Oxford’s Cinematic history

At the beginning of this module we were given a topic that expressed the relationship between the city and the media, and the choice of city, which would be used as reference for said topic. My group was given the cinematic city as our topic and we chose the city of Oxford as the basis for our analysis. At the beginning we concentrated on finding films (or at least notable scenes) that were filmed in the city. We also assigned each other various tasks to cover. I was assigned to collect a list of films and/or scenes, which were shot in Oxford.

A number of films are listed as having been filmed (or least some scenes) in the city of Oxford, these include: Children of Men, A Fish Called Wanda, Greystoke, The Legend Of Tarzan, Lord Of The Apes, Octopussy and etc(Movie-locations.com, 2015).

Among the various titles that emerged one in particular stood out from the rest was the Harry Potter franchise. Oxford’s historic buildings and architecture lent themselves well to the aesthetic themes of the Harry Potter series. This has made the city a hotspot for tourism for fans of the franchise looking to discover where the various scenes of the film were shot. This not just limited to film as the series Inspector Morse and Downton Abbey are also highlighted to attract tourism.

This gives me the impression that the city of Oxford is one that is primarily represented by it’s heritage buildings. The city’s tourist guide system appears to support this through what filming locations they advertise to potential consumers. For example these screenshots from a tourist website(Visitoxfordandoxfordshire.com, 2015):

Screen Shot 2015-03-06 at 12.31.33

Harry Potter (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, 2005)

Screen Shot 2015-03-06 at 12.35.55

Downton Abbey (Downton Abbey, 2010)

Screen Shot 2015-03-06 at 12.36.23


Downton Abbey, (2010). [TV programme] ITV: ITV.

Johnny English. (2003). [film] UK: Peter Howitt.

Movie-locations.com, (2015). Films made in Oxfordshire. [online] Available at: http://www.movie-locations.com/places/uk/oxford.html#.VPmhHGRHB8M [Accessed 6 Mar. 2015].

Visitoxfordandoxfordshire.com, (2015). Discover Oxford and Oxfordshire. [online] Available at: http://www.visitoxfordandoxfordshire.com/ [Accessed 6 Mar. 2015].

Visitoxfordandoxfordshire.com, (2015). Downton Abbey. [online] Available at: http://www.visitoxfordandoxfordshire.com/see-and-do/downton_abbey.aspx [Accessed 6 Mar. 2015].

Visitoxfordandoxfordshire.com, (2015). Harry Potter. [online] Available at: http://www.visitoxfordandoxfordshire.com/see-and-do/harry_potter.aspx [Accessed 6 Mar. 2015].


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