27 February 2012

Sydney on Screen

Two Hands
Two Hands is one of Australia’s best crime films, featuring a young Health Ledger in the lead role. The movie focussed on Health Ledger’s character Jimmy entering the underground criminal world centred around Kings Cross. During the day Kings Cross is a charming tree lined street full of independent coffee shops, restaurants and boutique stores. At night it turns into a vibrant neon lit street full of bars, club and pubs. It has become one of Sydney’s most popular destinations for young locals and tourists, particularly backpackers.

Bondi Beach, Sydney
One of turning points of the film was filmed at Bondi Beach when Jimmy, while waiting to deliver a pile of cash decided to go swimming – but of course while in the water the money was stolen. Bondi Beach is world famous for its glitzy bars, bronzed bodies and large summer crowds. The beach is popular with both locals and tourists from across the world.

Filming of the movie also took place in the historic The Rocks, underneath the Sydney Harbour Bridge. This historic area is a former colony formation, which is still evident in the sandstone buildings from which the area got its name. Its history is coloured with gang activity and the bubonic plague but has now been some what gentrified and offers a range of dining options, gift shops, pubs and boutique shops including a few designer stores. On the weekends the Rocks Market offers up to 100 stores with souvenirs, crafts and street food. The area is home to Museum of Contemporary Art and historic walks through the alleys and first settlement buildings including Cadman’s Cottage, built in 1816.

The Rocks, Sydney
Haymarket is home to the largest Chinatown in Australia and set the scene for Jimmy and Alex’s (Rose Byrne) first date and romantic monorail ride. The monorail offers great views over the city and allows easy travel between Paddy Markets, Victoria Shopping Centre, Darling Harbour and the city centre.

Darling Harbour, Sydney
Muriel’s Wedding
Muriel asserts her independence when she moves from coastal Porpoise Spit (the real life Coolangatta) to Sydney. The scenes of her working in a video shop were filmed in Oxford Street, Darlinghurst. Its since become a mix of trendy boutiques, designer stores and high street chains. Macquarie Street in Parramatta is home to an array of bridal stores and is where Muriel stepped into a world of chiffon and lace to try on her dream wedding dress. The coastal suburb of Narrabeen doubled for the Heslop’s family home in fictional Porpoise Spit (real life Coolangatta, Gold Coast) with its relaxed beach vibe. 

Strictly Ballroom
Petersham Town Hall hosted the movie’s extravagant dancing scenes in its main auditorium. On the corner of Marrickville and Victoria Roads in the suburb of Marrickville is the roof top location for the moving dance scene set around a hills hoist clothes line and illuminated by a Coca Cola sign.

Mission Impossible II
Botany Bay’s Bare Island was a feature location for filming of this adventure flick. The historic military fort played home to the final thrilling motorcycle fight including a mid-air tackle between the hero and the bad guy whilst still on their bikes. The island is popular with scuba divers and with snorkelers during summer weekends. 

Also making an appearance in the film is Royal Randwick Racecourse, Elizabeth Bay plus the Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House pop up in the background of scenes.

Sailing upon Sydney Harbour
The Matrix
This instant science fiction classic was filmed at Fox Studios, with some outdoor locations filmed around the city. The Matrix training scene where Keanu Reeve’s character sees the woman in the red dress by the fountain was filmed at Martin Place, off Pitt Street. In Superman Returns Martin Place makes another appearance when Superman stops a car about to hit pedestrians and sets in down in front of the fountain. 

X-men Origins: Wolverine
The Hugh Jackman starrer was filmed in several countries, with the main sound stage filming completed at the Fox Studios in Sydney. Cockatoo Island in Sydney Harbour was used for the Stryker facility. The island is the largest in the harbour and has a colourful history including time as an imperial prison, reformatory, shipping yard and gaol. The prison buildings are World Heritage listed as part of 11 Australian Convict Sites. In 2008 the island became a camp ground and is a popular spot for visitors to enjoy fireworks on New Years Eve over Sydney Harbour. Sydney Ferry services stop at the island as part of the Woolwich/Balmain ferry route and Parramatta RiverCat route. Tourists can visit for the day for a picnic, bbq or guided tour. 

Ferry at Circular Quay
Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby
The upcoming remake starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire has been filming all around Sydney including over 2 months of shooting at the International College of Management in Manly. This incredible structure sits high above Manly peninsula with views of the Pacific Ocean to the north and Sydney Harbour to the south. The former seminary was built by the Catholic Church over a 3 year period, opening in 1889. It wasn’t until 1995 that the seminary went under major refurbishment and it became a college.

Manly Beach, Sydney
Rozelle’s former White Bay power station was transformed into the barren wastelands of ‘The Valley of Ashes’ set on the fringes of New York City for the film. A property in Mount Wilson, in the Blue Mountains doubled for Long Island, New York. Shooting of the 1920s period movie was also completed in Centennial Park and Sydney’s major port of Glebe Island.

Baz’s most recent film, Australia, filmed at both Fox Studios and on location in Sydney. Strickland House in Vaucluse doubled for Darwin’s colonial Government House. The ball sequence is well known for Drover showing up in a white suit to dance with Lady Ashley.

No comments:

Post a Comment