Berlin Filming Locations: Lola Rennt (Run Lola Run) (1988)

If you were to ask me what my favourite German film was I’d have to go for ‘Lola Rennt’ (UK title: ‘Run Lola Run’) due to the fact that its probably the only one I have ever seen!

 

Other than that its actually a very good film using the streets of Berlin in a clever edit which makes it seem as if all the locations are near each other. Thats far from the case though as it took me a couple of days to get round them all unlike the flame-haired Lola (Franka Potente) herself who has to run it in 20 minutes…..three times! When she gets the all important call from boyfriend Manni during the movies opening moments she rushes out of her apartment, down the stairwell and out of the apartment block at 13-14 Albrechtstrasse near Friedrichstrasse railway station. This was my first port of call and maybe the most important one and I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was so accessible as I thought I’d probably just have to poke my camera through the gates railings.

 

The phone box specifically erected for the movie was on the corner of Osnabruecker Strasse and Tauroggener Strasse.

 

Below is the Deutsche Transfer Bank which is located at Behrenstrasse 37. It’s a hotel now and stood in as a fictitious bank.

 

Oberbaumbruecke is the train overpass which features just before Lola dashes through its turrets and picturesque brick arcades.

  

The casino’s exterior is on Unter Den Linden opposite the Deutsches Historisches Museum.

 

In front of this museum (below left) on the corner of Hinter Dem Giesshaus is where Lola runs in front of a lorry. Just after Strausberger Platz on Karl Marx Allee is where Lola wishes for Manni to arrive. The fernsehturm (TV Tower) is obscured by the trees in the film and its the cloud which hides it in my photo (below right).

 

The square tile pattern pavement Lola runs across is Gendarmenmarkt and its Konzerthaus features but all of this was under construction when I was there or it might just have been that it had been used for a New Years Party a few days prior to my arrival. Across the road from there is the shop underpassage. This is on the corner of Charlottenstrasse and Franzoesische Strasse and is where Lola runs in Run 1 of the film.

 

23-24 Wallstrasse features in all three runs and is where Herr Meier comes out of his garage. Its not really recognisable now in any way as its now a hotel.  

Cuvrystrasse (below) is where Lola gets shot at the end of the first run.

 

Franzoesische Strasse U-Bahn station is the station which is in the middle of the road and the path that Lola runs is slightly different on the three takes during the film before she encounters the Nuns.

 

Those Nuns appeared on Mauerstrasse in all three runs with very slight variations as Lola runs through them. The cyclist appears from Franzoesische Strasse which is just round the corner and slightly further south from the nuns. Sadly these two photos were taken at night (I hadn’t originally deemed them important enough to bother with them but decided that I might as well complete things at the end of a long busy day) so they are not so clear.

 

You can read ‘Berlin Pt III: The Bourne Supremacy Filming Locations’ here.

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London Filming Locations: Tomb Raider

It certainly won’t be remembered as a classic film but ‘Lara Croft: Tomb Raider’ will be remembered. One reason is of course down to Angelina Jolie’s great portrayal of the video game heroine and another is the plot, its depth and the character development! Naturally, I am joking about the latter. Maybe one other reason it is remembered is because of the filming locations.

 

Ta Prohm temple (above) in Cambodia is by far the most famous place which the movie was shot at (which I visited four years ago) but there were also a few scenes filmed in London. Willis Faber at 10 Trinity Court (below left) is the mansion of villain Iain Glen and I was very impressed by the look of the place. Just a stones throw from there is the very famous Tower Bridge (below right) which Lara Croft (Angelina Jolie) rides her bike across on the way to the auction house.

  

 

On the way back from it she zooms through Leadenhall Market (below left) which I went to with my sister just before Christmas as its very near to Bank station where she works. Down in Greenwich is Old Royal Naval College and its Painted Hall (below right) was the interior of a ‘Venice’ church.

 

 

London Filming Locations: Mission Impossible (1996)

So with the Mission Impossible locations in Prague in the bag I now bring you the ones used in London though in reality I actually did them a few days before I even went to the Czech Republic! Having met up with Richard Richard in London between Christmas and New Year I had a bit of time to kill before returning to my parents house so went in search of a couple of locations. This certainly wasn’t an impossible mission (do you see what I’ve done there?!) as they were very easy to find.

Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) meets up with Jim Phelps (Jon Voight), who he had presumed was dead (having fallen off Charles Bridge in Prague), by a row of telephones under the stairs (below) by the Liverpool Street Railway station exit. Since filming took place in 1995 the phones have been replaced by cashpoint machines following a makeover of the station.

Across the road from the railway station is Liverpool Street Underground station (below). The London safe house where Hunt and Pilot Franz Krieger (Jean Reno) hole up is above the exit.

The interior of County Hall (below left), next to the London Eye, became the ‘Langley, Virginia CIA Headquarters.

   

The final London location to feature is the Anchor Tavern pub (above) at 1 Bankside by Southwark Bridge which is where Ethan Hunt unwinds in the films final moments.

Prague Filming Locations: Mission Impossible (1996)

The 1996 re-make of the TV series was mainly set in Prague and London and I certainly wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to scout out the filming locations while I was in the former. Once I’d done a couple of Casino Royale spots I found myself at Hotel Europa at Vaclavske namesti 25 which was the headquarters of mysterious arms dealer Max.

A bit further down the same road and just past Wenceslas Square is the National Museum; the ‘American Embassy’ where the teams first operation commences as they infiltrate some fancy reception.

Liechtenstein Palace is just a stones throw from Kampa Park (as featured in ‘The Bourne Identity’ and mentioned in ‘Prague Pt II’) and was not where I thought it was. I’d actually given up on finding it but on my descend from Prague Castle I found it by chance. It was actually this place that provided the exterior shots of the ‘American Embassy’ as the real embassy was no doubt deemed to not be glitzy enough for the movie.

Undoubtedly the city’s (and indeed the films) major attraction is the world heritage Charles Bridge which connects the Old Town with Prague Castle. It’s here that things really go wrong with controller Jim Phelps (Jon Voight) plunging into the Vltava having taken a bullet on the bridge. This famous bridge was also used music video’s by Linkin Park (Numb) and Kanye West (Diamonds From Sierra Leone) as well as 2002’s XxX. It’s here that Vin Diesel comes up with an out-of-this-world stunt to save the bridge and the city of Prague from a deadly bomb though his movie career sunk without much trace!

London Pt III: Mission Impossible Filming Locations can be seen here.

Prague Filming Locations: Casino Royale (2006)

The 2006 re-boot of the 007 franchise begins in black and white with James Bond (Daniel Craig) earning his licence to kill. This was shot near to my hostel in the Karlin district on the banks of the Vlatva River in Prague. I had almost given up on trying to locate Danube House (Karolinska 650/1), the fairly new office block where it was filmed, when I found it almost by accident and mightily relieved to find it I was as it had been a slow start to my morning.

  

However, that wasn’y my first Bond location of the day as before that I had ascended Vitkov Hill which wasn’t too easy due to the very icey paths and steps and also because it was actually roped off but as no-one was around I ignored that and climbed up to find the Vitkov monument under reconstruction. Scaffolding and work being done on buildings seems to be the bain of my life which can be annoying when one has gone to a certain place to see that landmark. Luckily I didn’t go to Prague just to see this monument which was home to the ‘Miami Body Worlds’ exhibition for a short scene involvolving ‘M’ and Bond before the film moved onto ‘Montenegro’ which was yet another case of the Czech Republic filling in for another place but that one was outside of Prague.

Next up was Strahov Monastery (found at Strahovske Nadvori 1/132) at the top of the hill in Petrinske Sady. The picture below is the exterior of the place but it was the library interior that was used but I wasn’t interested enough in the place, which was the committee room in ‘London’s’ House of Commons, due to the cost of entry and a pressing need to move on to the next locations in order to maximise daylight hours.

  

You can see my other ‘Casino Royale’ Como & Venice filming locations here and here.

Prague Filming Locations: The Bourne Identity & Amadeus

Most of the main Prague locations will be mentioned in ‘Prague Pt III’ and ‘Prague Pt IV’. This entry will include the rest and we start with Kampa Park across the river from the Old Town which featured in the opening 11 minutes of The Bourne Identity and is where Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) duffs up a couple of Zurich policemen (as Prague was used as a substitute for the Swiss city) after they wake him up from his sleep on a bench by the Certovka stream near Charles Bridge. He then runs away through the park passing the tree which I am lurking behind in a menacing way below! The screenshot is below my picture.

   

Nearby were a trio of sculptures which were just crying out for this type of photo (above left) to be done!

It seems that Prague is rarely ever used to portray itself as it fills in for Vienna in the 1984 film Amadeus. I’ve not seen it but it features in a lovely book I got from my parents for Christmas. Maltese Square was supposedly the setting of a lively market scene but when I was there it was far from lively. Almost empty in fact! St. Giles’ Church at Husova 8 was where Mozart and Constanze got married in the film. Hopefully that will mean something to someone!

 

 

London Filming Locations: Trainspotting

When my friends took me to see ‘Trainspotting‘ during the Easter holidays in 1996 I had never heard of it or Irvine Welsh (the author of the book which the story was based on for those not in the know) and had no idea what I was about to see. I loved the film and its movie poster, soundtrack CD and video was a major part of my University life and a fair few years later I worked my way through all of Irvine Welsh’s other books.

Whilst I was with Richard Richard in the capital city recently he said that ‘Trainspotting’ was his favourite film so we decided to track the first of two London locations down. Of course the majority of the film is set in Scotland but the boys go down south to do a drug deal. Sick Boy leads the guys out of Smallbrook Mews, across Craven Road and in to the Royal Eagle Hotel. We went to Lancaster Gate underground station to get there and do our own version of the “small-time wasters” parody of the Beatles’ Abbey Road album cover. Needless to say that one person crossing the road (below left) doesn’t quite have the same impact as four guys crossing it.

  

A couple of days later I went to West Kensington tube station which was the apartment Renton allows Begbie and Sick Boy to squat in in order to get them out of his place. He’s working as an estate agent and describes it as a “beautifully converted Victorian townhouse” which is very ironic when you actually see the picture of it above right.