Sunday, 22 May 2016

Venice, Italy


     
In INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) goes searching for his father Henry Jones (Sean Connery) who is missing. Traces lead to the Italian city Venice where professor Jones was studying the Holy Grail.

Saint Mark’s Square, Venice, 20 May 2009
During a recent broadcast on television of the movie I recognized several locations and I decided to have a look at the photos we took when we visited Venice in May 2009. By coincidence, or maybe because Venice is a very photogenic city, it turned out that we photographed a number of places that can also be seen in the movie.
Filming took place on August 7 and 8, 1988, while the story is set in 1938. Venice had not changed much in the past 50 years, but the cameraman had to be careful to not film modern objects, like satellite dishes. A bigger problem was to keep out the large number of tourists that visit Venice in the summer.

The Canal Grande (Grand Canal) was closed for all traffic from 7 am to 1 pm on August 8, filming had to be completed within six hours.

The flight from the US to Italy is being visualized by a red line on a map that slowly dissolves into a view of the Canal Grande in Venice. Indiana Jones and Marcus Brody (Denholm Elliott) arrive by vaporetto (water bus). The name of this real life stop is Salute, named after the nearby Santa Maria della Salute. This church can be glimpsed later on in the film. In the background is the Campanile (bell tower) at Saint Mark’s Square visible.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, 0:24:18
Canal Grande at Santa Maria della Salute, Venice, 20 May 2009
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, 0:24:24
Canal Grande at Santa Maria della Salute, Venice, 20 May 2009
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, 0:24:34
Canal Grande at Santa Maria della Salute, Venice, 20 May 2009

The two men are welcomed by Elsa Schneider (Alison Doody) who brings them to the library where Henry Jones was doing his research. This building is the San Barnaba, a former church in the Dorsoduro district, currently an exhibition centre. The church was founded here in the ninth century, the building dates from 1775. Only the exterior was used for the film.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, 0:25:51
San Barnaba, Venice, 21 May 2009
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, 0:25:50
San Barnaba, Venice, 21 May 2009

On their way to the library, a green sailcloth and a red pole can be seen behind the actors. These belong to a boat where vegetables and fruit are being sold. During our visit, more than 20 years later, the boat was still in the water at Fondamenta Gherardini.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, 0:25:41
Fondamenta Gherardini, Venice, 21 May 2009

Palazzo Barbarigo, Venice, 22 May 2009
The visit to the library leads to a confrontation with members of the Brotherhood of the Cruciform Sword, a religious society that wants to protect the Grail at all costs. After a chase by speedboat one of them, Kazim (Kevork Malikyan), finally informs where Henry Jones is. At that moment, they are on the Canal Grande, passing for a brief moment Palazzo Barbarigo. This palace distinguishes itself from the other buildings by the mosaics made from Murano glass that were added to the facade in 1886. The colourful panels show how mosaics are being made. The palace is nowadays a hotel.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, 0:38:59
Palazzo Barbarigo, Venice, 22 May 2009

When Kazim leaves the boat the previously mentioned Santa Maria della Salute can be seen in the background. The baroque church was designed by Baldassare Longhena. It took more than 50 years to build, from 1631 until 1687. The interior has eight chapels with paintings by amongst others Titian and Tintoretto.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, 0:39:01
Canal Grande and Santa Maria della Saulte, Venice, 20 May 2009
Screenshots © Paramount Pictures/Lucas Film