Summer puts us in a literary mood. There is nothing like lingering along the banks of the Danube, taking an ice-coffee in one of Budapest’s grand cafes, or sitting in the City Park, all with a favorite companion: a book. Continuing on with last week’s literary theme, we have a look at the pioneering female writer, Colette, who was the subject of the biopic that bears her name — shot mostly in Budapest, naturally.
Filmed in 2017 in Budapest and England, and released in 2018, the film examines the life of writer and performer, and 1948 Nobel Prize nominee, Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette. Despite being the first woman to be considered for the prize, her literary career began with a less lofty body of work. Indeed, she was the author of numerous autobiographical erotic works, deemed to be pornographic at the time. Later she worked as a journalist, which was also rare for a woman at the time, as was her later life choice of same-sex partners.
The film brought Keira Knightly to Budapest for a spell. As Capital Reviewer reports: “Mostly, the film is shot in rural Northamptonshire and Oxfordshire and Budapest. The later goes some way in justifying the claim that Budapest is the “Paris of the East” (as it is the “Brussels of the East” in ITV’s Vanity Fair). In fact, Budapest’s Champs Elysées is known as Andrassy and it has its own Moulin Rouge. The roll of Magyar names in the credits shows the considerable contribution by a Hungarian crew.” The actress herself was spotted multiple times taking in the city on her days off, indulging fans with selfies.
In an extensive interview with Yahoo News, Colette the Production Designer touts the spectacular locations to be found in Budapest. His favorite location turned out to be the The Express building, in the 5th District. “The extraordinary, crumbling old Navy headquarters on Zoltan Utca—yes, Hungary once had a navy and a sea coast!—provided us with a café, a Strasbourg hotel, some fantastic staircases, a theater entrance, a bit of a street, and an apartment. And we hardly scratched the surface. Across the street is the old stock exchange that is heavily featured in the film Blade Runner.” He goes on to praise locations on Andrássy Avenue, and the sound stages at Origo Studios.
Colette was highly praised, popular with audiences, and nominated for multiple British Independent Film Awards. Moreover, it once again proved Budapest to be the most versatile city around for dynamic locations, no matter what era, or location is called for. You can see how skillfully this was accomplished in the Colette trailer below, which features multiple locations around the city. Or, if you are in Budapest, just pick up a copy of Colette’s work at Budapest’s famous bookstore, Írók Boltja (The Writers’ Store) and experience Budapest with this pioneering, original writer as your constant companion.
Flatpack Films has many years of experience dedicated to offering expert servicing. It has brought the best of Hungary to countless brands, agencies, and production companies through its unique locations, exceptionally skilled crews, top of the line equipment and technical solutions. Backed by an impeccable track record, Flatpack Films has worked with world-class clients including Samsung, Samsonite, Toyota, Braun, Chivas Regal and many more - bringing their projects to life through a highly bespoke approach.