While watching Lizard in a Woman’s Skin today I noticed what I have come to call a Bridget Jones Moment. These moments are so named in our house due to my complaints when watching Bridget Jones’ Diary with the wife some years ago. Just having to watch it at all was reason enough to complain I hear you yell and of course you’d be right. However, all married men on the forum will know that sometimes such sacrifices have to be made for the greater good and when these times arise you just have to hold your tongue, think happy thoughts and take one for the team. I have become pretty adept at this over the years but couldn’t contain my annoyance when, during a montage scene of Bridget walking to work in the morning, I was confronted with a geographically nonsensical sequence that made me wonder if the makers of the film had ever actually set foot in London. (the setting of the film) Fundamentally, she took a happy stroll that involved every other tourist landmark and would have taken her best part of a day to make in reality as well as crossing the river twice and ending up 15 minutes walk from where she started. I daresay that if you are not a Londoner this would pass you by unnoticed and it got me thinking how often it happens in Films set in places I am less familiar with and which I don’t pick up on. So, working on the basis that we are a community spread all over the globe I wondered if there was anyone else out there who has had similar moments when watching movies.
To give you an idea of what I mean here are some screenies from Lizard in a Woman’s Skin that illustrate the phenomena.
A Police detective and his assistant are called to a murder scene in Belgrave Square, Mayfair. A uniformed officer in the front seat of their car reports into the radio that they are in Lambeth Palace Road and will be there in 10 minutes. Cue establishing shot confirming their position driving down Lambeth Palace Road. The Thames is on their left so they are clearly (this is my city so trust me on this) travelling eastwards and are south of the river.
They then show up in Trafalgar Square. This is north of the river, but quite proper if they are heading for Mayfair. Especially as they have the square to their right and are therefore heading northwest.
But what’s this? Now they are crossing Tower Bridge which is at the far end of the city to the east from where they had just been and in the total opposite direction to the way they were heading as well as taking them back south of the river again! Presumably there was a cut scene where Stanley Baker got back on the radio and said something along the lines of “Estimated time of arrival changed to an hour and a half as our driver is a fucking idiot!”
So you get the idea. I’m wondering how many films I have been watching with scenes in Amsterdam, Munich, Lisbon and Vienna where the film makers take the same sort of geographical liberties for the sake of showing the glamorous location and toss directional logic to the wind without my noticing but while bugging the hell out of a native?
Feel free to vent your spleen.