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Artist recreates Bachelor of Hearts film at Cambridge railway station



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Have you ever wanted to see your favourite film lovingly recreated shot-for-shot in the place where the magic was initially created? Well that is exactly what artist Richard DeDomenici does with his low-budget Redux Project – and now he has brought it to Cambridge.

Richard DeDomenici (left) at Cambridge Railway Station during the recreation of the 1950s film Bachelor of Hearts. Picture: Keith Heppell
Richard DeDomenici (left) at Cambridge Railway Station during the recreation of the 1950s film Bachelor of Hearts. Picture: Keith Heppell

Numerous movies and television series, including Sylvia (2003), Stuart A Life Backwards (2007), The Theory of Everything (2014), Red Joan (2018), Lovejoy (1993) and Porterhouse Blue (1987), have made use of all that Cambridge and its stunning architecture has to offer – now these are receiving the redux treatment.

Presented by CB1, in association with Commission Projects, Richard visited the city’s main railway station last Monday (June 20) to film his take on Bachelor of Hearts, a 1958 comedy starring Hardy Krüger and Sylvia Syms.

Richard DeDomenici (in blue) at Cambridge Railway Station during the recreation of the 1950s film Bachelor of Hearts. Picture: Keith Heppell
Richard DeDomenici (in blue) at Cambridge Railway Station during the recreation of the 1950s film Bachelor of Hearts. Picture: Keith Heppell
A recreation of the 1950s film Bachelor of Hearts. Picture: Keith Heppell
A recreation of the 1950s film Bachelor of Hearts. Picture: Keith Heppell

“Then we did another scene from Porterhouse Blue in Brookside, and then a couple of quick things from Stuart A Life Backwards in the city centre,” said Richard, “so we had a very productive afternoon.”

Richard often takes something of a ‘guerilla’ approach to filming, although permission has to be sought on occasion. “We tend not to have to shut down any spaces – I don’t mind if people just walk through the back of the scene,” he said.

“We tend not to cause very much disruption, and we’re very quick. Often we’re there for a minute or so and then we move along. It tends not to upset anybody!”

Richard has travelled the world recreating some of cinema’s most iconic moments, armed with as little equipment as possible. Starting at the end of May, this has been his first time filming in Cambridge.

“When I was asked to bring the project to Cambridge, I had a couple of ideas of things that were filmed in the city – actually so much has been filmed here, it was very difficult to choose. Obviously lots of stuff was on university property.

“I spoke to St John’s College but they had some construction work on. I thought, ‘Hmm, maybe there’s a way of doing stuff in public space instead’ – that way it would be easier for people to go and look at those locations as well.”

A recreation of the 1950s film Bachelor of Hearts. Picture: Keith Heppell
A recreation of the 1950s film Bachelor of Hearts. Picture: Keith Heppell
A recreation of the 1950s film Bachelor of Hearts. Picture: Keith Heppell
A recreation of the 1950s film Bachelor of Hearts. Picture: Keith Heppell

Most university-related scenes were therefore filmed elsewhere, but Gonville & Caius College helped out when it came to recreating a scene from Chariots of Fire.

Richard, who started his reduxes in Bangkok in 2013 with the romantic comedy Bangkok Traffic (Love) Story, has now finished filming in Cambridge. He is going to edit the footage and hopes to show the finished versions potentially as soon as next week on a big outdoor screen near the station, normally used to show Wimbledon.

“I think that in the gaps between Wimbledon, they might be able to show some of my reduxes,” he said, “and we’re also working on other ways of displaying the finished reduxes around the city, projected on monitors or through other means.

“At some point we will publish a paper map so people can explore all the locations, and maybe make their own reduxes.”

Find out more by visiting thereduxproject.com/Cambridge.

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