A LITTLE FLIGHT READING
FILM AND TV LOCATIONS: A SPOTTER’S GUIDE Laurence Phelan
(Lonely Planet, $14.99)
This is the guide book of my dreams, but of the City of Dreams, Los Angeles, there is little. It’s all about the world’s top spots for memorable film and TV scenes, not the studios where the hard yakka is done. Close to Hollywood, however, you’ll want to stargaze at Griffith Observatory where James Dean goes on a school trip in Rebel Without a Cause and, in homage, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone dance their hearts out in La La Land.
Further north in California, search out The Potter Schoolhouse in Bodega, where those avian horrors in Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds perched on a children’s climbing frame. Why doesn’t everyone just head out of town? Hitch a ride with Thelma & Louise perhaps, although hop out before their final destination, which is not the Grand Canyon, but Dead Horse Point State Park in Utah.
These 100 or so listings (an index would be helpful) cover the globe and beyond — travel to Wadi Rum in Jordan if you’re in the mood for Mars (as in The Martian, Red Planet and Last Days on Mars); key scenes in Lawrence of Arabia were filmed here too. Enjoying series three of Broadchurch? You’ll find those stark cliffs in West Bay, Dorset. And for real movie nuts, a visit to Odessa Steps in Odessa, Ukraine, is a must. Here, the guide claims, “much of the grammar of action cinema was invented” in Battleship Potemkin (1925). Think jackboots marching down stairs, an army firing on the people and a runaway pram.