Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Boarding Gate - Asia Argento (2007) - Repulse Bay, Hong Kong

The end of the movie takes place in Repulse Bay, specifically the Repulse Bay Arcade. This shopping mall is a replica of the original hotel (though allegedly built from the same stones) that has been featured on this blog on several occasions, but was sadly demolished in 1982 to make way for the current Repulse Bay Apartments and the aforementioned replica mall. The whole site was redeveloped in 1985 into what can be seen today, fake hotel building and all.

Anyway, first we see Sandra's boss (played by Richard Ng's son, Carl) driving along Repulse Bay Road before heading into the shopping complex to meet his conniving business partner at The Verandah restaurant.

Repulse Bay Road
Driveway at the front of the mall
The Verandah restaurant

Boarding Gate - Asia Argento (2007) - View over Happy Valley, Hong Kong

The angle on this shot suggests the camera was position up on Stubbs Road next door to the famous King Yin Lei. The actual spot overlooking the valley is now obscured because the land there was handed over to the previous owner of King Yin Lei in a land swap deal to secure the aforementioned property as a protected monument.

Anyway, you can just see a corner of Tung Shan Terrace in the bottom right of the screen.

Boarding Gate - Asia Argento (2007) - View from the Shun Tak Centre, Sheung Wan

It seems that Sandra's employers have to keep moving offices to avoid getting caught and by the end of the film they have some rather nice plush offices with a view over to the Four Seasons Hotel and the various ferry piers along the Central Harbourfront. This must have been filmed in the eastern end of the Shun Tak Centre - the China Merchants Tower.

Boarding Gate - Asia Argento (2007) - Man Kung Road, Sai Kung

After being drugged at a club, Sandra wakes up at a mysterious house owned by Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth! In the film she is playing a local business women who has agreed to help Sandra start a new life in China.

This one was tricky to nail down but I think I may have stumbled on a bit of good luck because it looks like the house used was one just off Man Kung Road near Hebe Haven. That's Marina Cove in the background of the third picture below.

Just in the near background of the second picture is the roofs of some houses that are part of a small private house development called "Villa Chrysanthemum". This means the house used for filming was most likely one called "Archivilla". It appears to be part of a three house development that also includes "Hebe Haven" and "Casa de Corsino" but is the only one with a pool.

The question now is...who normally lives there? Answers at the bottom please ;-)

Monday, 27 February 2017

Boarding Gate - Asia Argento (2007) - Garden Road, Central

Some more shots around Central. This one shows the flyover at the end of Garden Road. The walkway at the side is attached to the Cheung Kong Centre.

Boarding Gate - Asia Argento (2007) - Star Ferry Pier, Central

Here is some nostalgia for the much-loved old Star Ferry pier in Central. The pier was closed in November of 2006 and its art deco clock tower is a much missed piece of what was once an iconic waterfront. The Govt promised to preserve it but it was reportedly buried in the Tuen Mun landfill despite assurances to the contrary.

The area is now completely reclaimed and Lung Wo Road has been built over where the old pier was sited.

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

Still on the run, Sandra exits from an underground station that turns out to be exit D2 at Mongkok MTR along Argyle Street.

Sunday, 26 February 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 or before 2006.

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.

Saturday, 25 February 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. 

Friday, 24 February 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.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

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, 22 February 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 (http://www.oldhkphoto.com/?page_id=4231). 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!

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 - ...it 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.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

China Cry - Julian Nickson (1990) - Calçada 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 Calçada 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.

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.