alberta

Scene setting: 10 iconic movie locations around the world

With awards season fast approaching, we got to thinking about some of the world s most iconic filming destinations; places that have inspired writers, locations that lit up the screen and backdrops that directors dream about. Here s a round-up of our favourite scene-setting destinations, which are all travelable, so you can follow in the footsteps of the film industry s intrepid casts and crews, and get to know the settings that you loved on the silver screen.

Scene Setting: 10 Iconic Movie Locations Around The World

Istanbul, Turkey. Image: Thinkstock.

Istanbul, Turkey

Set in a 1970s Iran, but with no way of filming in the country itself, Ben Affleck s Oscar-winning Argo had to get resourceful when it came to locations and Istanbul was a natural choice. A scene set in Tehran s chaotic bazaar provided an obvious challenge, but Istanbul s Grand Bazaar created a seamless backdrop. The film also used Hagia Sophia Basilica s impressive interiors over their two-week stint in the city, although not before allegedly having all 2,000-plus light bulbs changed to suit Mr Affleck s vision. Bond s been seen in town here too, twice, with both From Russia with Love (1963) and Skyfall (2012) making use of the city s distinctive skyline.

Scene Setting: 10 Iconic Movie Locations Around The World

Angkor Wat temple complex, Cambodia. Image: Thinkstock

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Cambodia s Angkor Wat temple complex was put firmly on the map when the Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) team spent a week filming here. Angkor Wat last saw a film crew in 1964, after which years of political strife left it a no-go zone. It took the assistance of the Royal Cambodian Army to travel the cast and crew safely through the pot-holed and mine-peppered Khmer Rouge stronghold to reach the site, with bridges hastily repaired en route on an as-and-when basis. An ironic undertaking indeed when you consider that, at the time of filming, Cambodia had no purpose-built cinemas.

Scene Setting: 10 Iconic Movie Locations Around The World

Le Boheme, Montmartre. Image: Thinkstock

Montmartre, Paris

Paris is well worthy of the silver screen, providing not just an attractive backdrop, but direct inspiration for many films. Top of our list is Richard Linklater s Before Sunset (2004), which sees the nine-year old romantic tangle of characters Jesse and Celine unravel in seeming real time as they wander through Paris picture-perfect streets. Paris was wrapped up in kooky romanticism in captivating Am lie (2001), whilst Woody Allen took us from present day Paris to the 1920s with Midnight in Paris (2011), introducing some iconic Parisian residents of the time, such as Pablo Picasso, Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway and the Fitzgeralds.

Montmartre is the common thread between all these features, with its charming cobbles providing an effortlessly captivating backdrop in each.

Scene Setting: 10 Iconic Movie Locations Around The World

Ko Phi Phi Lee, Thailand. Image: www.thailandhalaltrip.com

Ko Phi Phi Lee, Thailand

Nestled in the Andaman Sea and framed by the jagged peaks of surrounding cliffs, Ko Phi Phi Lee was an idyllic choice for Danny Boyle s film adaptation of Alex Garland s novel The Beach (2000). Its sandy set of choice, Hat Maya, is only reachable by boat (these days from Krabi or Phuket) giving it a real-life mythical edge. The filmmakers were accused of ecological vandalism as a result of their time here, as they allegedly introduced non-native palms to heighten the paradisal factor to cinematic levels. True or not, it was all changed in 2004, when Hat Maya was devastated by the tsunami; thankfully, it has since fully recovered.

Scene Setting: 10 Iconic Movie Locations Around The World

Petra, Jordan. Image: Thinkstock

Jordan, Middle East

The stunning red deserts of Jordan are captivating both on and off camera, so it s no surprise that this Arabian gem has cropped up over the years in films of all shapes and sizes. The critically acclaimed Lawrence of Arabia (1962) portrayed the biographical journey of the eponymous archaeologist, military officer and diplomat, as he launched the attack on Aqaba from Wadi Rum, whilst Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) used Petra s ancient Treasury as the Temple of the Sun . More recently, Jordan s played a backdrop in sci-fi blockbuster Prometheus (2012), and was used to portray its neighbour Iraq in Oscar-winning The Hurt Locker (2008). Last year, Jordan s Wadi Rum stepped in as an alternative landscape to Mars, in Ridley Scott s Oscar-nominated The Martian (2015). Cover photo of Wadi Rum from http://wadirum.jo/

Scene Setting: 10 Iconic Movie Locations Around The World

Notting Hill. Image: Thinkstock

Notting Hill, London

Nothing puts a place on the map like having a blockbusting film named after it; cue Notting Hill (1999), which saw Hollywood meet Hugh Grant on his leafy London doorstep. The blue door that marked the entrance to his character William Thacker s apartment is situated on Westbourne Park Road and, at the time, belonged to the film s screenwriter, Richard Curtis. (Needless to say, the apartment itself was based in a studio, baring no resemblance to Curtis actual interiors).

This isn t the first time Notting Hill s seen the bright lights of a film set in The Italian Job (1969), Michael Caine s flat was located at one end of Portobello Road, with the area s swinging Sixties aesthetic providing the film with an authentic backdrop.

Scene Setting: 10 Iconic Movie Locations Around The World

Monument Valley, USA. Image: www.locationshub.com

Monument Valley, USA

Monument Valley has got to be the veteran of all filming locations, appearing in an impressive selection of blockbusting flicks ever since director John Ford put it on the filmmakers map with Stagecoach (1939), starring John Wayne. This distinctive set of rocks has witnessed the flight of Thelma & Louise (1991), the random quest of Forrest Gump (1994), the enthralling hum of Easy Rider (1969) and the insane adventures of Marty McFly in Back to the Future Part III (1990). Johnny Depp roamed its solitary plateaus in The Lone Ranger (2013) and the surviving Autobots reunite amidst its scenic surrounds in Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014). Perhaps its most exciting incarnation was in Stanley Kubrick s 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) when it was digitally recoloured and used as an alien planet.

Scene Setting: 10 Iconic Movie Locations Around The World

Agios Ioannis chapel, Skopelos. Image: www.thesecretgreece.gr

Greek islands

With a storyline set on the fictional island of Kalokairi, it was Greece s 6,000 islands that offered Mamma Mia! (2008) enough scenic scope for this fantastical romcom specifically, the Sporades Archipelago. Whilst much of the action is set on serene Skiathos, neighbouring Skopelos hosted the star-studded cast too, with ABBA classics Does Your Mother Know? and Lay All Your Love on Me performed on its (usually tranquil) shores. The Agios Ioannis chapel provided the perfect location for meddling daughter Sophie s wedding, and needed very little sprucing to meet Hollywood s high standards. However, Villa Donna, the story s hotel, was a little less glamourous, and existed solely on the 007 Stage of Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire.

Scene Setting: 10 Iconic Movie Locations Around The World

Rome. Image: www.cntraveler.com

Rome, Italy

Rome is a filmmaker s delight, begging the question of what came first Rome or cinematography? Described by iconic Italian film director Federico Fellini as a city that doesn t need to make culture as it is culture creatives have flocked here for decades to soak in its distinct charm. Audrey Hepburn epitomised the city s appeal with her portrayal of a mischievous princess in Roman Holiday (1953) who didn t want to hop onto a Vespa after watching Hepburn s skirts take to the wind? A scene echoed nearly fifty years later in The Talented Mr Ripley (1999) which saw Matt Damon and Gwyneth Paltrow taking to two wheels on Rome s scenic streets. Hollywood heights soared further with Eat Pray Love (2010) when starlet Julia Roberts munched on pizza and savoured ice cream in some of Rome s timeless pavement cafes.

Scene Setting: 10 Iconic Movie Locations Around The World

Bow Valley, Alberta. Image: www.atlastofwonders.com

Alberta, Canada

It would be remiss not to include this year s Oscar-favourite The Revenant (2015) as, when it comes to locations, director Alejandro Gonz lez I rritu held nothing back. Insistent that this epic tale (which is loosely based on a true story) would not be filmed in front of a green screen, he took his cast and crew to the remote and unforgiving wilderness of a snow-covered Alberta to create some of the most fantastic cinematic scenes of all time. With 93% of the film shot on location, great lengths were reached in achieving I rritu s vision; whilst the torturously tense bear attack was of course expertly crafted in CGI, the avalanche that further threatened lead actor Leonardo DiCaprio was created by bombing the mountain by plane. With two-time Oscar-winning Emmanuel Lubezki as the film s cinematographer, it s little wonder that a wintry Alberta s hardships and beauty are brought so ferociously to life.

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References

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Watch: Peloton misses turning at Tour of Alberta, gifting Hansen the win

Lasse Norman Hansen won stage five of the Tour of Alberta by virtue of all of his chasers missing a right turn in the final kilometres

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Lasse Norman Hansen (Cannondale-Garmin1) won stage five of the Tour of Alberta on Sunday in quite bizarre circumstances after the chasing peloton missed a right turn on a circuit, leading to the race being neutralised. The 23-year-old Dane was on the attack in the final kilometres of the stage to Spruce Grove with Sven Erik Bystrom (Katusha2) leading the chase just ahead of the peloton. With just under 10km to go a motorbike rode alongside Bystrom to inform him that he d missed the turning, forcing him to turn round, only to see that the entire peloton had followed him as well.

If you watch the video you ll see a volunteer marshall doing her best to point out to Bystrom that the correct way to turn was right, but as the highway ahead was not blocked off the Katusha rider says he followed motorbikes ahead of him.

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I attacked alone and at first I didn t realize there was one guy still ahead since there are no radios in this race, Bystrom said3. But then suddenly before we hit the local circuits they showed me the wrong way to go, I was just following the moto bikes in front of me. Then they tell me I have to turn around and also the entire peloton who were about 30-seconds behind me. It was over at that point. Hansen was awarded the stage with around 2km to go as organisers waved the red flags to neutralise the race.

Trek Factory Racing4 s Laurent Didier took second place in equally strange circumstances.

The Luxembourger had been dropped by the main peloton before that point and managed to take the correct turn, leading to him being awarded second by virtue of going the right way.

Bauke Mollema, who wrapped up the overall win5 on Monday s final stage ahead of Britain s Adam Yates6, was awarded third as the peloton all crossed the line at the same time.

References

  1. ^ Cannondale-Garmin (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  2. ^ Katusha (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  3. ^ Bystrom said (www.katushateam.com)
  4. ^ Trek Factory Racing (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  5. ^ Adam Yates places second behind Bauke Mollema in Tour of Alberta (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  6. ^ Adam Yates places second behind Bauke Mollema in Tour of Alberta (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)