry - Julia Nickson (1990) - Palácio do Governador, Macau

These days it's the HQ of the Macau Government (Sede do Governo da Região Administrativa Especial de Macau da República Popular da China) but before the 1999 handover to China (two years after Hong Kong's) it was the Palácio do Governador - the official residence of the Macau Governor.

In China Cry it is supposed to be a concert hall where the two protagonists go on their first date to see a classical music performance.