Do you ever get a little wave of excitement when you’re watching a film and you spot a part of London where you can say “I’ve been there!” or “I commute through there every day!”? Even though I’ve lived here for a few years I still love seeing places on the silver screen that I get to see on a daily basis. As I suspect I’m not alone, it was no surprise to discover that our capital has been an attractive location to film makers and their audiences for over a 100 years.
‘Lights. Camera. London!’, a free exhibition at the London Film Museum (Covent Garden), takes you behind the scenes and seeks to give you an insight into what has made London the perfect setting for a variety of film genres for such a long time.
The exhibition opens ‘on set’ highlighting the studios that stood outside the city’s main attractions. Did you know London used to have almost as many studios as Hollywood?
You’re then taken through a number of genres where London takes both centre stage and a humble backdrop. From the gas light era with films like Sherlock Holmes, to Regal dramas like the ‘The Kings Speech’, and eerie apocalyptic films like ’28 Days Later’. It seems that there’s a well-known film set in London for every genre.
Amongst facts and film footage, you’re also able to get up close to a few film artefacts, like this mini from the Spice Girls films and one of Ali G’s tracksuits.
Then Samuel Johnson sums it up in just one quote.
If you’re a film fan or you fancy learning a few London facts for the next pub quiz make sure you check out this exhibition. The London Film Museum is just a short walk from the Piazza so you can easily squeeze it in between shopping or a trip to the theatre.
Do you have any favourite films set in London?