Friday, 29 January 2010

19 - Children of Men & The Bourne Woods

So my post yesterday got me thinking about how much I love Children of Men. It's gritty, believable sci-fi shot in the most fluid of ways; definitely one of my favourite films of the last decade.

The film is crammed full of long single-shot sequences that are a feat of co-ordination and film-making expertise. The best, in my opinion, is the scene where Theo and the others are ambushed in their car.

They're driving down the road, talking and laughing, and then suddenly a flaming cars rolls in the way and everything changes. The upbeat tempo becomes one of sheer panic and frenetic energy. The continuous shot, which required a specially built car, makes the transition oh so more jerking and powerful.

It's choreographed beautifully. A mass of people pouring down from both sides of the road attack the car as Luke (played by the amazing Chiwetel Ejiofor) reverses away as quickly as possible. It's pure cinematic beauty.

What makes the scene that little bit more special is that is was filmed two minutes down the road from my house, in The Bourne Woods. The section of road used is closed off on both sides, making it perfect for the logistical nightmare that was shooting that scene.

The Bourne Woods has now become a huge film location and was used for the opening twenty minutes of Gladiator. It's since been used for Band of Brothers, Ultimate Force, Coldplay's The Scientist, Robin Hood (2010), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, The Wolf Man (2009). If you're ever near Farnham (and I'm not entirely sure why anyone ever would be) it's definitely worth checking out.

Beneath is a snap I took of the road as it usually looks. Below it is another of Ridley Scott's upcoming Robin Hood.

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