Friday, July 31, 2015

Chinese Box - Jeremy Irons (1997) - D'Aguilar Street, Central

The next shot shows the familiar curve in the middle of D'Aguilar Street as it turns north down the hillside. There have been a few changes here, most obvious is the business occupying the Yau Shun Building on the right hand side, but also note the former colonial red post box and it looks as though the brick wall on the right might be in need of some re-pointing soon.

Here is the most recent Streetview.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Soldier, Soldier - Robson Green (1992) - Fuk Hing Bridge, Pak Tam Chung

Here's a location that should be familiar with anyone who follows my Bruce Lee exploits because I was able to identify it as the filming location for Lee's outdoor BTS footage that was cobbled into the final print of Unicorn Fist.

Anyway, in this episode called Lifelines, the lads from the King's Fusiliers are on border patrol to try and nab illegal immigrants. In reality this area is not even close to the border with China but this is movie world so some pragmatism is needed with regard to filming logistics.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Chinese Box - Jeremy Irons (1997) - Cochrane Street, Central

Yes, Cochrane Street again but this time from the street level and including an old friend of this blog, Chaplin Chang.

Chaplin, as you will remember, has been cropping up in the films on here for quite some time - his earliest appearance being for 1959's Ferry to Hong Kong. By virtue of Chaplin's excellent English skills and general kind nature, he seems to have been the favourite man for foreign companies to go to for any kind of local liaison. As such became involved in many of the productions featured on this blog both in front and behind the scenes (and more often than not, both). Anyway, here he is again playing a down and out who seems to live at the entrance to Jeremy Irons flat and spends all day crushing cans.

The view is from a few metres down into Cochrane Street looking back up towards Lyndhurst Terrace (Gage Street being just off camera to the right)

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Chinese Box - Jeremy Irons (1997) - Pak Fuk Road, North Point

In the scene when Irons and his buddy ride the latter's bike up to the Peak, we catch a brief glance of what we are led to believe is the route up there but is in fact located quite a significant distance away on Braemar Hill in North Point.

The scene starts with a view over Bedford Gardens before panning right as the motorcycle passes by up to the junction with Tin Hau Temple Road.

Bedford Gardens seen from Pak Fuk Rd

The building at the end of the road in the lower picture is Ho King View and on the left is a partial view of Pacific Palisades.

Soldier, Soldier - Robson Green (1992) - Kai Tak Airport, Kowloon

A quick glimpse of Kai Tak as Jerome Flynn heads off to meet his new wife in the form of Holly Aird. At this point, for most foreign film companies would cut to the obligatory aircraft on its final approach over Kowloon, but with Soldier, Soldier we just jump straight to the tarmac and also get a quick shot inside the terminal.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Chinese Box - Jeremy Irons (1997) - Cochrane Street, Central

Jeremy Irons' flat in the film appears to be looking out onto Cochrane Street next to the mid-levels escalator. Judging from the angle it looks as though the building has now gone and been replaced with the corner construction on the junction with Gage Street that currently houses a Pizza Express (at least at the time of writing).

Actually, this view is just a few very short steps away from The Dark Knight scene filmed on the walkway above Gage Street.

Soldier, Soldier (TV Series) - Robson Green (1992) - Stanley Fort, Stanley

As the base for the fictional King's Fusiliers throughout their stay in HK, Stanley Fort features fairly heavily throughout the series (so I am sure this is the first of several similar posts). Here are a few shots from A Touch of the Sun.

I've never been to Stanley Fort and therefore am not 100% sure of the building identities, but I'll give it a stab. The first picture is of the accommodation of the battalion commander, Lt Col Fortune, which, I believe, is Conway House (aka Building 18).

Conway Hse/Building 18?

Next up we see the swimming pool down by the lowest row of accommodation blocks that face Stanley Bay - although in the background we can see the row of blocks on the higher terrace. They are (from right to left) Richmond, Halifax, Chester and Windsor (Buildings 89 thru 86).

The next building is one we have seen on this blog before - it can be seen in Bloodsport - but I am not sure of whereabouts it is within the fort. I am guessing it is the nameless E-shaped block on the maps in the centre of the Fort (now called Chek Chue Barracks, by the way) that has the bowling green in front of it?

Another block, also seen in the above Bloodsport link, is what I believe to be Building 10. An elongated colonial building that sits on the road just above the parade ground and sports field.

Building 10 - also seen in Bloodsport

We get to see a brief glimpse of the road in front of the lower accommodation blocks (buildings 90 - 95), although I am not sure which one we are looking at.

And rounding off this post with a quick look at the parade ground with Building 10 in the background.

I'm not familiar with the fort and so can't say how much has changed since the P.L.A moved in to Chek Chue Barracks (Chek Chue is the Chinese name for 'Stanley' in case you didn't know), but judging from GoogleEarth, the majority of landmarks we see in the series are still around as far as I can tell. I'd love to hear from anyone familiar with the compound or perhaps who actually lived there with the army.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Chinese Box - Jeremy Irons (1997) - The Centre, Central

A particularly poignant film to watch at the moment given what is going on with the city's struggle for genuine democracy. I wasn't here for the handover, although I did stay up and watch events as they were being broadcast in the UK and this film blends drama with real documentary footage from the time.

Before we get to that though here is the very first shot that shows a large skyscraper under construction. The building in question is in fact The Centre - the tall building that featured (or at least the foyer) in The Dark Knight.

Anyway, the building was started in 1995 and finally opened in 1998, so the filmmakers got it pretty much mid-construction. The initial screencaps look as though the camera was placed on either Wellington Street or Gage Street looking down the gap in the buildings made by Graham Street (please correct me if I am wrong). Look carefully at the lower part of the screencap and you can just make out the top corner of the Haleson Building which stands between The Centre and Central Market.

There's also a later night shot that has been taken from a different angle (possibly further east and south?).

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Soldier, Soldier (TV Series) - Robson Green (1992) - The Noon Day Gun, Causeway Bay

I've never been down to the Casueway Bay harbourfront to watch this thing being fired, in fact I think I've only ever heard it being fired a couple of times in the last 10 years. Perhaps I will make the effort to do the touristy thing at some point. Until then, here is a brief glimpse from A Touch of the Sun.

Soldier, Soldier (TV Series) - Robson Green (1992) - Harbourfront, Hong Kong

Another TV series for the blog and this time one that I missed when it was originally shown back in 1992 - I was grotty student in Leeds at the time spending most of my time listening to music rather than watching the box. Strictly speaking the episodes I am looking at are from series 2, when the so-called King's Fusiliers move to Hong Kong. The first two episodes of the series were still based back in the UK but the remaining 4 episodes were filmed in their entirety in Hong Kong.

One of the first scenes we are shown an army helicopter flying along the harbour front with a few sights to look at including the Shun Tak Centre in Sheung Wan (pic 1), the old vehicular ferry pier (pic 2 & 3) and finally the Bank of China and its surrounding buildings such as the Furama Hotel, the Ritz Carlton (both redeveloped), Hutchison House, Bank of America tower etc.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story - Jason Scott Lee (1993) - Shaw Brothers Movietown, Sai Kung

Okay, this one is my last one until I get some more identified after posting them on my Budding Sleuths page. This one shops a brief glimpse of the (now completely defunct) Movietown back lot.
Even though the studios had essentially stopped making films in the mid-80's when TVB became the main focus for Sir Run Run, the back-lot was still available for lease to whoever needed it - for example Jackie Chan built a massive period set here in 1988 for use in Miracles. Anyway, the Dragon crew also used the place for a very brief scene showing the filming off a kung fu film.

Shaws fans (at least genuinely geeky ones) will immediately recognise the giant wooden pai-lau (archway) that occupies centre screen. It has been a regular landmark in many a Shaw-produced movie.

This shows to me that some of the back lot was still intact even after the nearby University of Science and Technology (HKUST) was built in 1991 - it had taken up some of the Movietown land for development. Of course, now the studio premises are a complete wreck awaiting redevelopment. They have recently been given a Heritage grading but this means very little in HK and certainly doesn't prevent demolition  and redevelopment. However, I would hope that any new building here could incorporate the iconic Shaw House as part of the development and perhaps even turn it into a Shaws museum (I know a few people who would kill their grannies to get involved in something like that).

Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story - Jason Scott Lee (1993) - Joss House Bay, Sai Kung

Okay, so I was a bit premature when I said the previous post was my last because I just found another one worth including. It's actually from the final scene when Lee walks to the top of a wall, supposedly during the filming of Enter the Dragon, and the white suited karate dudes all turn around and salute him.

This scene was actually filmed in front of the famous Tin Hau Temple in Joss House Bay. The large courtyard in front of the temple was the area where the extras were lined up and it looks as though a temporary wall was built for Lee to walk up. The Tin Hau Temple itself is just off-screen to the left.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story - Jason Scott Lee (1993) - Sai Kung, New Territories

Our final shot for this film is a nice look out over the northern part of Port Shelter in Sai Kung. Initially I thought it may have been taken from the garden of the Nam Shan Village house used in place of 41 Cumberland Road, but realised it was a little way north of there, slightly outside of the village boundaries - most likely from a smaller village marked as 朗尾 (Long Mei) on my maps - not to be confused with the nearby Lung Mei (龍尾) where the real-life Bruce Lee shot footage and stills for Game of Death.

In case you are curious, the small islands are Yeung Chau on the right, Cham Tau Chau (behind it and to the left) and the smaller one on the left of the shot is called Lap Sap Chau (lit: rubbish island).

Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story - Jason Scott Lee (1993) - Kennedy Town, Hong Kong

A nice angle of Kennedy Town at the far west of Hong Kong Island taken from the harbour as a fishing junk sails by.

Some of the buildings we can see along what is Kennedy Town Praya are still around, but some have also been replaced since the film was made - to be replaced by even taller residential blocks.

One thing has has disappeared for good is the sight of these traditional fishing junks, however, our good friend wikipedia assures me that the one we can see above is in fact the Duk Ling, so you can still come here and actually get on board. Unlike its rather fake looking counterpart - the Aqua Luna - the Duk Ling does have an authentic history as a fishing junk before restoration.

I'm told (but can't confirm) that before the HK Tourist Board chartered the boat for actual cruises around the harbour, the Govt paid the owner a massive fee just to have the thing sail up and down the harbour front all week.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story - Jason Scott Lee (1993) - Mong Kok Kai Fong Association Chan Hing Social Service Centre, Tai Kok Tsui

One I almost missed because it involves an indoor location rather than the usual exterior shots. This didn't really take much identification because it is mentioned on the production notes that came with the DVD. It's the 陳慶社會服務中心, or for those that don't read Chinese it's the Chan Hing Social Service Centre at 45 Fuk Tsun Street in the Tai Kok Tsui area of Mongkok. Of course, this is also confirmed by looking at some of the Chinese on display in some of the screencaps.

Anyway, this is the scene where we are introduced to the grown up Bruce as he takes on some rowdy obnoxious British sailors (one played by Mark King - a fairly prolific gweilo actor in HK during the 80's and 90's).

In case you're wondering what the building looks like on the outside, here is the Streetview.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story - Jason Scott Lee (1993) - Tao Fung Shan, Shatin

The stand-in for Golden Harvest studios comes from Tao Fung Shan in the hills above Shatin. We see it a few times on film with the name "Pearl of the Orient" Studios.

By sheer coincidence...I have just re-posted an old blog post from my other site with a few more pictures of the place. You can see the post here and it mentions a real-world Bruce Lee connection to the location. Don't forget we have also seen this location previously courtesy of the Noble House mini-series where it stood in for Beijing.