Tag Archives: liverpool street

London in films – why don’t they get it right?

I went to see the new Clint Eastwood movie ‘Hereafter’ at the weekend. I knew nothing about the film before seeing it, I was just in one of those ‘why not catch a movie’ moods and was passing the cinema… I saw that Clint had directed it, so that was enough.

And it was OK, quite an enjoyable film. Matt Damon is getting better as he gets older and Clint is having something of a renaissance in his twilight years. Of course, being about the afterlife you need to suspend disbelief and assume that there really is a place you go when you die that is all bright lights and people floating around in eternal happiness… but apart from the ‘Ghost’-like plot devices, it all works quite well.

But, being a Londoner I was appalled by some glaring issues with the film. And this is just from sitting there watching it, not scouring the web for bloopers.

1. Since when did Virgin Atlantic fly direct from Thailand to France?

2. The London Book Fair at Alexandra Palace? It’s always been at Olympia, except for the past few years where it has been at Earl’s Court, but never at Ally Pally.

3. Liverpool Street Station is featured in the film, but re-badged as “Charing Cross Station” – why?

The last time I noticed so many misrepresentations of London in a film was in ’28 Days Later’ where the geography of London was all over the place and it’s annoying for locals when surely the filmmaker doesn’t need to do it? Or am I being naive and ignoring the need to scrape together product placement dollars wherever they can be found?
Phoenix Cinema

Flashmob for Michael Jackson

Anyone who has seen some of the flashmob videos online can’t fail to have been impressed. The recent ads by T-mobile at Liverpool St and Trafalgar Square show what big corporates can do when they play with the concept – the MC Hammer one also being fun. The frozen statues at Grand Central Station and Trafalgar Square are possibly the best examples I’ve seen of flashmobs just organised from the ground up.

So last Friday, as the world was digesting the news that Michael Jackson had died on Thursday, I was interested to see messages flying around Twitter saying that there would be a mass moonwalking session at Liverpool St station at 6pm that evening.

That sounded like fun. I went along to see what was going to happen, but this time it was not so well organised. Someone did bring some music along and do a bit of dancing, but they can’t have guessed that so many people would show up. The police had to shut off large sections of the station, just for safety, and they were forcing the moonwalk enthusiasts to go outside rather than loiter inside the station.

I shot this video as I walked through the crowd. Clearly it’s not very interesting, but I wanted to capture the moment. To show that a few messages on Twitter resulted in thousands of people coming to Liverpool St all at the same time to pay their respects to Michael Jackson – or just to have fun and see what was going to happen.

With a bit of organisation, flashmobs can be impressive. It’s a shame that whoever started this one didn’t think that it might be hard to get a very large crowd to all start moonwalking without a serious PA system and some big video screens…