Brick Lane

Tinsel Town, SW8

Heads up to @stockwellnews for the doing the digging and finding out why a fake shop front has been built in its entirety outside The Oval tube. As per usual around these parts, my little patch of South London is being pimped out as a filming location for the meeja dahhhlings.

Scenes for London Boulevard, a gangster movie starring Ray Winstone, Kiera Knightley, Anna Friel and David Thewlis are being filmed just where Hanover Gardens meet Clap’ham Road at the Oval.

And so a different day, same old film shoot (although at least the edgy, urban environment isn’t being used to film The Bill, as is usually the case.)

If you fancy a chance SE11 encounter with Mss Knighley, a half pint of lager shandy at the nearby Greyhound may be a good starting point. This is where the assembled caravans of the film crew are currently parked.

If you don’t manage a tete-a-tete with a genuine A-lister, then you’ll probably be stuck with an afternoon with the grim-faced security guy geezer, who hasn’t shifted from his post in the past twelve hours. I don’t think the bib-wearing Chuckle Brother is the leading support actor, either.

As for the shop front itself – is it permanent? One would certainly hope not, seeing as though it adds little architectural significance to an area not exactly know as an outpouring of aesthetic value. But it is very real, built out of y’know, proper bricks, ‘n all that.

I was impressed with the authenticity, if not the artistic taste. The mock computer repair store even has pretend (I think?) postcards in the window, advertising the ‘specialist’ services of a selection of local ladies. Blimey. That’s what happens when @lambeth_council pimps out your local pavement.

Speaking of which – I presume some money changed hands for the venture? And where exactly is that money then channelled? Hopefully in the direction of the locals who have been inconvenienced for the past couple of days. A bunch of camera shy A-listers taking refuge in a grotty caravan outside an even grottier backstreet boozer is a right pain in the backside.

Ah, yes – the laborious nature of shooting a film; 99% of your time is spent bitching backstage, with the remaining time being spent being a bitch in front of camera. It’s a pain-staking slow process, and all for what? A few minutes for a crappy gangster flick with some A-list slapper, who can’t wait to bugger off back to West London.

You could make a film about it.

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