It has become a cliché in the film world that the city you film in can add an extra dimension to the piece of art. New York City is especially famous for this. Countless actors and directors, from Woody Allen to Paul Rudd, have noted that New York is often a main character in films that are shot in the city. While the romantic nature of New York certainly lends itself to film, there are just as many fantastic movies where London plays a pivotal role in the plot and general tone of the piece. For some cinematic inspiration, we at BorrowFox have compiled a short list of three of the best movies filmed in and centered around London. So, get inspired, rent some kit, and go out there and film.
London Film Classics
While it was not necessarily a genre bending, revolutionary film, Notting Hill, starring Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts, is one of the most fondly remembered romantic comedies of the past 25 years. As the title suggests, the film takes place in the beautiful, idyllic London neighbourhood of Notting Hill. The story follows the relationship between Grant and Roberts’ characters in a light-hearted and moving fashion. The movie also does a great job of highlighting the urban beauty of the Big Smoke.
Unlike the easy, carefree affluence of London portrayed in Notting Hill, Dirty Pretty Things captures the gritty, tough life of immigrants living in the city. The film captures the struggles of a Nigerian and Turkish immigrant navigating their new, incredibly foreign city. Dirty Pretty Things is a masterclass in suspense. One sociologist wrote: it is a ‘social thriller which blends aspects of the global urban legends about child kidnapping for organs and prostitutes drugging unsuspecting barflies who wake up in a hotel bathtub minus a kidney.’ It captures the London that undoubtedly exists, but that few want to acknowledge.
V For Vendetta, based on the graphic novel of the same name, is one of the most iconic London based films released in the past 50 years. The dystopian thriller captures some of the most iconic landmarks in London, but does so in a way that pictures the city under the thumb of a fascist regime. The movie has become a cult favourite, and while it has some cinematic issues, it is still a thought provoking film that depicts an entirely different London than what the viewer is used to.