Old movies: Chiswick in film

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Our old movies column returns – this time we take a look at some films shot in Chiswick, and being showcased at the Chiswick In Film Festival.

London has been a home of movie-making for years. Throughout history, it’s been used as a filming location for so many of our favourite movies. Of course, by now you’re already used to the familiar scenes of Westminster, Piccadilly Circus, the London Eye, and Buckingham Palace (shown in quick succession of one another with The Clash’s London Calling blaring out). Then you have Greenwich Naval College for all your period dramas, Camden if you are feeling indie, and Soho for those blossoming rom-coms.

Well, a little-known location nestled in the West has been a filming location for some pretty incredible movies – Chiswick! To celebrate its indelible mark on moviemaking, Chiswick In Film Festival is hosting a series of incredible films this very weekend!

So what classic films can you enjoy?

Opening the weekend is the absolutely unmissable The Servant (1963).

Written by Harold Pinter and starring Dirk Bogarde and Sarah Miles, this scathing damnation of class power structures is an absolute must see. The film revolves around Tony, an upper-class gentleman who hires Hugo Barrett for the titular role. However, Barrettt has seemingly a hidden agenda. This psychological study and power play are absolutely entrancing thanks to a terrific central performance by Dirk Bogarde.

One special note to mention – The Servant, directed by Joseph Losey, has some beautiful mirror shots that come into play over the course of the film. It will be kicking off the film festival at Chiswick Cinema on Friday 30th September.

We may all be talking about recent (and contentious) film release Don’t Worry Darling, but head back almost fifty years to enjoy the beautiful British romantic drama of a similar name, Darling (1965).

Directed by John Schlesinger and featuring the wonderful Julie Christie, the film revolves around a young model named Diana Scott (Christie) However, she gets easily bored which leads her to toying with two older men – married news presenter Robert (played once again by the glorious Dirk Bogarde) and PR manager Miles Laurence Harvey. Whilst Diana enjoys this lifestyle, the darker heart of fame and fortune start to seep in.

Darling was nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director. It won Best Actress for Julie Christie, thanks to her sensitive and engrossing performance, as well as Best Story & Screenplay and Best Costume Design – Black & White.

Darling will be screening as part of the festival on Sunday 2nd of October, followed by a Q&A.

If you are looking for more recent films that have that Chiswick connection, then you can also enjoy Misbehaviour and Maudie on Saturday 1st October, and  Gnomeo And Juliet and Downton Abbey: A New Era on Sunday 2nd October.

You can find out more about the festival, right here.

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