I rarely get to the cinema these days and do most of my catching up with the latest films on the two or three long-haul flights I do every year. So it was last Spring, I found myself 33,000 above the North Atlantic Ocean, watching The Death of Stalin. The film itself was somewhat disappointing, and I was considering changing to another movie when something caught my attention. It was a scene in a study in Stalin’s quarters, in which Khrushchev (Steve Buscemi) was talking to Maria Veniaminovna Yudina (Olga Kurylenko), but it wasn’t the “drama” that caught my attention; it was the study itself.
The room was somehow familiar, and then, in following scenes set in the tyrant’s abode, I saw other rooms that I thought I recognised. However, my mild curiosity over the apparent familiarity of the movie-set for Stalin’s quarters was insufficient to maintain any interest in the alleged black comic-drama and a short while later I was watching something else.
And, until yesterday, when I began preparing my next post for this site, the film and the film-set had completely slipped from my mind. The post I was preparing was to have been a brief history of my old school, Carmel College, and my experiences as a pupil there. But, when researching some details about the Victorian mansion that I had known as School House, I made some discoveries which seemed to offer me the prospect of a more interesting piece than the one I was originally working on.
Presented below are several photographs of locations from the late Carmel College with captions describing their respective roles in 20th century British architecture; inspiring the world’s longest running play and indirectly one of the world’s most successful board games; in British Cinema; and finally, in military history…
5 thoughts on “STALIN, IN THE LIBRARY, WITH A BOUNCING BOMB – or the weird and wonderful incarnations of my old school…”
What fun for you. US cities and states often have offices that promote their locations for films, and it appears Carmel might too. Or perhaps there are past students active in the film industry.
Your might be revealing incredible perception. It’s only occurred to me now that you’ve suggested it, but I was at school with a boy named Adam Samuelson. He was the son of one of the Samuelson Lighting brothers (film geeks will know that their company was / is the biggest motion picture lighting company in the world behind thousands of films…Gandhi (1982), Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), Good Morning Vietnam (1987), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) and Howards End (1992), to name but a very few). Perhaps the Samuelson’s familiarity with Carmel College has something to do with its popularity as a film set?
What a nice and interesting place, Adam.
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Yes it was Ana. I was very fortunate to go there.