After watching Werner Herzog’s Nosferatu some months ago, which was partly shot in Dutch towns Schiedam and Delft I got the idea to visit various movie location to see what they look like now. The logical choice, being from Rotterdam, is to start there and particularly with Jackie Chan’s movie Who am I? A while ago I interviewd Saskia Kagchèl, Rotterdam’s filmcommisioner van Rotterdam. When I visited a presentation she gave she said that it was this movie which put Rotterdam on the map as a location to shoot movies. Ever since the movie a lot of TV shows, commercials and movies are filmed here each year, but it was Who Am I? who did the kickoff. Because this uses so many locations in Rotterdamse, it would be too much to show them all in one article, so I’ve decided to split it up. First up is the chase in Who Am I?, which strangely enough makes Rotterdam a part of South Africa, but in which cars magically seem to teleport between various locations. I guess that’s what they mean with movie magic.
The chase start in South Africa, in which Jackie Chan ends up in a car together with two women. As he is wearing handcuffs the only thing he can do is shift gears. One of the women also has a handcuff, so she can only use one hand. After a couple of shots in South Africa, they suddenly end up in Rotterdam, driving into de “Beurstraverse” (or as people in Rotterdam call it, “De Koopgoot”:
The same location then and now:
Once they leave this location they shortly end up in South Africa again where they drive through a local market, knocking down stalls. The car ends up being stuck in the sand, but when bad guys close in they manage to use the sand and stones as projectiles and continue driving. The next moment they are driving on the Coolsingel, cornering into Aert van Nesstraat.
At the end of St.Luciastraat a South African police car is waiting for them, which gives chase.
Luckily by quickly parking (in the city of Capelle aan de IJssel) they manage to shake the car off, but the enemy appears again in a couple of black BMWs. The end up in a dead end and decide to use a couple of iron bars to get the car on its side and slide through a narrow opening. In magical fashion they manage to get the car upright again and end up in a whole part of Rotterdam, shopping mall Alexandrium.
At the parking garage of the “Woonstores” they drive up (one of the cars driving where you would normally drive down), to the parking deck up top.
The movie shortly shows them driving on top of the building and one of the drivers makes a mistake, causing his car to end up on the edge of the building. That location no longer is Alexandrium though, but a parking garage in Wijnstraat, in the centre of Rotterdam.
Jackie Chan decides to help the men, just before the car crashes to the ground.
Summarising it is an exciting chase, but if you know the city it is weird to see how the various locations are shown to be close together. Next time I’ll take a look at the filming which was done near the cube houses.