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Thursday July 19th 2018

Source Code | 2011

Source Code location: the Cloud Gate sculpture, Millennium Park, Chicago
Source Code location: the Cloud Gate sculpture, Millennium Park, Chicago

Part Inception, part Run, Lola, Run and stripped of all extraneous baggage, Duncan Jones’ thriller clocks in at an agreeably un-indulgent 89 minutes.

Set in Chicago, the movie was made almost entirely in Montreal, using eye-watering amounts of CGI, most of which you won’t even have realised. In fact, Source Code has over 850 visual effects shots – including the train exterior and ‘Glenbrook Station’.

Despite the claims of several Chicago area rail stops, ‘Glenbrook Station’ is not real. A small section of the platform was constructed in a park in Montreal, but everything else is computer generated – based on the design of Orland Park Station, about 25 miles southwest of Chicago. The set was surrounded by an empty field – the cars, parking lot and city skyline are all digital additions.

Source Code location: the Cloud Gate sculpture, Millennium Park, Chicago
Source Code location: the Cloud Gate sculpture, Millennium Park, Chicago

After the CGI train and station, it’s surprising that the most unlikely image is a real one. Apart from the aerial shots of the city and the Metra line entering the South Loop, the only actual Chicago location is the surreal mirrored sculpture seen at the end of the film. Anish Kapoor’s amazing Cloud Gate (affectionately dubbed The Bean) can be found at AT&T Plaza in Millennium Park.

Totally upstaging Frank Gehry’s nearby Pritzker Pavilion, the 2006 sculpture is made up of 168 stainless steel plates, welded together with no visible seams.

Called Cloud Gate because 80 percent of its surface reflects the sky, its mirrored surface, endlessly bending and repeating reflections, perfectly matches the film’s twisting of space and time. Walking under the nine-foot-tall arch provides you with a dizzying Daliesque photo-op.

Source Code location: the Cloud Gate sculpture, Millennium Park, Chicago
Source Code location: beneath the Cloud Gate sculpture, Millennium Park, Chicago

The newly remodelled entrance to the Metra station at Millennium Park itself was used for the emergence of the Batpod in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight.