Central Park is an integral part of the film Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Our guests on the tour and visitors to the website have been asking us specifically about locations for the film so we’ve put together a map of locations used in the film:
You’ll see there are two scenes filmed at The Lake. One takes place on the northwest border of the lake:
Oscar (Thomas Horn) is on a scavenger hunt that his father (Tom Hanks) has sent him on. At another point in the film we see Horn and Hanks on the southern side of The Lake at a swing set that was brought in just for filming. Behind the swing set we can see The Lake and Bow Bridge.
In the second image above you can see the orange net in place because of the restoration that is still happening on the southern side of Bow Bridge. Lastly, in another moment of the scavenger hunt we see Oskar down near Wollman Rink scaling one of the park’s prominent natural rock formations.
Hopefully all you Gleeks enjoyed last night’s season premiere of Glee. Lots of romantic surprises, some shaky tryouts, and one of the New Directions gets banned from glee club. McKinley High is more determined than ever to reach Nationals this year after last year’s disappointment. You may recall that the season finale (the Nationals episode) was filmed in New York City and Central Park got its fair share of camera time.
The Central Park Mall
While they were supposed to be working on their original songs, the glee club hit the town and went to Times Square, Lincoln Center, Washington Square Park and the Central Park Mall as they sang “I Love New York/New York, New York”:
The Central Park Mall was designed as a promenade for people to come and show off their best clothes. Yes, life in the 1860s was a little different! At one point there was a gazebo at the end of the mall. On the weekends the area was full of New Yorkers listening to music.
Later in the episode, Finn returns to Central Park to meet Rachael for a “work date” which later turns into a real date. The work date begins on Bow Bridge:
It’s not the first time this gorgeous cast-iron bridge, one of the park’s last remaining original bridges, has been used in a film. It was also used in Autumn in New York, Keeping The Faith, Spiderman 3, Uptown Girls and television shows Ugly Betty, Gossip Girl, and Will and Grace. The bridge connects Cherry Hill to The Ramble and rowboats and gondolas frequent the lake below. Check it out here in the Glee-wind of the Season 2 finale.
We also found this clip of the actors filming on the bridge:
She sits high above the passersby at the end of the Central Park Mall which culminates at Bethesda Terrace. Drawn from the Gospel of St. John, the Angel of the Waters attracts more visitors than any other place in the park. Central Park is featured in over 240 feature films and many more television shows and the Bethesda Fountain that our angel sits on, is the most filmed location in the park. It was famously featured in the movie “Angels in America” based on the play of the same name by Tony Kushner.
“I think that that angel is the most beautiful angel on earth,” says Kushner in an interview with Ric Burns. “It is a very American angel. I think she has a very homespun quality. Her dress is not completely full-length. It sort of stops at her ankles. I think Emma Stebbins, the woman who sculpted her, got a lot of bad reviews when the statue was unveiled, because critics, who are always wrong about everything, said, ‘she looks like a milkmaid.’ This is not a grand beautiful angel. This is sort of a lumpy peasant girl angel. And I think that that’s true to a certain extent. It’s part of what makes her exquisite. I love this gesture as if she’s reaching out and touching something incredibly specific, and incredibly precious, and within reach.”
Kushner tells us in the film and original script that the statue commemorates those who died in the Union Army in American Civil War. This is actually incorrect. The fountain was built to celebrate the opening of the Croton Aqueduct which brings fresh water to New York City from upstate NY. In the most recent edition of Angels in America, this fact has been corrected. Here’s the closing sequence from the film which takes place at the fountain. Prior tells us how this is his favorite place in the park and explains the story of the Bethesda Fountain told in the Bible:
The upcoming Marvel blockbuster “The Avengers” shot at Bethesda Terrace in Central Park this past weekend. It seems that the location will be used for the films final action sequence. Passersby were treated to a star studded sighting including Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Stellan Skarsgard (Professor Erik Selvig) Chris Evans (Captain America), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow) and Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner). Here’s some nice video footage courtesty of Stupid Famous People: