Then and Now – Never Let Me Go

This is a regular series of blogs about photographs of the same place taken years apart. I quite like those Then and Now comparison photographs that you see in books or on the Twitter or Facebook.  The first of the posts in this series was of a council building in Manchester.

This is a slight different version of the posts I do, as these are then and now photographs of a location used in the film Never Let Me Go which was released in 2010.

The lives of three friends, from their early school days into young adulthood, when the reality of the world they live in comes knocking.

The film was set in an alternate 1980s UK. 

Various scenes were filmed in Clevedon and Weston-super-Mare.

Once scene was set in the Regent Cafe on 13 Regent St, Weston-super-Mare BS23 1AP.

What I always find amusing was that though the film was set in the 1980s they didn’t need to dress the cafe to fit in. Even the interior cafe shots in the film were taken in the cafe, and that was how it was back when it was filmed in 2009.

The cafe closed after the covid pandemic, and has been replaced by Burger Barn.

I took photographs of the Burger Barn, the cafe when it was closed in 2023 and the original Regent Cafe in March 2013. All images cropped to match film scene.

Burger Barn photograph January 2024.

Regent Cafe closure February 2023.

Regent Cafe March 2013.

Movie Advent Calendar #20 – Never Let Me Go

“The problem is you’ve been told and not told. That’s what I’ve seen while I’ve been here. You’ve been told but none of you really understand. So I’ve decided I’ll talk to you in a way that you will understand.”

Never Let Me Go

In 2012 I did a cinematic advent calendar of twenty four films. These were films that I really liked and have enjoyed at the cinema. This year on a similar theme I will be posting a movie advent calendar of twenty four movies.

One of the reasons I wanted to watch Never Let Me Go was that it was filmed locally in and around North Somerset. I bought it on ITunes and was impressed with the movie.

Never Let Me Go is a 2010 science fiction drama film that is based on the novel of the same name by Kazuo Ishiguro. The film stars Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield, and Keira Knightley as three friends who are raised in a mysterious boarding school called Hailsham. s they grow into young adults, they find that they have to come to terms with the strength of the love they feel for each other, while preparing themselves for the haunting reality that awaits them. As they grow older, they come to realise the shocking truth about their lives and the world around them.

The film is also beautifully shot, with a visual style that perfectly captures the eerie, surreal atmosphere of the story. The film is set in an alternate 1980s England with flashbacks to the 1970s.

One cafe scene was shot at The Regent Restaurant and Coffee Lounge in Weston-super-Mare.

The Regent Restaurant and Coffee Lounge in Weston-super-Mare
The Regent Restaurant and Coffee Lounge in Weston-super-Mare by James Clay

They didn’t need to even redress or change the signage for the movie, as the lounge had a 1970s vibe to it. Alas it has now closed which is a pity.  Another scene was filmed on Clevedon Pier.

Clevedon Pier
Clevedon Pier by James Clay

The film has a really strong cast. Mulligan, Garfield, and Knightley deliver powerful performances that are both moving and nuanced. They are ably supported by a talented supporting cast, including Charlotte Rampling and Sally Hawkins. The score, composed by Rachel Portman, is also haunting and evocative.

Never Let Me Go is a thought-provoking and emotionally powerful film, one which makes you think about the ethics of a society.

Get Never Let Me Go at Amazon.