Monday, 30 July 2018

O'ahu HI, USA



 
The film PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES is the fourth installement in the Pirates series. In this adventure Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) goes in search of the Fountain of Youth. Anyone who drinks from the fountain will become young again. New characters in this chapter are Bluebeard (Ian McShane) and his daughter Angelica (Penélope Cruz).

Pirates of the Caribbean: On stranger tides, 1:11:25
According to a legend the Spanish explorer and conquistador Ponce de León was looking for the Fountain of Youth in 1513. Apparently he went to Florida and Bimini, one of the islands of the Bahamas, but never found it. In the film, King George II (Richard Griffiths) orders Captain Jack to lead an expedition to find the fountain before the Spanish king and his navy can locate it.

With the exception of a few scenes in Puerto Rico, the Caribbean was not part of the location shoot. Instead Hawaii was chosen, where filming started on 14 June 2010 on the island of Kaua'i. After 30 days production continued in O'ahu before moving to Los Angeles in August.

O’ahu is first seen when a group of mermaids attack the rowing boat in which some of the crew members are sitting. They are looking for tears from a mermaid, according to the legend also needed when drinking from the Fountain of Youth. These scenes were filmed at night at the Kawela Bay near the Turtle Bay Resort in the northern part of the island. The sea was pretty rough and filming would be completed in Los Angeles.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On stranger tides, 1:01:46
Kawela Bay, O'ahu, 12 June 2017

The following morning, Captain Hector Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) arrives at the beach where the battle with the mermaids took place. An old rival of Captain Jack, he is now employed by the British Navy. The beach with wreckage and dead mermaids is Hālona Cove. The scene was filmed on 15 July 2010,  the lighthouse was added digitally. The beach is located close to the Kalaniana'ole Highway in the southeast of the island. Over the years Hālona Cove has appeared in numerous films, including the classic From Here to Eternity and more recently Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. To reach the beach a small climb down is needed.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On stranger tides, 1:09:44
Hālona Cove, O'ahu, 11 June 2017
Pirates of the Caribbean: On stranger tides, 1:09:57
Hālona Cove, O'ahu, 11 June 2017
Pirates of the Caribbean: On stranger tides, 1:10:39
Hālona Cove, O'ahu, 11 June 2017
Pirates of the Caribbean: On stranger tides, 1:10:45
Hālona Cove, O'ahu, 11 June 2017
Pirates of the Caribbean: On stranger tides, 1:10:47
Hālona Cove, O'ahu, 11 June 2017

Close to Hālona Cove, along the same highway, is Lāna'i Lookout. This viewpoint is formed by whimsical lava rocks. The warning sign not to walk here is ignored by everyone. This location can be seen twice in the film. The first time, Jack Sparrow's expedition lands here with the captured mermaid Syrena (Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey). At end of the movie Hector Barbossa looks out on Queen Anne's Revenge, the ship of Bluebeard, and becomes a pirate again.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On stranger tides, 1:11:10
Lāna’i Lookout, O'ahu, 11 June 2017
Pirates of the Caribbean: On stranger tides, 1:11:15
Lāna’i Lookout, O'ahu, 11 June 2017
Pirates of the Caribbean: On stranger tides, 2:04:42
Lāna’i Lookout, O'ahu, 11 June 2017

The scene in which Philip Swift (Sam Claflin), one of the expedition members, frees the mermaid was filmed at the banyan tree near the Turtle Bay Resort. Banyans can be recognized by the long thin roots that grow from the branches. As soon as the roots touch the ground, a new tree grows here. What looks like a forest is actually one banyan. Especially for the film a pool was dug for the mermaid and removed after filming was completed. A sign indicates that the television series Lost and this movie were filmed here.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On stranger tides, 1:52:48
Banyan tree, O'ahu, 12 June 2017
Pirates of the Caribbean: On stranger tides, 2:01:01
Banyan tree, O'ahu, 12 June 2017
The Banyan Tree sign, O'ahu, 12 June 2017

Screenshots © Walt Disney Pictures
 

Sunday, 22 July 2018

Lima, Peru



 
As a 23-year-old medical student Ernesto "Che" Guevara made a journey through Latin America on a motorcycle, together with his friend Alberto Granado. The movie THE MOTORCYCLE DIARIES (original title: Diarios de Motocicleta) is based on the dairy he kept, first published in 1995. The film premiered on 15 January 2004 at the Sundance Film Festival.

The Motorcycle Diaries, 0:08:00
The movie was filmed on location in Argentina, Peru, Chile and Cuba. It must have been quite a challenge for the production crew to find locations that could pass for 1952. The end credits mention all cities and countries, otherwise I have not been able to find more information about the on location shooting. The film itself lists all dates from the dairy. Guevara (Gael García Bernal) and Granado (Rodrigo de la Serna) arrived on 12 May 1952 in Lima, the capital of Peru.

In Lima they would meet doctor Hugo Pesce, director of the national leprosy program. This meeting lead to volunteer work for three weeks at a leper colony. I could not find the location of the doctor’s house, but I did locate the street that is seen when the historic city is visited.

Monastery of San Francisco, Lima, 23 June 2018
With no street signs visible, the only clue I had was the yellow tower in the background. This belongs to the church of the monastery of San Francisco. The building dates from the seventeenth century. It has been damaged on several occasions by earthquakes but the original style has been retained. The catacombs were used as a cemetery until 1810 and can be visited during a full tour of the monastery. It is not allowed to take photographs or make video recordings.

The street that leads to the monastery is called Jirón Ancash, constructed in 1535 after Francisco Pizarro founded the city of Lima on 18 January. In the film part of the street is seen, between the monastery and the presidential palace. Only pedestrians have access. The street looked different during our visit than in the film, note for example the facades and the colours of the buildings. Perhaps this was done to make it appear as it was in the 1950s, maybe the street was renovated some time after filming was completed.

The Motorcycle Diaries, 1:06:57
Jirón Ancash, Lima, 23 June 2018
The Motorcycle Diaries, 1:07:01
Jirón Ancash, Lima, 23 June 2018
The Motorcycle Diaries, 1:07:12
Jirón Ancash, Lima, 23 June 2018
The Motorcycle Diaries, 1:07:13
Jirón Ancash, Lima, 23 June 2018
The Motorcycle Diaries, 1:07:15
Jirón Ancash, Lima, 23 June 2018
Screenshots © Focus Features/FilmFour