Monday, 29 November 2021

Isabella - Isabella Leong (2006) - Fortaleza da Guia, Macau

Not the first time this place has appeared on the blog, although I am surprised I haven't seen it more often given its prominence in Macau and the fact that it's one of the more popular tourist locations. Anyway, this is where the pair go for a bit of bonding and they go inside the lightnhouse and look through the lens.

Sunday, 28 November 2021

Isabella - Isabella Leong (2006) - Nam Sang Wai, Yuen Long

Several scenes in the film were also shot at Nam Sang Wai in Yuen Long. The area around what is marked on the map as "The Wedding Bridge" (I can only assume because it is popular for wedding shoots) features in the car crash scene where Ma tricks Yan into thinking her dog was killed in the accident, as well as a later scene when Ma throws his illegally acquired revolver into the water following his decision to face his wrongdoings.

Ma examines the dog
Shan Pui Village in the distance
Ma disposing of the gun 

Saturday, 27 November 2021

Isabella - Isabella Leong (2006) - Rua de Santo António, Macau

This is the street where Ma and Yan practice smashing beer bottles on a kerbside bollard before the shop owner chases them away. According to Mamiko Oke's post on FLICKR (a great resource by the way for local and Japanese films), it was in front of the antique coin shop (right side of frame).

Friday, 26 November 2021

Thursday, 25 November 2021

Isabella - Isabella Leong (2006) - Jardim do Carmo, Taipa

After helping the little girl up the steps with her dog, Yan sits down and spends time with them both at the top in the Jardim do Carmo. I remember playing with that spherical cage roundabout with my kids when they were younger (probably not long after this was filmed). I have no idea if it's still there though.

Wednesday, 24 November 2021

Isabella - Isabella Leong (2006) - Calçada Do Carmo, Taipa

This is the set of steps that Yan follows the little girl up and helps her with her dog. We've been here before for China Cry and The Canton Godfather (aka Canton and the Lady Rose) but for those films the lane was just a cobbled slope. These days, as you can see below, steps have been installed.

Tuesday, 23 November 2021

Isabella - Isabella Leong (2006) - Rua Direita Carlos Eugenio, Taipa

The small street where Yan sees a girl with her old dog, Isabella, is Rua Direita Carlos Eugenio in Taipa. The exact location is where Travessa da Boa Vista joins the road. You can see the steps of the latter in the second image below.

Monday, 22 November 2021

Isabella - Isabella Leong (2006) - Travessa da Paixão, Macau

Part of the pair's drunken night out includes running up the Travessa da Paixão and shouting at the top of their lungs. This place has been seen before on the blog.

Sunday, 21 November 2021

Isabella - Isabella Leong (2006) - Campo Desportivo E Recreativo Do Carmo, Taipa

The location where Ma teaches Yan how to ride a scooter was filmed on the then undeveloped football pitch of the Carmo Sports and Recreation field. The massive development of the Cotai Strip behind them means the view over to the Macau East Asian Games Dome (you can see it in the left background of the top image) is now completely blocked with the various monstrous casino resorts that sprang up not long after filming.

Saturday, 20 November 2021

Isabella - Isabella Leong (2006) - former British Military Hospital, Bowen Road

I know I said that Isabella was set and filmed in Macau but I should point out that some scenes were filmed in Hong Kong and this is one of them. It's the former British Military Hospital on Bowen Road, and in the film it's the clinic where Yan's mum goes (with a young Ma) as a pregnant teenager to undergo an abortion. There is a flashback scene early in the film that partially sets the present circumstances and Ma goes back later, as a grown man, to remember what happened on that day.

Anyway, the clue to identifying this location is the granite ledges and bases built into the brick columns - these appear to be quite unique to the BMH. These days, the BMH is largely occupied by the Carmel School - Hong Kong's only Jewish school, apparently.

Friday, 19 November 2021

Thursday, 18 November 2021

Isabella - Isabella Leong (2006) - Rua Nova de S. Lázaro, Macau

The pair start posting "missing" flyers around Macau in an effort to locate Yan's dog, Isabella. The first place they go to is Rua Nova de S. Lázaro. This is also the same street, later on in the film, where the pair drunkenly run after being chased away from a shop front for smashing beer bottles. The building they run alongside is a row of old townhouses that are looking a bit dilapidated in the film but have since undergone a nice renovation that has also fixed up the wooden windows.

Wednesday, 17 November 2021

Isabella - Isabella Leong (2006) - Fabrica de Panchoes Iec Long, Taipa

Probably one of Taipa's more famous sites but we rarely get to have a peek inside the compound because it is closed for the most part. Lucky for us that this is the "park" where they go to look for Yan's dog, Isabella. I wrote a small post about this place many year ago on my other blog but I haven't been able to get to Macau for many years now (my last visit was in 2016) so have no idea what has become of the place.

Tuesday, 16 November 2021

Isabella - Isabella Leong (2006) - Rua da Felicidade, Macau

I have Gary Wong's old Film Pilgrimage page (new page here) to thank for telling me about this location (Gary is basically the go-to guy for local movie locations and I did a post on his first book ten years ago). This is the apartment building where Yan and her mother used to live before her mum died. The landlord has locked her out because she hasn't been able to pay the rent and Ma goes around to try and help her.

Anyway, thanks to Gary we know this location is on Macau's famous Rua da Felicidade and is a small hotel called San Va Hospedaria. Sadly, there are no exterior shots and we just get to see some of the interior including this view of the main staircase as Yan sneaks in to see what is happening.

Monday, 15 November 2021

Isabella - Isabella Leong (2006) - A Lorcha Restaurant, Macau

One of Macau's most popular eateries, especially for visitors from Hong Kong, is the A Lorcha restaurant along the old waterfront on Rua do Almirante Sergio. There is a brief scene inside as Ma (Chapman To) contemplates his new found predicament. The restaurant website is here: https://alorcha.com/en/menu/

Sunday, 14 November 2021

Isabella - Isabella Leong (2006) - Travessa do Padre Narciso, Macau

Next up is one of my favourite Hong Kong movies, Isabella, although it was set and shot in Macau. The story is set in the run up to the Macau handover in December 1999 and follows corrupt police Inspector Ma (Chapman To) who is shocked to find out that a girl who has been following him around is his illegitimate daughter from a school days love affair. We follow them as they bond and he tries to mend his ways as he realises he has some extra responsibility now that this girl, Yan (played by the excellent Isabella Leong) has entered his life.

There are lots of bits of Macau just prior to the time when it all got ruined by the big casino resort developments. This was made the year I arrived in Hong Kong to live and I think it took us a good year or so to get over to Macau, by which time the Grand Lisboa - that horrible blot on Macau's skyline - was already under construction. Thankfully, I had managed to catch Macau in more undeveloped times when I visited one weekend in 1996.

Anyway, my inability to travel to Macau at the moment (I haven't been since 2016 and Macau is closed to non-residents...unless you are a rich Mainland gambler) means that all of these locations have been identified via GoogleEarth and Streetview. I haven't been able to get them all but there are enough here to make a good selection for those who are interested. 

First up is close to the start of the film as Ma walks up a road on the way home. This shot is looking down Travessa do Padre Narciso. The coloured wall posts in the background belong to what was once the Palácio do Governador (i.e Macau Governer's residence) but is now the Macau Govt HQ (Sede do Governo da Região Administrativa Especial de Macau da República Popular da China).

Saturday, 13 November 2021

Snake in the Eagle's Shadow - Jackie Chan (1978) - Whitehead Point, Ma On Shan

Returning to Ma On Shan and we head to the old quarry at Whitehead Point - just a quarried stone's throw away from Starfish Bay. This is where the finale takes place between Beggar Pai, Chien Fu and Master Shang. The quarry looks a bit different compared to the last time we saw it but peeping through the gaps in the rock in the background of one of the captures is the distinctive shape of Pat Sin Leng. In the lower picture the camera is pointing south east and the distant ridgeline (Kai Kung Shan - 雞公山) on the opposite side of 3 fathoms cove is visible in the far background.

Part of Pat Sin Leng poking through the gap, top right
Kai Kung Shan in the background

Friday, 12 November 2021

Snake in the Eagle's Shadow - Jackie Chan (1978) - Ho Sheung Heung, Sheung Shui

Here is a location that holds a special significance for me because this is the filming location I was able to "rediscover" after it was seemingly lost to most peoples' memories many years ago. You can read all about my tribulations tracking down the place here. Like many former rural filming spots, the encroachment of modern technology meant many places in Hong Kong were no longer suitable for filming period-set films and, here, electricity pylons were erected along the south slope of Tai Shek Mo in the background. As such it was diificult to film here without having the pylons and associated cables looming into view.

Thursday, 11 November 2021

Snake in the Eagle's Shadow - Jackie Chan (1978) - Starfish Bay, Ma On Shan

This is another frequently used location, although I only heard about it when looking into locations for some screenshots from some IFD/Filmmark cut and paste movies. This location is actually not very far from the old sandy track that can be seen in movies such as Drunken Master and The Young Master. It still basically looks exactly the same because most of the modern development has ocurred behind camera. 

Wednesday, 10 November 2021

Snake in the Eagle's Shadow - Jackie Chan (1978) - Yau Kung Tong, Yuen Long

Here is a familiar location for the blog because several overseas movies have also been shot here (China Cry, Shadow of China, Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story) as well as a plethora of local ones. It's the Yau Kung Tong hall in Ha Tsuen. In the film it's the Hung Tai martial arts school run by Dean Shek and Peter Chan Lung where Jackie works as a dogsbody and general punching bag.