Image above: Julie Christie in Darling, (1965)
Chiswick’s film heritage
Very often in Chiswick you see the road opposite the Town Hall or alongside St Paul’s Church Grove Park filled up with catering trucks and film location vehicles and you know sooner or later as you are watching a film or a TV series there will be a scene which is vaguely familiar. Filming is big business in Chiswick, bringing in millions of pounds a year.
You may also have glimpsed David Tennant, Hugh Grant or Colin Firth at a local supermarket or the gym. Chiswick is full of film industry people, not just actors but directors, producers, designers, scriptwriters … even Foster’s Books gets in on the act hiring out antique books for anything from Cyrano to the Barbie film.
Chiswick Cinema, celebrating its first birthday this summer, is hosting a Chiswick in Film festival over the weekend 30th September – 2nd October, in collaboration with The Chiswick Calendar website, film editor and part time reviewer Andrea Carnevali and scriptwriter Rob Sprackling.
We are currently working on the schedule of films, all of which will have some connection with Chiswick – either in the personnel involved or scenes which were shot here. Each will be screened with a speaker connected with the film to talk about the making of it.
The list to choose from is long. Did you know all these (and these are just some) had scenes shot in Chiswick?
The Servant (1963) Film starring Dirk Bogarde and Sarah Miles written by Harold Pinter (Chiswick House)
Darling (1965) – Beautiful but amoral model Diana Scott sleeps her way to the top of the London fashion scene at the height of the Swinging Sixties (Strand on the Green)
Quatermass and the Pitt (1967) – A mysterious artifact is unearthed in London, and famous scientist Bernard Quatermass is called into to divine its origins and explain its strange effects on people (the graveyard of St Nicholas Church)
Goodbye Mr Chips (1969) – A shy, withdrawn English schoolteacher falls for a flashy showgirl (Strand on the Green)
An American Werewolf in London (1981) – Two American college students on a walking tour of Britain are attacked by a werewolf that none of the locals will admit exists (interiors shot at Chiswick maternity hospital – since demolished)
Love Actually (2003) – Feelgood movie about eight very different couples, loosely interrelated, but all in love (interiors Rupert Road & Blenheim Road)
De Lovely (2004) – Musical biopic of Cole Porter (Chiswick House)
Never Let me go (2010) – Dystopian drama based on the book by Kazuo Ishiguro (Chiswick Town Hall)
The Theory of Everything (2014) – Biographical film about the life of physicist Stephen Hawking (interiors shot at Grove Park Vicarage)
Time this heritage was celebrated!
The schedule of films and speakers will be published towards the end of August. For updates on the schedule keep an eye on the Chiswick Cinema and The Chiswick Calendar websites.
Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar
See also: Film reviews by Andrea Carnevali