Cloud Atlas puts Glasgow on the Map

Cloud Atlas, which has its first UK public screening at GFF, isn't the only big release this year to have used Glasgow as a filming location

Feature by Nicola Balkind | 17 Feb 2013
  • Cloud Atlas

The heavily anticipated Cloud Atlas is set to receive its first UK screening at Glasgow Film Festival this weekend. Star James D'Arcy will be in attendance to promote the film, a collaboration between the box office bothering Wachowski siblings and Run Lola Run director Tom Tykwer. Adapted from David Mitchell’s best-selling novel, the film is set across many centuries and worldy locations, and boasts turns from a plethora of the planet's most popular actors.

It's no coincidence that the movie should debut in Glasgow, as one of its myriad segments was shot in the city during 2011, the year that saw three big name productions pass through the city, all of which are based on novels and due for imminent release. World War Z, starring Brad Pitt and hundreds of Glaswegian zombie extras, transformed George Square into an apocalyptic Philadelphia. The adaptation of Scottish resident Michel Faber’s Under the Skin, meanwhile, set Scarlett Johansson loose in a variety of local spots. 

The production of Cloud Atlas presented the city centre’s financial district south of Blythswood Square and around Montrose Street as 1970s San Francisco. Its steep hills and unassuming architecture provide the perfect backdrop for the vintage cars and trucks seen idling in nearby car parks along the south-west corner of the city centre. For audience members, spilling out of the GFT onto the set of the film will surely be a unique experience.

During the shooting, Halle Berry and Jim Broadbent were spotted enjoying their leisure time in the city, though little was seen of the shy and retiring co-directors. A truly international production, Glasgow can't take full responsibility for Cloud Atlas' aesthetics but there's no denying it has made yet another strong addition to its growing resumé as a prime filmmaking location.


Cinema City: Glasgow's Film Locations
Saturday 23 February (17.00), Free
Celebrate the book launch of World Film Locations: Glasgow by joining this discussion of our Cinema City. World Film Locations series editor Gabriel Solomons, Glasgow volume editor Nicola Balkind and other contributors will be present to reflect on the city's heritage as a haven for filmmakers and film-lovers alike, as well as its growing capital within Hollywood. 


Living Apart Together
Sunday 24 February (13:15)
A screening of Glasgow-set Living Apart Together, restored and re-released by Park Circus, will coincide with the book launch for World Film Locations: Glasgow. The book will be introduced by editors Nicola Balkind and Gabriel Solomons at this event.

CLOUD ATLAS: 17 FEB – GFT 1 @ 19.15; 8 FEB – GFT1 @ 3.15