Treasures of European Film Culture
Treasures of European Film Culture
Treasures of European Film Culture is a growing list of places of a symbolic nature for European cinema, places of historical value that need to be maintained and protected not just now but also for generations to come.
On the occasion of last year’s 35th European Film Awards, 22 places have been added to the list, to make it to a total of 35:
Located 3,040 metres above sea level on the mountain peak of Gaislachkogl, 007 ELEMENTS is a cinematic installation dedicated to the world of James Bond. The installation focusses on SPECTRE, which was shot in Sölden but also features other titles in the long-running Bond film franchise.
007 ELEMENTS guides visitors on a journey through a series of high-tech, interactive galleries, each distilling the craft of the signature elements that define a James Bond film — the beautiful title sequences and dramatic scores; the jaw-dropping action sequences; the cars, gadgets and technology; the breath-taking locations and iconic studio sets and lastly, a host of compelling characters.
Beach of Sète
Sète and cinema share a long love story.
The unique island has been a muse for the 7th art, both cinema and the small screen: A hundred films were shot in Sète – auteur films, shorts and features, as well as television series.
Some have marked the history of cinema. One of the greatest ambassadors of Sète was the unforgettable filmmaker Agnès Varda, distinguished in particular by the European Film Academy’s honorary Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014, an honorary Oscar in 2018, and an honorary Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.
She was the first to make the city known in 1955, with her first feature film LA POINTE-COURTE. It was partly thanks to this film that she became known as a founding member of “the New Wave”.
In 2008, half a century later, Agnès Varda returned to Sète to shoot THE BEACHES OF AGNÈS which was nominated for the European Film Awards and won a French César for best Documentary.
In this sensitive and poetic autobiographical movie, she retraces the course of her life, passing from beach to beach, sharing on film her attachment to Sète where she landed in 1940 on a boat with her family who had fled Belgium.
The 12 km of beaches of Sète are particularly popular with cameras.
Located on a strip of sand separating the Mediterranean Sea from the Etang de Thau, their shape and character give them a much sought-after insular and natural character.
The light of Sète, crossing the canals, its colourful houses and its fishing port as well as its multi-cultural identity, form a natural setting of unusual beauty that inspires actors and artists.
The Bergmancenter is a museum and meeting place that focuses on the life work and artistic achievements of Sweden’s legendary director Ingmar Bergman. The Bergmancenter is the only Bergman museum in the world, and is located on the small island of Fårö, in the Baltic Sea, where Ingmar Bergman lived.
Ingmar Bergman first came to Fårö in April 1960, reluctantly searching for a suitable shooting location for his next feature, THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY, after already having set his mind on shooting on the Orkneys.
His encounter with Fårö, however, left a deep impression on him and Bergman came to shoot seven films on the island: THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY (1960), PERSONA (1966), SHAME (1968), A PASSION (1969), FÅRÖ DOCUMENT (1969), SCENES FROM A MARRIAGE (1972) and the documentary follow-up FÅRÖ DOCUMENT 1979.
Few filmmaker’s works have been as closely associated with a particular geographic location as Bergman’s with Fårö. The barren landscape with its windswept trees, meadows, sandy and pebbly shores, and its harsh, white light is synonymous with world-class filmography.
Bergmancenter on Fårö is a starting point for different artistic activities and a dynamic meeting place for scholars, artists and students.
It hosts a permanent exhibition that takes visitors through Bergman’s work and life on Fårö. The exhibition gives a unique insight into Bergman’s working methods and sources of inspiration. Bergmancenter also hosts a cinema, an outdoor stage, a library, a creative workshop and a café. The Bergman Week s an annual event organised by Bergmancenter at the end of June, with screenings, performances and lectures. International guests who have attended over the years include Wim Wenders, Ang Lee, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, Mia Hansen-Løve, Margarethe von Trotta, Willem Dafoe, Noah Baumbach, Andrey Zvyagintsev and Kenneth Branagh, among other notables – and of course Ingmar Bergman himself as a regular until his death in 2007.
Bergmancenter’s director and operations manager is Cristina Jardim Ribeiro.
Café des Deux Moulins
The Café des Deux Moulins remains one of the mythical places of the Montmartre district in Paris. Sometimes a bar or neighbourhood café filled with regulars, sometimes a bistro with traditional home cooking based on fresh produce, it is most famous for its central role in the film AMÉLIE (2001) by Jean-Pierre Jeunet.
In the film, Amélie Poulain works as a waitress in the café, where her boss Suzanne dreams of her past life in the circus, and co-worker Gina rebuffs the attentions of her jealous ex-boyfriend Joseph. Amélie’s life is fairly happy, but it’s narrow until things take an unexpected turn …
The film was an audience favourite and a smashing international success, winning four European Film Awards (Film, Director, Cinematographer and the People’s Choice Award), two BAFTAs (Original Screenplay and Production Design) and four French César Awards (Film, Director, Original Music and Production Design).
The Casa Rossa in Stromboli is the house where director Roberto Rossellini and actress Ingrid Bergman lived during the making of the 1950 film STROMBOLI (LAND OF GOD).
In the film, Ingrid Bergman plays a young woman from the Baltic states who marries fisherman Antonio (Mario Vitale) to escape from prison camp. Living on Stromboli, however, with its constant reality of the threat of an active volcano, turns out to be a bigger challenge than expected.
The house is the place where Rossellini and Bergman were together for the first time, marking a memorable episode in film history.
During the preparations for the film, Ingrid Bergman wrote a letter to the director:
“Dear Mr. Rossellini, I saw your films ROMA CITTÀ APERTA and PAISÀ and I enjoyed them very much. If you need a Swedish actress who speaks English very well, who has not forgotten German, can hardly be understood in French, and in Italian can only say “ti amo”, I am ready to come to Italy to work with you”.
The Casa Rossa (Red House) is a typical Aeolian-style structure dating back to 1920. Situated at the foot of the volcano, along a path lined with vineyards and prickly pears that descends from the centre towards the sea, the house became an icon of the love story between Roberto Rossellini and Ingrid Bergman, thanks above all to the photos published in glossy magazines all over the world.
Centro Buñuel Calanda
Located in Calanda, where Luis Buñuel was born, the Centro Buñuel Calanda (CBC) is dedicated to the conservation, dissemination and promotion of the figure and work of the legendary filmmaker by creating a stable space for cultural activities, film education, study, and research. It houses a modern museum and a screening room, an exhibition space for temporary installations, a library and media centre, and it organises the annual Festival Buñuel Calanda. Instead of offering a set of objects or a recreation of the artist’s life, the museum allows the visitor an encounter with the multiple worlds of Luis Buñuel as a filmmaker, an approach to his life and work from a sensorial perspective.
Círculo de Bellas Artes
The Círculo de Bellas Artes in Madrid not only bears one of the oldest movie theatres of the Spanish capital, it also has an outstanding historical relationship with the seventh Art. Among the films shot in the building on Alcalá street are important works in the history of Spanish cinema such as THE TRUTH ON THE SAVOLTA AFFAIR by Antonio Drove (1980), GENERAL REPORT ON CERTAIN MATTERS OF INTEREST FOR A PUBLIC SCREENING by Pere Portabella (1977) or THE AUGUST VIRGIN by Jonás Trueba (2019).
A special mention has to go to the long relationship with Pedro Almodóvar’s films. Four of his films to date showcase the iconic architecture of this place: WOMEN ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN (1988), KIKA (1993), THE SKIN I LIVE IN (2011), and ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER (1999). Notably, one of the most moving sequences of the latter was shot on Calle Marqués de Casa Riera, next to the main entrance of the institution and to Cine Estudio: the death of Esteban (Eloy Azorín), the teenager son of Manuela (Cecilia Roth) run over in the rain by the taxi in which the actress Huma Rojo (Marisa Paredes) travels.
Collegiate Church of Sant Vicenc
In October 1964, Orson Welles used the Collegiate Church of Sant Vicenç in Cardona as the location for CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT, his personal Shakespeare adaptation, with himself in the leading role. Although shooting lasted nine months, only fifteen days were spent in Cardona, and yet thirty minutes of the final cut were shot there, containing some of the most emblematic locations: the castle of King Henry IV, the castle of his rival Henry Percy and the cathedral where Henry V is crowned.
Cardona citizens were intensely involved in the shooting of CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT, which premiered at the 1966 Cannes Film Festival where it won the 20th Anniversary Prize and the Technical Grand Prize. In the village, which in the sixties had much less than today’s seven thousand inhabitants, are still many who remember those two weeks in 1964 that took to the streets of the small mining town actors like John Gielgud, Keith Baxter, Marina Vlady, Norman Rodway, Fernando Rey and Welles himself, combining acting with his work on the other side of the camera.
Already in his lifetime, Sergei Eisenstein – filmmaker, theorist of art, draughtsman, teacher, essayist and public figure – was named a “Leonardo da Vinci of cinema”. His friends and pupils called his apartment “the Master’s House”: the interior of this house was more than a ‘portrait of its owner’. Offering a brilliant collection of authentic objects and images, it became an “objectal manifest” of the artist and thinker who was completely sure that the very multiform world culture is in fact an entity, and that the new-born cinema is genetically bound with all other art forms. A multitude of books in five languages, with marginalia and bookmarks; prints of Piranesi and Callot, Utamaro and Sharaku, a painting by Fernand Leger and the comics by Walt Disney; masks from Mexico, Africa and the island of Bali together with make-up examples of the Peking Opera and posters from Kabuki theatre; Constructivist style Bauhaus furniture and ornamental patterns of Aztec carpets combined with Russian baroque and pseudo-gothic furnishings of modern style; photographic portraits given to the filmmaker by Charles Spencer Chaplin and James Joyce, Albert Einstein and Mei Lanfang, Asta Nielsen and José Clemente Orozco, Paul Robeson, Harpo Marx – and Vsevolod Meyerhold, the filmmaker’s own master, arrested and executed in the 1930s, whose archive was secretly conserved by Eisenstein …
Though “the Master’s House”, where Eisenstein lived, was demolished in the 1950s, his unique memorial complex was kept by his wife Pera Atasheva and later taken over by the Union of Filmmakers of the USSR. In a small apartment on Smolenskaya Street, where Pera Atasheva lived, a memorial cabinet of Sergei Eisenstein was organised. Its task was not only to conserve Sergei Mikhailoich’s personal belongings, but also to prepare the edition of his theoretic works, to carry out film retrospectives and exhibitions of Eisenstein’s drawings, to advise researchers, teachers and students, to help translators and foreign editing houses. The cabinet became a mecca for filmmakers from the whole world. During these 50 years, it has been visited by specialists for Eisenstein’s work as well as by the most important figures of cinema, among them King Vidor and Andrzej Wajda, Masaki Kobayashi and Francis Ford Coppola, Robert Wise and Shyam Benegal, Isabelle Huppert, Tilda Swinton and Fanny Ardant, Jean Rouch and Volker Schlöndorff, Wong Kar Wai and Terry Gilliam … Unfortunately, the memorial flat meanwhile had to be closed and all of Eisenstein’s belongings were seized from the apartment on Smolenskaya Street.
Freemasons’ Hall stands on Great Queen Street, on a site that has been used to hold meetings for Freemasons since 1775. The present building, the third Masonic Hall on the site, was constructed between 1927 and 1933 as a memorial to those who died in the First World War and was for many years known as the Masonic Peace Memorial.
The impressive building has appeared in a range of films including SHERLOCK HOLMES by Guy Ritchie (2009) with Robert Downey Jr. in the lead, SPECTRE by Sam Mendes (2015) with Daniel Craig as James Bond and Christoph Waltz as the villain Blofeld, and THE DEATH OF STALIN by Armando Iannucci (2017), winner at the European Film Awards (Comedy).
An Art Deco masterpiece in the heart of London’s West End, Freemasons’ Hall welcomes more than 200,000 visitors from all over the world through its doors every year.
Shaped by wind and water ever since its bouldered landscape of red-ish gneiss was created by magma forcing its way up through the bedrock, the shore in Hovs Hallar is lined with fantastic rocky beaches and caves. The barren, wild impression creates a dramatic backdrop that is most famous from the opening scenes of Ingmar Bergman’s THE SEVENTH SEAL, with the Knight challenging Death to a game of chess.
Hovs Hallar is a nature reserve on the northern tip of the Bjäre Peninsula in the Swedish county of Skåne. It is located between the coastal towns of of Båstad and Torekov. The reserve is an area of geological interest and its impressive cliff faces are home to a variety of seabirds. It is assumed that the area gave the name to the province of Halland, meaning “the land beyond Hovs Hallar”.
During a ceremony, held in co-operation with the regional film fund Film i Skåne and the municipality of Båstad, a special “Treasure of European Film Culture” emblem was inaugurated at the location.
Inflancka Housing Complex
In Krzysztof Kieślowski’s DECALOGUE, the modern world—one in which people of different generations and professions cross paths, each torn by different passions, and each confronting lesser or greater universal problems in their daily lives—is manifested in a neighbourhood of prefabricated apartment buildings, the concrete panel constructions typical of twentieth-century European architecture. The Inflancka neighbourhood in Warsaw is where all the characters of THE DECALOGUE live and cross paths.
Its residents pass each other on the paths criss-crossing the apartment complex. The scene in which Ania runs out to tell Michał that she had forged the mysterious letter from her dead mother and lied to her father was shot here. In DECALOGUE SIX, Tomek sets up a stolen school telescope in his room and peeps on Magda, an older woman with whom he has become infatuated. The voyeur and voyée live in neighboring apartment buildings.
Located between Inflancka and Dzika Streets, this housing complex was built in the 1970s using prefabricated slabs of reinforced-steel concrete. Each building was assembled, floor by floor, from one-story-high H-shaped panels. Similar panel buildings were built in Warsaw’s Służew nad Dolinką neighborhood, which also served as a location for scenes in THE DECALOGUE.
Based in Lyon, the Institut Lumière is dedicated to the promotion and preservation of filmmaking. It runs a library, a gallery and a museum that honour the contribution to filmmaking by Auguste and Louis Lumière – inventors of the cinématographe and fathers of cinema. It is also a cinematheque and a museum. Every year, in October, the Institut Lumière organises the Lumiere Film Festival in Lyon Metropole.
The institute was founded in 1983. The French director Bertrand Tavernier is its president since the beginning and the general manager is Thierry Fremaux who’s also the manager of the Cannes Film Festival. The museum is located within the house of the Lumière family, in the Monplaisir quarter of Lyon, where the Lumière Cinímatographe has been invented. It also includes the hangar, main set for the film LA SORTIE DE L’USINE LUMIÈRE À LYON, the first film of Lumière, and one of the earliest motion pictures ever made. Today it houses a 270-seat movie theatre.
One of the oldest bars in Reykjavik, Kaffibarinn has been “Serving thirsty people since 1993”. A cozy café during the day, it turns into a cool party place with an impressive DJ line-up and the crowds spilling out into the courtyard until early morning.
Located in a red little house in central Reykjavik, the bar is most known for its representation in the cult film 101 REYKJAVIK (2000) by Baltasar Kormákur, featuring Hilmir Snær Guðnason as the antihero with a compelling, confused, and often hilarious sexual universe, and Victoria Abril as the passionate Spanish flamenco teacher.
It took a while for Iceland’s national cinema to shift its gaze from the countryside to the capital. Indeed, Reykjavík wasn’t turned into a genuinely dynamic setting for film narratives until the 1990s and it took Baltasar Kormákur’s 101 REYKJAVIK (2000), based on Hallgrímur Helgason’s popular novel of the same name, to firmly establish the urban lifestyle of young people as a pertinent thematic paradigm for contemporary films. In one way, Kormákur’s film channelled promotional discourse aiming to market Reykjavík as a hotspot for cool alternative music (think Björk and Sigurrós) and as the “party capital of the world”, populated by beautiful blonde women and characterised by an unhinged drinking culture. In another, it turbo-charged that very image and central to the hedonistic imaginary of the film is Kaffibarinn, the smallest, sweatiest and coolest night-spot of central Reykajvík, and the location of several of the film’s key scenes. In what constitutes a charming nexus of fiction and reality, Helgason, author of the novel, and several of the actors in the film, along with Kormákur, who actually owned Kaffibarinn at the time (with, reportedly, Damon Albarn of Blur), were known to be bar regulars. Kaffibarinn would go on to play an important role as set and setting for films and music videos for the next two decades and still stands as one of Reykjavík’s coolest spots and a popular venue for unhinged partying.
Founded in 1870, La Samaritaine is one of Paris’ most famous department stores. Built as a four-part ensemble in the 1st arrondissement of the French capital on the right bank of the Seine at the legendary Pont Neuf, La Samaritaine has featured prominently in various films.
As early as 1930, a view of its facade appears in AU BONHEUR DES DAMES by Julien Duvivier. A long sequence of PANURGE’S SHEEP by Jean Girault (1961) was shot in La Samaritaine and BEBERT AND THE TRAIN (1963) by Yves Robert was partly filmed here. The department store also features briefly in AUNTIE DANIELLE (1990) by Étienne Chatiliez, during the drive through Paris.
AU BONHEUR DES OGRES (2013) by Nicolas Bary was shot at La Samaritaine during the year of 2012, as were many other films. The last movie made at La Samaritaine is NOCTURAMA by Bertrand Bonello in 2015, before the site started its refurbishment.
Probably most prominently, HOLY MOTORS (2012) by Leos Carax was shot in the empty building and on its roof terrace.
Built in 1872 as a Roman Catholic chapel, Our Lady of the Braes occupies a spectacular setting on a hillside in the Scottish Highlands. Having fallen into disuse in the 1980s, the church caught the eye of the team behind the 1983 feature LOCAL HERO who needed a church for the fictional coastal village of “Ferness”. Using the Polnish chapel as their model, the team built a replica facade and constructed it over a cottage at the edge of nearby Camusdarach beach, while reserving the real church for the filming of interior scenes.
The church was again chosen as a location for the 1996 feature BREAKING THE WAVES by Lars von Trier. Although much of the film was shot elsewhere in Scotland (notably on the Isle of Skye, and at nearby Mallaig and Morar), many of the film’s pivotal scenes take place in the church.
Following a major restoration, the church has recently been converted to serve as a private home. In its stunning setting overlooking Loch Ailort and the West Highland Railway Line (also a location for the HARRY POTTER movies), Our Lady of the Braes can best be viewed from the nearby old road.
Mežaparks Great Bandstand
The Mežaparks Great Bandstand, also known as the Song Festival Stage, is a cultural and historical structure in the green area of Mežaparks in the Latvian capital Riga. The Latvian Song and dance festival, included in the UNESCO cultural heritage list, was moved to this venue in 1955. The festival has almost 150 years of history and is part of Latvia’s national identity.
The bandstand is located in a scenic place surrounded by pine forests. The bandstand underwent reconstruction recently and is now able to host more than 30,000 seated spectators and 14,000 singers, making it the stage with the world’s largest choir stand. Three hundred acoustic shields and a special membrane protecting singers from sun and rain were added. The architects were awarded Latvian Architecture Award.
The movie HOMELAND by Juris Podnieks (1990) was filmed here. The film captures Latvia’s and the other Baltic countries’ attempts to win the right to self-determination and political independence. Songs were often used as a sign of protest during the Soviet occupation. The movie captures how the festival brought compatriots from exile and homeland together for the first time after 50 years of occupation.
Built at the end of the XII century, the Moulin d’Andé was eventually given to Suzanne Lipinska in 1949 as a wedding gift.
When she moved in in 1957 with her three children, she decided to turn it into a space dedicated to artistic creation. In 1962, she created the Cultural Association Moulin d’Andé with the goal of supporting the arts. Very quickly the mill became a retreat for intellectuals and authors like Maurice Pons, Jean-Jacques Peyronnet, Richard Wright, René Depestre and Eugène Ionesco.
Coveted by the Nouvelle Vague, François Truffaut, Louis Malle, Alain Cavalier, Jean-Paul Rappeneau and Robert Enrico came to write and shoot … films like JULES AND JIM and LE COMBAT DANS L’ÎLE use the charming setting of the mill. The creative spirit of this place has brought forward films, books, music and paintings.
During the 1980s, the association opened up to music and organised concerts and master classes in classical music, welcoming internationally renowned performers.
In 1998, the Moulin d’Andé created a world-class centre dedicated to cinematographic writing, the Céci, which today has more than 400 projects supported and many artists hosted in residence. Rati Tsiteladze, EFA Short Film Nominee 2018, was one of the winners in 2018.
This is from where the first Hungarian steam train departed on 15 July 1846 to Vác, 35km up the Danube. Budapest Nyugati (Western) railway station was opened to the public in 1877. The architectural design is the work of Austrian architect August W. de Serres, while the structure of the hall was designed by Theofil Seyrig, working for Gustav Eiffel’s engineering firm, together with Hungarian engineer Viktor Bernárdt.
Budapest Nyugati railway station is a key element of the eclectic fabric of Pest’s densely built-in inner city, and it has featured in various films. Among them is SUNSHINE (1999) by István Szabó, an epic romantic tale about one family’s secret passions, tragic betrayals and unbreakable bonds over three generations. The film won two European Film Awards – Actor for Ralph Fiennes and Screenwriter for István Szabó and Israel Horovitz.
Also partly shot here were SPY GAME (2001) by Tony Scott starring Robert Redford, Brad Pitt and Catherine McCormack and Steven Spielberg’s MUNICH (2005) about the events after Black September’s assassination of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics in 1972.
The station can also be seen in TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY (2011) by Tomas Alfredson with Gary Oldman, Colin Firth and Tom Hardy which won two European Film Awards in 2012 (Production Designer and Composer).
Old Royal Naval College
One of the most important baroque buildings in England, the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich was originally planned as a royal palace but eventually became a marine hospital , then served as Royal Naval College from 1873 to 1998.
With its four symmetrical buildings, twin cupolas and spectacular Painted Hall, the ensemble has served as a shooting location for a multitude of films.
Among these LES MISERABLES (2012) by Tom Hooper starring Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway and THE DUCHESS (2008) by Saul Dibb with Keira Knightley, Ralph Fiennes and Dominic Cooper in the leads.
Tom Hooper returned to the Old Royal Naval College for his film THE KING’S SPEECH (2010) which won three European Film Awards (Actor, Editor and the People’s Choice Award), four Oscars, seven BAFTAs, an Italian David di Donatello, a Catalan Gaudi, a Polish Eagle and a Spanish Goya.
Founded in 1988, the year of the first European Film Awards for which Parajanov was nominated as Director of the Year, the Sergei Parajanov Museum in Yerevan opened in 1991 and ever since has been dedicated to one of Europe’s most fascinating film artists.
Inventing his own cinematic style Sergei Parajanov rose to international fame with films like SAYAT NOVA (1969, also titled THE COLOUR OF POMEGRANATES), SHADOWS OF OUR ANCESTORS (1965, also titled WILD HORSES OF FIRE), THE LEGEND OF THE SURAMI FORTRESS (1985) and ASHUK-KERIB (1988, sometimes also titled THE LOVELORN MINSTREL).
Comprising some 1,600 exhibits, the museum’s collection includes installations, collages, drawings, puppets and sketches as well as personal belongings and correspondence.
Plaza de España
Originally designed and built as the main symbol for and most ambitious project of the 1929 Ibero-American Exposition world’s fair, Plaza de España is one of Seville’s most iconic locations.
With its mix of 1920s Art Deco, Neo-Renaissance, and Neo-Mudéjar styles, Plaza de España has served as the set for various films from STAR WARS to THE DICTATOR. Actors who have shot here include Vittorio de Sica, Sean Connery and, of course, Peter O’Toole.
Above all, it is forever linked to the history of cinema by its role in David Lean’s unforgettable epic LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, where it served as the English army headquarters and officers’ club in Cairo.
The Potemkin Stairs are undoubtedly one of the world’s most famous historical film locations. Sergei Eisenstein shot his masterpiece “Battleship Potemkin” 90 years ago at the Black Sea port.
The modest terraced house in London’s East End plays a central role in Mike Leigh`s SECRETS AND LIES (1996).
In the film, Hortense is a young black optometrist, living in London. She weeps at her mother’s funeral. Her father is already dead. They are her adoptive parents, and she now feels the need to try to find her birth mother.
She receives instructions to visit a social worker, who, along with some general sympathetic advice, gives her her case file. From this, Hortense discovers to her surprise and consternation that her birth mother was white.
Her mother is Cynthia, a sad, unmarried woman who works in a factory, and lives in this terrace house with her daughter Roxanne, a council road sweeper.
Ribeira do Porto
Considered one of the most emblematic areas of Porto (Portugal), the Ribeira district, located in the historical centre of the city, has been declared a world heritage site by UNESCO. Of medieval origin, it is one of the oldest areas of the city, standing out for its historical and heritage value and its picturesque scenery — a meeting point with the river Douro lined with colourful houses, wine cellars and labyrinthine side streets.
Porto’s riverside district served as the setting for many works by Portugal’s most prolific director, Manoel de Oliveira, who thus captured it for eternity on film. Decades later, the memories of Rabelo boats in DOURO, FAINA FLUVIAL (1931), with Gaia on the horizon, or the children of ANIKI-BOBÓ (1942), have endured not only in the local memory.
The affection the filmmaker had for the city in which he grew up — and in particular for the Douro River waterfront — is clear throughout his career in the cinema, not least in PORTO OF MY CHILDHOOD (2001). This documentary, filmed when the director was 93 years old, sees him casting an intimate eye over the city and his childhood recollections in a stunning tribute to Porto and its Ribeira.
Skjoldenæsholm Castle and its park have for many years been a very attractive scenery for numerous filmmakers from many different countries.
Even today’s owners’ grandfather was already a movie enthusiast. He made a movie called ONE YEAR AT SKJOLDENÆSHOLM and ran his private movie theatre in the castle (Kammerherrens Biograf).
In 1954, this beautiful place was used in the military movie KONGENS KLÆR.
Throughout the years, the castle has been used in many movies. The most famous one is probably Thomas Vinterberg’s THE CELEBRATION (Festen) from 1998. This was a very memorable experience for everyone at Skjoldenæsholm. The whole family was involved in the making of the movie, finding requisites and being extras. The film won the Special Jury Prize in Cannes, a European Film Award (Discovery) and it was the big winner at the Danish Robert Awards, winning seven awards, among them Best Film, Screenplay, Actor, Cinematography and Editing.
In the years 2003-2007, Skjoldenæsholm was used in the Danish drama series KRØNIKEN.
Since then, Skjoldenæsholm is regularly used in many different types of TV series and reality shows.
In its hundred-year-long cinematic history, the streets, city walls and palaces of Dubrovnik have provided inspiration to numerous filmmakers. Dubrovnik’s well-preserved and unique architectural harmony, particularly its main pedestrian street, Stradun (today’s appearance of which dates back to the 17th century), offer an abundance of filmic expressions.
Thus, the cavalry of the Mexican army passes down Stradun in the Euro-western, THE TASTE OF VIOLENCE by Robert Hossein (1961), while some time later the Fascist occupation army does the same in the Yugoslav film OCCUPATION IN 26 PICTURES by Lordan Zafranovic (1978), based on historical events of World War II. With minimal modifications, Stradun is easily transformed into Goya’s Madrid (GOYA, OR THE HARD PATH OF KNOWLEDGE by Konrad Wolf, 1971) or papal Rome (THE POPE MUST DIE by Peter Richardson, 1991).
It is also frequented by well-known superheroes, in CAPTAIN AMERICA by Albert Pyun (1990), and the somewhat less famous but equally successful ones in THE THREE FANTASTIC SUPERMEN by Gianfranco Parolini (1967). In more recent times, thanks to the growing popularity of Dubrovnik as a filming location, spacecrafts from a distant galaxy have flown over the city’s central street (STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI by Rian Johnson, 2017), while rebels led by Robin Hood have march down it (ROBIN HOOD: ORIGINS by Otto Bathurst, 2018). All of them have been drawn by the warmth and the light of Stradun, Dubrovnik’s living room, where everyone feels welcome and at home.
Studio Babelsberg is the oldest large-scale studio complex in the world. Since 1912 film history has been made here. Countless renowned filmmakers have worked with Studio Babelsberg to create legendary films.
On 12 February 1912, in a glass-house atelier, shooting began on Urban Gad’s silent movie DER TOTENTANZ starring Asta Nielsen..The former factory complex located just outside of Berlin soon became a vibrant centre of the silent film production producing classics such as THE GOLEM (1915) by Paul Wegener and Henrik Galeen, the legendary NOSFERATU (1922) by F.W. Murnau, and Fritz Lang’s DOKTOR MABUSE (1922). Babelsberg was also home to the world’s first movie stars: Henny Porten, Lilian Harvey, Pola Negri and Paul Wegener.
The now called “Marlene-Dietrich-Halle” was built for the large-scale production of ‘the mother of all science-fiction films’ METROPOLIS. Directors such as Fritz Lang or Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau became regulars on the lot and created masterpieces such as DIE NIBELUNGEN (1924), FAUST (1926) and THE LAST LAUGH (1924). A young Alfred Hitchcock worked here as assistant director to learn the trade. Karl Freund revolutionized the international cinematography with the invention of the “unchained camera” technique.
The next chapter in cinema history was marked in Babelsberg in 1929 with the setting-up of the first sound-film studio in Europe, the “Tonkreuz”. MELODY OF THE HEART (1929) by Hanns Schwarz, starring Willy Fritsch, was Germany’s first full-length feature film with sound from start to finish. This was followed up in 1930 with the first screening of Josef von Sternberg’s THE BLUE ANGEL by Josef von Sternberg starring Marlene Dietrich and Emil Jannings.
After the Nazis’ accession to power in 1933, a number of Nazi propaganda films were made under the auspices of the “Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda.” Filmmakers such as Josef von Sternberg, Fritz Lang, Ernst Lubitsch, Billy Wilder and stars such as Marlene Dietrich would leave Germany to try their luck in Hollywood. During this era, the main task of Babelsberg Studios was the production of entertainment films designed to distract German audiences from war-related difficulties.
After World War II, it didn’t take long before the studio got a new lease on life. The German-Soviet corporation DEFA (Deutsche Film AG) was founded. The studio became the exclusive venue of feature film production in the GDR and soon advanced – with roughly 2,500 employees – to become the largest employer in the region. From 1946 to 1990, the studio saw the production of more than 1,200 feature films and TV films of various artistic and political orientations, including THE COLD HEART (1950) by Paul Verhoeven, THE SUBJECT (1951) by Wolfgang Staudte, TRACE OF STONES (1966) by Frank Beyer, THE LEGEND OF PAUL AND PAULA (1973) and COMING OUT (1989), both by Heiner Carow . In 1976, JAKOB DER LÜGNER became the only GDR film to be nominated for an Oscar.
After the Fall of the Wall and German unification, the studio expanded and pushed forward the internationalization of the site’s production services. Among the films produced in Babelsberg since are THE READER, THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM and Quentin Tarantino’s INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS.
Among the most successful films and series made in Babelsberg are THE INTERNATIONAL (2009), THE GHOST WRITER (2010), UNKNOWN (2011), HANNA (2011), THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL (2014), THE MONUMENTS MEN (2014), THE BOOK THIEF (2013), THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY (2015), BRIDGE OF SPIES (2015), CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR (2016), HOMELAND (2016), A CURE FOR WELLNESS (2016), and many more.
In 2012, Studio Babelsberg celebrated its 100th anniversary.
Between the 1950s and 2020, more than 300 films have been shot in the Tabernas Desert in the Spanish province of Almeria. Its great natural settings are most famous for the so-called “Spaghetti Western” films of the 60s and 70s.
The central figure of this golden age of the European Western was Sergio Leone with his mythical Dollars Trilogy that brought Clint Eastwood to international fame with A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS (1964), FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE (1965) and THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY (1966). This was followed by Leone’s ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST and Edward Dmytryk’s SHALAKO (both 1968), 100 RIFLES by Tom Gries (1969), EL CONDOR by John Guillermin (1970) and RED SUN by Terence Young (1971), and many, many others, among them some from the Bud Spencer and Terence Hill saga.
The desert has also been the setting for major international productions such as LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (1962), CLEOPATRA (1963), CONAN THE BARBARIAN (1982), INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE (1989) or EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS (2014), as well as series such as DOCTOR WHO, BLACK MIRROR or GAME OF THRONES.
Among more recent productions are 800 BULLETS by Álex de la Iglesia (2002), Jan Kounen’s RENEGADE (2003), Philippe Haïm’s LUCKY LUKE AND THE DALTONS (2004) or Jacques Audiard’s THE SISTERS BROTHERS (2018).
On the other hand, Tabernas hosts the Almería Western Film Festival, the only one of its kind in Europe that annually gathers amateurs and professionals in relation to the Western, highlighting the environment of the desert as a cinema destination, for tourism and for the film industry.
The Notting Hill Bookshop
Unforgettable for its central role in the British comedy NOTTING HILL (1999) by Roger Michell, The Notting Hill Bookshop still sells books.
In the film, William Thacker (Hugh Grant) lives in Notting Hill in West London. Divorced, he thinks of himself as living a ‘strange half-life’ – he shares his house with a bizarre, unshaven Welshman named Spike (Rhys Ifans), and owns a distinctly unsuccessful travel bookshop on Portobello Road.
Arriving at the bookshop one day, William settles down to ‘just another hopeless Wednesday’. And then the door opens quietly. William looks up and is stunned to recognise his new customer as Anna Scott (Julia Roberts), the world’s most famous movie star. She buys a book, they exchange a word or two – and she leaves. That’s it.
Well, not quite …
Lying on a peninsula, with the ocean as a backdrop, the magnificent Tjolöholm Castle in Tudor style is a rare and rather unexpected British experience on the Swedish west coast, 40 kilometres south of Gothenburg.
It has been the location for many movies during its over one hundred years existence. From a couple of silent movies in 1917-1926 while the castle was still the home of a wealthy family, to several productions, Swedish, Scandinavian, and European, in the 21st century. Directors like Tomas Alfredson, Joachim Rønning and recently Björn Runge have attended the estate.
Primarily though, in a cinematic context, the castle is mostly associated with Lars von Triers apocalyptic and hauntingly beautiful film MELANCHOLIA, where the castle and its surroundings offers a carefully chosen scenography to evoke the right melancholy feeling that runs like a red thread through the film.
Tjolöholm is now a beautiful destination open all-year with a fairy-tale castle in original condition, Arts & Crafts inspired gardens, and a diverse countryside with ancient oak forests, coastal meadows, and deciduous woodlands.
The monumental Trevi Fountain (Fontana di Trevi) stands on Piazza di Trevi in front of Palazzo Poli in Rome. Built 1732–1762 by architect Nicola Salvi for Pope Clement XIII, it is considered a Baroque masterpiece.
The fountain features in countless films and music videos, among them ROMAN HOLIDAY (1953) and SABRINA GOES TO ROME (1998). The tradition of throwing coins into the fountain became popular with the American film THREE COINS IN THE FOUNTAIN (1954) by Jean Negulesco.
Undoubtedly, it gained its cult status in Federico Fellinis LA DOLCE VITA (1960). In the film, Italian tabloid journalist Marcello Rubini (Marcello Mastroianni) and Swedish superstar-actress Sylvia (Anita Ekberg) take a nightly bath in the fountain.
One of the most emblematic scenes in film history, this has contributed to a large part to the fountain’s popularity with lovers and tourists alike. It is said that 3,000 Euros are thrown into the fountain each day.
Vienna Giant Ferris Wheel
On the occasion of the 250th anniversary of the world-famous Prater park in Vienna the European Film Academy (EFA) awarded the park’s Giant Ferris Wheel, known for its appearance in Carol Reed’s classic THE THIRD MAN with Orson Welles, the title “Treasure of European Film Culture”.
The World of Tonino Guerra
The World of Tonino Guerra (Il mondo di Tonino Guerra) is the name chosen by the poet himself for the space hosting his artistic work. While it does refer to a museum space, it is also a space that exceeds the very idea of a museum, as it is intended as a lively place where people meet, discuss and work.
Located in Pennabilli on Via dei Fossi, in the basement of the fourteenth-century oratory of Santa Maria della Misericordia, it is by no means a coincidence that the building is also the seat of the cultural association that bears his name (established in 2005).
Besides presenting a museum space, this is the place where Tonino Guerra’s works are presented, where he held lectures on screenwriting, staged his reading theatre, met students and, thanks to the archive and library (of books, videos and photos), it is also a moment of study and analysis of both his work and the context in which it originated and developed.
Through the knowledge and appreciation of Guerra’s art, the association offers an extensive cultural programme that also promotes the territory of several provinces and regions, and that interacts with the institutions, bodies and associations operating within it, thus providing a cultural aspect of European and international character.
The world of Tonino Guerra is not only of cultural and artistic value, but also a major touristic attraction, capable of being a driving force for the cultural and economic development of a region of its own character.
The White Tower was built in the fifteenth century after the fall of Thessaloniki to the Ottomans in 1430. At its location there had been an older tower belonging to Thessaloniki’s Byzantine fortifications, where the eastern wall met the sea wall. Over the years, it was referred to by various names and it was in 1883 that the tower was painted white and given the name “White Tower”.
In time it became the symbol of Thessaloniki, since from 1911 it stood by itself on the seacoast following the demolition of the sea and eastern walls and its surrounding wall.
Thessaloniki was the filming location of LANDSCAPE IN THE MIST by Theo Angelopoulos, a master stylist, a world-acclaimed film auteur and Greece’s most prominent director of the post-1968 era.
LANDSCAPE IN THE MIST won numerous awards including the Silver Lion at the 1988 Venice Film Festival and the European Film Award for Best Film 1989.
It could be subtitled a “documentary fairy tale,” for the focus is on children, and the stark realism of the locations and landscapes documents the reality of their journey.