Filming Locations

The venues used for some of the Leeds Film Festival’s screenings this year were just about as memorable as the films themselves. For those of you who didn’t make it along (tomorrow is the final day), here are some photos of the grand Baroque-stylings of Leeds Town Hall, described by Architecture Today as “the epitome of northern civic bombast” and, slightly further out of town, the hidden gem that is the Hyde Park Picture House, built in 1908 as a hotel, converted to a cinema in 1914, and saved from closure by Leeds City Council who have lovingly maintained it since 1989. It’s Grade II listed, lit by gas, and still has a piano and organ. What more could you ask for? Ultra-comfy seats, a bar and a balcony? Well, you’re in luck because it has those too.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Oh! The films we went to see? Jean-Pierre Melville’s muted and entrancing classic “policier“, Le Cercle Rouge, which has one of the best casts of any French crime movie you care to name (Alain Deloin AND Yves Montand!) and one of the most masterful jewel heist scenes since Rififi. The second film was also understated but was perhaps more inconsequential than existential. A low-budget Romanian drama from 2001, Marfa si banii (Stuff and Dough as in, goods and money) was directed by Cristi Puiu, who you might know better for The Death of Mr Lazarescu (2005). Combining elements of road-movie, chase-movie, and social realist critique, three twenty-somethings take a trip to Bucharest with what a family ‘friend’ has told them is “medicine”, hoping the promised $2,000 might get them quickly and easily out of aimless and difficult lifestyles. Of course, it’s not so straightforward. Both films remind us in very different ways that a life of crime can be more trouble than it’s worth. Melville suggests that nonetheless, it can be done carefully, with honour, and with style. The thief can be a hero of sorts or at least, a gentleman even if he is ultimately doomed. For Puiu’s less well-heeled protagonists, there is only naiveté, disagreement and exploitation. All of which makes for very good cinema!

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , ,

4 responses to “Filming Locations”

  1. Jenster says :

    I love the baroque architecture, and beautiful photos as always, but the best ones are of the neon champagne bottle and martini glass! Brilliant. Better than the ones in George Square! What are they in aid of? Were they there for the film festival? X

  2. Jenster says :

    Oh, and I love your shot of the roman pillars and the draped lights. It is a perfect juxtaposition between old and new. Looking at the pillars you are immediately reminded of ancient Rome and films like Cleopatra, and then you see the lights hanging down and it feels so modern and cool. Great. X

What do you think? I love getting comments!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s