Films were a good way for me to experience London when I was still living abroad. It is not that movies could convey what this city is actually like. But, they still showed that bit of flavour and truth about London that I would enjoy years later.
The strange thing is, once here, I would feel that strange sense of pride at recognising those places I had been living or hanging around for a few years. It´s like saying “I´m happy to have finally been there”. I find it really is a good feeling when I hear mentions of the places where I have been. For example, the children in The Chronicles of Narnia (2005) said they were from Finchley, which was not too far away from where I was living at that moment.
It does happen the same with other cities I´ve visited. When I watched the latest Woody Allen´s flick Midnight in Paris, I was quite happy to recognise a few places there.
Here are some of my fave movies set up in London. I have not included movies like Notting Hill here, because it seems to show a fictional Notting Hill.
- 28 Days Later (2004).
- Closer, filmed in South Bank, Theatre Royal, etc.
- Snatch, fiimed in Lambeth, South London.
- Bridget Jones´Diary, so absurdedly true to life, and so much fun. Filmed in the City, etc.
- V for Vendetta, filmed in Islington, Finsbury, etc.
- Shaun of the Dead, which showed us the Crouch End in North London.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher´s Stone was partly filmed in the City´s Leadenhall Market.
- A Fish called Wanda. Hatton Gardens, Docklands, Old Bailey, etc.
- Mary Poppins, where St Paul´s cathedral is quite visible.
- Sherlock Holmes, although the TV series with Benedict Cumberbatch is much better. The Strand, St Paul´s cathedral, The Reform Club in Pall Mall, the Royal Naval College in Greenwich, etc.
The guys from Movie London have made this cool interactive map with movie locations to explore London in a different way. Check it out!