19 December 2019

Hamburg, Germany



 
The third film directed by Anton Corbijn, A MOST WANTED MAN, is based on the book of the same name by John le Carré from 2008. The story is set in Hamburg, where the author worked as a British agent and consul. Warning: the text may give away details of the plot.
 
Anton Corbijn, Rachel McAdams and Willem Dafoe during
filming in the lobby of hotel Atlantic, as seen in
The Making of A Most Wanted Man, 0:06:58
Issa Karpov (Grigoriy Dobrygin), a Russian-Chechen refugee, illegally comes to Hamburg in the hope of receiving the fortune left to him by his deceased father. Immigration lawyer Annabel Richter (Rachel McAdams) brings him into contact with British banker Tommy Brue (Willem Dafoe). They are soon noticed by a German anti-terror unit led by Günther Bachmann (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and also the American security service, represented by diplomatic attaché Martha Sullivan (Robin Wright), has taken an interest.

Filming took place between 21 September and 23 November 2012 at more than 30 locations in Hamburg. A few scenes were filmed in Berlin. In the movie, Hamburg appears gray and dark, which enhances the grim atmosphere of the story. During our visit the city did not make such a gloomy impression.
 
At the beginning of the film, Günther Bachmann meets The Admiral (Martin Wuttke) at the Zum Silbersack cafe. He is a shady figure who knows more about the whereabouts of Issa Karpov. The cafe really exists and is located on Silbersackstraße 9, a side street of the Reeperbahn. This area looked pretty beat up. Two scenes were filmed inside the cafe, but during our visit the place was closed.

A Most Wanted Man, 0:10:49
Cafe Zum Silbersack, Hamburg, 27 June 2019

In the evening Günther Bachmann and his assistant Irna Frey (Nina Hoss) are watching the Atlantic Kempinski hotel where Annabel Richter is meeting Tommy Brue. The hotel is also mentioned in the book and can also be seen in the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies. The lobby was also used for filming, but the hotel does not allow photographing inside. For Philip Seymour Hoffman the Atlantic hotel was familiar territory, he stayed there years earlier when he appeared in a play in Hamburg.

A Most Wanted Man, 0:30:54
Holzdamm, Hamburg, 25 June 2019
A Most Wanted Man, 0:31:39
Atlantic Kempinski hotel, Hamburg, 25 June 2019

When Brue leaves the hotel, a blue ceramic portrait of Wilhelm II (1859-1941) can be seen through the revolving glass door. He was the kaiser of Germany when the hotel was opened in 1909. In the featurette Spymaster: John le Carré in Hamburg, which is on the dvd as a bonus, John le Carré visits the hotel and says that Wilhelm II hated the British Queen Victoria so much that he wanted to destroy the British navy.

A Most Wanted Man, 0:31:24
Atlantic Kempinski hotel, Hamburg, 25 June 2019
Spymaster: John le Carré in Hamburg, 0:06:16
Atlantic Kempinski hotel, Hamburg, 25 June 2019

The film ends with a confrontation involving all main characters. This scene was filmed on Johannes-Brahms-Platz, a square named after the Hamburg-born composer. Karpov and Richter, together with philanthropist Dr. Faisal Abdullah (Homayoun Ershadi), have just visited Brue's bank. The building is the Brahms Kontor which was under construction during our visit.

A Most Wanted Man, 1:42:40
Brahms Kontor, Johannes-Brahms-Platz, Hamburg, 27 June 2019
A Most Wanted Man, 1:43:11
Johannes-Brahms-Platz, Hamburg, 27 June 2019

When they leave the bank, Bachmann poses as a taxi driver, but it turns out that Sullivan and her German colleague Dieter Mohr (Rainer Bock, standing on the balcony) have lured them into ambush. Both Karpov and Abdullah are arrested, leaving the others defeated in the square.

A Most Wanted Man, 1:47:52
Brahms Kontor, Johannes-Brahms-Platz, Hamburg, 27 June 2019
A Most Wanted Man, 1:48:44
Johannes-Brahms-Platz, Hamburg, 27 June 2019
A Most Wanted Man, 1:48:57
Johannes-Brahms-Platz, Hamburg, 27 June 2019
A Most Wanted Man, 1:49:07
Brahms Kontor, Johannes-Brahms-Platz, Hamburg, 27 June 2019
A Most Wanted Man, 1:49:10
Johannes-Brahms-Platz, Hamburg, 27 June 2019
A Most Wanted Man, 1:49:40
Johannes-Brahms-Platz, Hamburg, 27 June 2019
A Most Wanted Man, 1:49:42
Johannes-Brahms-Platz, Hamburg, 27 June 2019

Screenshots © Film4/Demarest Films
 

19 November 2019

Sanssouci, Potsdam, Germany



    
The film ÆON FLUX is based on the MTV animated science fiction television series of the early 1990s. The story is set in 2415. After 99% percent of the world's population has died as a result of a virus, the survivors live in the walled city Bregna.

Æon Flux, 1:14:18
The city-state is led by a congress of scientists. When people are mysteriously disappearing, an underground rebel network by the name of the Monicans forms of which Æon Flux (Charlize Theron) is a member. To represent the structured city of Bregna, various locations in Berlin and Potsdam were chosen. Filming started in the summer of 2004 but production was delayed for a month when Charlize Theron was injured in a stunt.

At the beginning of the film, Æon Flux walks through a crowded park and meets a man who gives her a pill through a French kiss.

Park Sanssouci, Potsdam, 2 July 2019
This scene was filmed in Sanssouci Park in Potsdam, 24 km (15 miles) southwest of Berlin. The eponymous summer palace that is located here was built between 1745 and 1747 by order of the Prussian King Frederick II. The rococo building was designed by Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff on the instructions of the king, but is not visible in the film. However, the stairs and the wine terraces can be seen.

The stairs lead to the palace from the Great Fountain. During our visit a flock of swans where in the pond, one of whom stood exactly in front of the camera. It makes a change for a building in scaffolding or a car that blocks the view.

Æon Flux, 0:02:10
Park Sanssouci, Potsdam, 2 July 2019
Æon Flux, 0:03:55
Park Sanssouci, Potsdam, 2 July 2019
Æon Flux, 0:03:59
Park Sanssouci, Potsdam, 2 July 2019

Near the Great Fountain is a smaller pond that can also be seen in the film. The path leads to the Bildergalerie (Picture Gallery), built for the king's art collection. The trees seem to have been set pieces and the little statue on the left has been replaced by another one.

Æon Flux, 0:02:23
Park Sanssouci, Potsdam, 2 July 2019

Screenshots © Paramount Pictures/Lakeshore Entertainment
 

10 October 2019

Kaua'i HI, USA


 
For the movie adaptation of the book JURASSIC PARK by Michael Crichton, the Hawaiian island of Kaua'i was chosen to depict the fictional Isla Nublar. Billionaire John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) has built a wildlife park on this island where visitors can see cloned dinosaurs.

Jurassic Park, 0:21:18
However, before the park will welcome its first visitors some dangerous species break loose when part of the security network is turned off by computer programmer Dennis Nedry (Wayne Knight). At that time Hammond has a few scientists and his two grandchildren among his guests, while the island is being hit by a tropical storm. In reality Kaua'i was hit by hurricane 'Iniki on 11 September 1992, and production was put on hold.
  
Filming had started on August 24 and would continue on other islands, see the blog posts Kualoa Ranch, O'ahu HI and Keopuka Rock, Maui HI. The scene in which Ray Arnold (Samuel L. Jackson) is chased by raptors was canceled because the hurricane had destroyed the scet. Despite the setbacks, Steven Spielberg's film became a huge success, thanks in part to the lifelike dinosaurs.
  
Before traveling to Isla Nublar, Dennis Nedry has an appointment in San José, Costa Rica, with Lewis Dodgson (Cameron Thor). Nedry is bribed by him to smuggle dinosaurs embryos from the island in a can of shaving foam. This scene was filmed on 1624 Kuhio Highway near Kapa'a. There never was a restaurant here, the current building is furniture store Otsuka's which was build after filming. The palm trees are still recognizable. Across the street is the Kauai Bar. Above the entrance is a large shark, reminiscent of Jaws, another Steven Spielberg film.

Jurassic Park, 0:13:13
1624 Highway, Kapa'a, Kaua'i, 22 June 2017
Jurassic Park, 0:13:28
1624 Highway, Kapa'a, Kaua'i, 22 June 2017
Jurassic Park, 0:13:50
1624 Highway, Kapa'a, Kaua'i, 22 June 2017
Jurassic Park, 0:15:03
1624 Highway, Kapa'a, Kaua'i, 22 June 2017
Kauai Bar, 1607 Highway, Kapa'a, Kaua'i, 22 June 2017

The Hammond helicopter with on board Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill), Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern), Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) and lawyer Donald Gennaro (Martin Ferrero) arrives on a helipad at the bottom of a waterfall. This is Manawaiopuna Falls in the Hanapepe Valley, now also known as Jurassic Falls. The helipad was built especially for the film and then removed. The waterfall is on private property, the best way to see the valley is during a helicopter flight.

Jurassic Park, 0:17:53
Manawaiopuna Falls, Hanapepe Valley, Kaua'i, 20 June 2017
Jurassic Park, 0:17:58
Manawaiopuna Falls, Hanapepe Valley, Kaua'i, 20 June 2017
Jurassic Park, 0:18:08
Manawaiopuna Falls, Hanapepe Valley, Kaua'i, 20 June 2017
Jurassic Park, 0:18:19
Manawaiopuna Falls, Hanapepe Valley, Kaua'i, 20 June 2017

The moment when Hammond's guests (and also the viewer) first see dinosaurs was filmed at the Jurassic Kahili Ranch. For years this ranch remained closed to the public, until 2019 when movie tours were being offered for the first time. Part of the terrain can be seen from the Kuhio Highway. The lake where the brachiosaurians come out of the water is Pu’u Ka Ele Reservoir. It is elsewhere on the ranch, although in the film it looks nearby.

Jurassic Park, 0:20:20
Jurassic Kahili Ranch, Kaua'i, 22 June 2017
Jurassic Park, 0:20:15
Jurassic Kahili Ranch, Kaua'i, 22 June 2017

The Limahalu National Tropical Botanical Garden is located on the same Kuhio Highway at number 8291. This location can be seen a few times in the film, amongst others when the park's game warden Robert Muldoon (Bob Peck) and Ellie discover that animals have escaped. The building is the residence of the raptors, which was built especially for the film at the entrance of the botanical garden.

Jurassic Park, 0:31:50
Limahalu National Tropical Botanical
Garden, Kaua'i, 22 June 2017
Jurassic Park, 1:37:56
Limahalu National Tropical Botanical
Garden, Kaua'i, 22 June 2017

During production in Hawaii, cast and crew stayed at the Kaua'i Marriott Resort in Lihue. From the hotel they could see the breakwaters near Kalapaki Beach. These shots that ended up in the movie were made during the storm caused by hurricane 'Iniki.

Jurassic Park, 0:54:14
Kalapaki Beach, Kaua'i, 20 June 2017
Jurassic Park, 0:54:15
Kalapaki Beach, Kaua'i, 20 June 2017

Dr. Alan Grant and the two grandchildren of Hammond, Lex (Ariana Richards) and Tim (Joseph Mazzello), try to get to the exit of the park and encounter the electronically secured fence. This scene was filmed in the Olokele Canyon. Just like Manawaiopuna Falls it is largely on private grounds, we sa wit during a helicopter flight.

Jurassic Park, 1:39:46
Olokele Canyon, Kaua'i, 20 June 2017





 
After Jurassic Park had become a huge success, sequels were inevitable. Steven Spielberg directed THE LOST WORLD: JURASSIC PARK himself, for part III he was only executive producer. Both sequels were filmed again on the island of Kaua'i.

The Lost World: Jurassic Park, 0:22:53
The second film is based on the book 'The Lost World' that Michael Crichton wrote following the success of the first Jurassic Park. It is reveiled that there is a second, secret location where cloned dinosaurs are kept. On Site B, or Isla Sorna, the animals now roam free after a devastating hurricane. An expedition team, led by Ian Malolm (Jeff Goldblum), is sent to the island to investigate how the animals were able to survive.

Production design wanted a different location for this movie with landscapes that the audience did not know. New Zealand was considered, but eventually nature reserves in California were chosen. Exceptions were the prologue and some short scenes shot on the Kipu Ranch, Kaua'i, in December 1996. Steven Spielberg had filmed the prologue of Raiders of the Lost Ark here in 1980.

A wealthy British family sails along the island with their yacht and decides to have lunch on the beach. Their daughter Cathy (Camilla Belle) wanders off and is attacked by a group of compsognathus. Her screams alarm her parents and the crew. Kipu Kai Beach is only accessible from the water, the surrounding land is private property. The beach is visible from a distance during the Ultimate Ranch Tour that the Kipu Ranch organizes. The same view can be seen in the movie The Descendants.

The Lost World: Jurassic Park, 0:02:30
Kipu Kai Beach, Kaua'i, 23 June 2017
The Lost World: Jurassic Park, 0:03:43
Kipu Kai Beach, Kaua'i, 23 June 2017
The Lost World: Jurassic Park, 0:04:05
Kipu Kai Beach, Kaua'i, 23 June 2017

Later on in the movie the Kipu Ranch can be seen again as the expedition drives through the valley. During our visit it was clearly less cloudy than at the time of filming.

The Lost World: Jurassic Park, 0:21:45
Kipu Kai Beach, Kaua'i, 23 June 2017












For the third installment, JURASSIC PARK III, production returned to Hawaii, besides Kaua'i also Molokai. The Jurassic Kahili Ranch was again chosen as a filming location.

Jurassic Park III, 0:45:20
In September 2000 production returned to the ranch for the third film. Dr. Alan Grant visits Isla Sorna through on request of the wealthy couple Paul (William H. Macy) and Amanda Kirby (Téa Leoni) who have promised him to fund his research. Of course there are also hungry dinosaurs on this island. Although the Jurassic Kahili Ranch is not open to the public, there is a website with information about the history of the ranch and the films that were filmed there.

Towards the end of the film, the survivors manage to escape on a riverboat. They encounter a herd of brachiosaurians. Two landscapes have been combined for this scene, the foreground is the Wailua River, located in the east of Kaua'i, the background is the Jurassic Kahili Ranch which is located in the northern part of the island.

Jurassic Park III, 1:09:57
Jurassic Kahili Ranch, Kaua'i, 22 June 2017
Wailua River, Kaua'i, 23 June 2017

Screenshots © Universal Pictures/Amblin Entertainment