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Sunday, October 16, 2005

Leytonstone London Underground Hitchcock Mosaics and quiz

Little Known London Underground Pictures - part one

I'd be meaning to go to see the Hitchcock mosaics at Leytonstone Tube station for some time to take proper pictures of them. I last snapped some about 18 months ago in a very rushed lunch hour and they were a bit rubbish. So, me and
Neil (yes, before this post is filled with speculative comments about our relationship - we are going out with each other) trotted Eastwards yesterday to snap pictures here, at Postman's Park and also at a fascinating and enormous Roman Catholic cemetary in Leyton too (pictures to follow another day).

As it's the London Film Festival too, this post seems relevant. One of the world's greatest film directors, Alfred Hitchcock, was born in Leytonstone in the East End of London in 1899 and in 2001 a series of mosaics illustrating his life and scenes from films were installed at Leytonstone Tube Station. It's a crime that more people don't know about them really, and also a crime that the lighting is shite, as most of them are in the subway underpass beneath the road.

But if you fancy going over there one day, and can stand all the people of Leytonstone rushing past hardly noticing them, you're in for a treat.

When you come out of the ticket hall you see this image of Hitchcock directing:

Hitchcock Leytonstone London Underground Mosaics - from ticket hall


You might then want to nip quickly outside to see how the people of Leystonstone see the mosaics from various entrances:

Hitchcock Leytonstone London Underground Mosaics - Outside

Hitchcock Leytonstone London Underground Mosaics - Outside

Hitchcock Leytonstone London Underground Mosaics - Outside


There's a brilliantly flamboyant mosaic of Hitchcock with Marelene Dietrich, which is my favourite non-film scene one:

Hitchcock Leytonstone London Underground Mosaics - Hitch & Dietrich


The others are all mainly ones from his best films, including Psycho and The Birds, but I thought it might be fun to see, if you can guess which films they are from. There's no prizes, just the satisfaction of seeing how well you know your Hitch! Only guess ONE FILM each please (with apologies to Diamond Geezer & his quizzes).

So here goes:

1. Yellow & Blue - I love the colours in this

Hitchcock Leytonstone London Underground Mosaics - Yellow Blue Scene


2. Surveillance camera - Like the way there's a London Underground surveillance camera sign next to this one of a man clearly up to no good on the rooftops:

Hitchcock Leytonstone London Underground Mosaics - Thief & Surveillance Camera


3. Plane Chase - I suppose this one is fairly obvious:

Hitchcock Leytonstone London Underground Mosaics - Plane Chase Scene


4. Merry go round scene - I deliberately left the man dashing by on this shot as it helps to emphasise the movement in the original film

Hitchcock Leytonstone London Underground Mosaics - Merry Go Round Scene


5. James Stewart wheelchair - fab film which Christopher Reeve did a re-make of:

Hitchcock Leytonstone London Underground Mosaics - James Stewart


6. Glowing Milk - another fantastic film with some great cinematic techniques:

Hitchcock Leytonstone London Underground Mosaics - Glowing Milk


7. French & Saunders - you can imagine them parodying this:

Hitchcock Leytonstone London Underground Mosaics - French & Saunders would have parodied well


8. Car Chase - yet another classic car scene

Hitchcock Leytonstone London Underground Mosaics - Car Chase


9. Bar Scene - with Hitchcock doing his usual cameo background walk on

Hitchcock Leytonstone London Underground Mosaics - Henry Fonda


10. Car 25 - it's the last one to guess!

Hitchcock Leytonstone London Underground Mosaics - Car 25


And just cos they are so brill here are Psycho and The Birds:

Hitchcock Leytonstone London Underground Mosaics - Pyscho

Hitchcock Leytonstone London Underground Mosaics - The Birds


Enjoy "the quiz" and try to get to see them yourself if you can as there are sixteen mosaics altogether and I haven't shown all of them.


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