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How many films set in London do you know? We spotted 8
From romantic comedies to historical films and the most celebrated futuristic dystopia in cinema history: check out the best movies shot down in Albion
As any other respectful metropolis, London has seen multitudes of prestigious movie directors and actors wandering across its lush parks and towering skyscrapers. Although the city’s native allure – when it comes to cinema production d’auteur – has been darkened for decades by nasty competitors of the likes of Paris and Rome (read also → Parigi in pellicola), the British capital has been living a cinematographic renaissance from the 1990s onwards. Over this flourishing time, iconic movies such as 4 Weddings and a Funeral, Bridget Jones’s Diary, Closer, Love, Actually, About a Boy have rapidly seen the light, thus establishing a film category of its own: the British rom-com. Strong of its ever-changing urban landscape – a blend of sumptuous ancient buildings, legendary historical monuments, and the roaring avant-garde design of those cutting-edge skyscrapers built over the last twenty years –, London is a great fit for both modern fairytales and historical movies, not to mention frightening futuristic dystopias.
1. Alfie – 1966
Can you think of a best way to ride across the British capital if not right on board of a cheeky limo? Especially if Michael Cane is driving, delivering one of his most celebrated performances in acting history. A quite misty and faded London goes hand in hand with a fair dose of irreverent wit, along with some old jazz tunes that only old-fashioned movies can play, and a main character who loves to break the so-called “fourth wall”….
2. Blow Up – 1966
Michelangelo Antonioni’s unmatchable style meets the swinging, vicious, glamorous London of the Sixties. Probably the Italian director’s best-known piece of work, the movie unfolds into a forward-looking thriller built on exquisite photography and flawless direction.
3. A Clockwork Orange – 1971
Speaking of cult movies, no wonder that Stanley Kubrik’s most controversial and popular effort soon peeps out. Far from being an evocative city postcard, the film is more of a dystopian and disturbing portrait of London, here depicted as a world of – strictly existing in reality – concrete monsters, shallow suburbs and unsettling scenarios.
4. A Fish Called Wanda – 1988
A mismatched bunch of robbers bump into each other within the most classical twist of clumsy betrayals and deceits. The result? A smart crime comedy casting a stunning crew of actors.
5. Sliding Doors – 1998
Let’s step in the 90’s, at the time when London started topping the chart of romantic comedies & dramas’ best-loved locations. Sliding Doors masterfully shows two parallel lives of the key character, while letting the London tube steal the stage.
6. Notting Hill – 1999
This movie has attracted more tourists to the city than some low-cost flight carrier: joking aside, the dreamy locations and love story par excellence make the movie – together with Hugh Grant – an actual landmark of British rom-coms.
7. Match Point – 2005
Iconic corners and glimpses of London are here shaken up in a totally different mood: here is Woody Allen’s much celebrated drama enrolling an extraordinary Scarlett Johansson.
8. V for Vendetta – 2005
Based on the graphic novel by Alan Moore and David Lloyd, such dystopian political thriller movie was mainly filmed in the British capital. Not everybody knows that a few majestic locations like Trafalgar Square, Westminster and Whitehall have been closed to public for three nights in a row (from midnight to 5AM) for shooting reasons.
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