Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Banzaï - Coluche (1983) - View Over Kowloon Tong, Kowloon

One of the first shots we have from the "bombing" sequence is a view across Kowloon Tong. This angle of this shot tells me that the film makers were most likely on Checkerboard Hill filming the west approach of a plane landing at Kai Tak.

The low rise neighbourhood in the foreground is Kowloon Tong with the large open building site being the location of where Parc Oasis was subsequently built in Yau Yat Chuen (although that site wasn't completed for another 12 years!). The small hillock on the left is Woh Chai Hill in Shek Kip Mei and if you look closely you can see the red/white striped chimney from the old Lai Chi Kok incinerator behind Garden Hill at the far right of the image.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Banzaï - Coluche (1983) - Kai Tak Airport, Kowloon

The final sequence of the HK section of this film involves a Cathay Pacific plane pilot having flashbacks to when he was a bomber pilot during Pearl Harbour and convincing himself he was back there. We see the plane taking off over Kowloon and then a few brief flashes of various locations as the plane flies overhead dropping luggage onto the streets.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Banzaï - Coluche (1983) - Hotel Miramar, Tsim Sha Tsui

The hotel that Michel and co spend most of their time at is the old Hotel Miramar that used to sit on the north side of Kimberley Road. The lad where the hotel used to stand now houses the Mira Place mall and the hotel itself has been moved to a new building on the opposite side of the road and undergone a brand rename to "The Mira".

We get to see a bit of the interior and exterior. The interiors consist mainly of the famous Miramar Theatre Restaurant which was last seen on this bog when I looked at another French comedy, Bons Baisers de Hong Kong.

The next image looks like it might be near the lobby area of the hotel, however, this version of the Miramar was gone before I ever was able to set foot in Hong Kong and so will have to rely on the memories of others to confirm one way or another (please feel free to leave a comment).

In the last part of the sequence we see the main characters walking outside the hotel, crossing Kimberley Road, with the sweeping gold front of the hotel behind them.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Banzaï - Coluche (1983) - Aberdeen Harbour, Aberdeen

The hospital that Michel's accident prone cousin is taken to is a floating structure on Aberdeen harbour. At first I thought they may have used one of the local floating restaurants, but an examination of the wording above the door on the last image leads me to believe it was the local community centre. The Chinese above the door reads (R-L) 海上大會堂 which my rudimentary Chinese tells me is "Floating Town Hall" or words to that effect. The Jumbo gets a look in as well but only as a bit of the background.


Saturday, June 15, 2019

Banzaï - Coluche (1983) - Nathan Road, Yau Ma Tei

One of the brief shots as Michel travels around Kowloon is a quick look along a section of Nathan Road. The large red 中橋 sign in the distance (low centre right of top image and far right of the lower one) marks the building on the north east corner of the junction with Waterloo Road. This was the Chung Kiu Chinese Products Emporium, one of the big Chinese products stores of the time. The area this was shot was the block between Man Ming Lane and Waterloo Road.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Banzaï - Coluche (1983) - The Belvedere, Plantation Road

Michel and co get in the middle (by mistake, courtesy of a crooked colleague) of a drug tug-of-war between two criminal factions. The criminal bosses, one a Westerner the other Chinese, are taking it in turns to upstage each other at a garden party somewhere on the Peak.

After a significant amount of searching, it turns out this rather lovely house was "The Belvedere" - the former so-called "Taipan house" of the Shell oil company.

There's an angle from the other side of it over here on FLICKR courtesy of Andrew Tse, but the film company only shot from the opposite side in the front garden terrace. I'm not sure when the building was knocked down (sometime around 1994/95), but it was turned into (as is always the case with these larger old land plots) multi billion dollar luxury houses - in this case five of them - built in 1997.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Banzaï - Coluche (1983) - Former Peak Hotel Terrace, The Peak

We're staying at the Peak for this next shot because I find it quite intriguing The scene involves Michel's cousin (who always takes out insurance through his cousin's company and then always costs them money by getting into trouble and making a massive claim) who has been duped by the approach of an attractive girl. She leads him up to what looks like an old terrace on a bit of a promise and then proceeds to push him off the top.

The angle of the shot (you can see the Lion Pavilion in the background of the first image) suggests to me that this old terrace might have been the raised platform on which once stood the famous Peak Hotel. The hotel was demolished before the Second World War but it looks like the retaining walls of the podium/terrace it used to sit on stayed around for a lot longer - perhaps up until the Peak Galleria was constructed?

Note Findlay Path and Findlay Road in the lower part of the next two images. The Peak Galleria now stands where this part was filmed, so all traces of the old structure appear to have been removed - perhaps around 1989 when the site development started?

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Banzaï - Coluche (1983) - Lion Pavilion, The Peak

On to the next film, this time 1983's Banzaï starring French comedian, Coluche. It centres around Coluche's character, Michel, who works for a travel insurance company and his usual desk based work life is thrown into chaos when he is given the responsibility of going to various countries to help out any of the company clients that have run into trouble. The film was shot in France, New York and Morocco with the final part of the film taking place in Hong Kong.

The opening shot of Hong Kong is from the Peak and the dialogue moves down to a couple of characters (one of them supposed to be Michel's layabout cousin) who have just met at the Lion's Club Pavilion.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Narazumono - Ken Takakura (1964) - Ponte No. 17, Macau

The very last scene in the film was shot back up towards Ponte No.17. Essentially the waterfront area that disappeared when the Sofitel Hotel was built at the inner harbour end of Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro. In the top image we can see the police car driving up Rua das Lorchas towards the camera with Ponte No.16 (built in 1948) on the right hand side and on the left of the image is the edge of the Hotel Grande.

The car goes by and immediately turns into a waterfront area that no longer exists and is instead these days occupied by part of the Sofitel development. The grey painted shack on the waterfront should be the no-longer-existing Ponte No.17 (Pontes 17 through 20 have all gone the way of the Dodo due to the hotel development).

Monday, June 10, 2019

Narazumono - Ken Takakura (1964) - Quartel dos Mouros, Macau

Known to English speakers as the Moorish Barracks, this building dates back to the 1870s. Its original use was for a contingent of marine police newly recruited from India (perhaps from Goa given that it was also a Portuguese colony?) hence the design of the verandah openings giving the building a very Islamic aesthetic. These days it is occupied by the Capitania dos Portos de Macau - the local Port Authority.

This is where Minami goes to exact his final revenge on the people that set him up and although that actual scene appears to be a studio set, the run up/aftermath to it was filmed along the front verandah and neighbouring street, Calçada de Barra.

The top image shows the view west from the verandah, looking across the inner harbour towards China, a mere 500 or so metres across the water. The same row of houses seen in the lower portion of that image can also be seen in the third image as Minami emerges from his battle and walks past one of the veranda openings.

The next two images show the view outside the building as Minami falls down the main steps at the bottom of Beco da Rede. The lower image shows the police car driving down Calçada de Barra.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Narazumono - Ken Takakura (1964) - Calçada das Verdades, Macau

Just prior to the film finale, Minami and Hirogami take a contemplative walk through some nearby streets. This small road is Calçada das Verdades and the small shrine you can see in the foreground of the second image is in fact part of the larger Na Cha temple (哪吒古廟)that still sits in this location - and in fact doesn't look to have changed at all in the last 50 intervening years, unlike the surrounding residential buildings that have all been replaced.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Narazumono - Ken Takakura (1964) - Calçada do Poco, Macau

A few moments later during the foot chase scene and the two assassins turn a sharp corner and run down a hill. Even though all the older buildings have gone, the road shape and even the newer buildings shapes, remain the same. The road they are on in the first two images is Rua de São Miguel and this morphs into Calçada do Poco as they turn the corner and head downhill.

Narazumono - Ken Takakura (1964) - Rua de Sanches de Miranda, Macau

After being chased from the top of Calçada Central de São Lazaro by the cops, one of the first roads we see the two men running down is actually not far away from their start point. In fact the first two images were filmed just a few yards away from the top of the steps where the chase starts from. The second two mages show the view from he top of the steps on Calçada da Igreja de São Lazaro. This is almost an exact match to an angle we saw on The Game of Death 14 years later. Here is the reminder from that film so you can see it is the same place.