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Mapping the Filming Locations of In The Loop

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Political satire can be hit or miss, but Armando Ianucci's too-oft-forgotten 2009 film In the Loop brilliantly skewers both British and American politics. By creating an ensemble rife with self-important buffoons, ambitious sycophants and bumbling idiots, Ianucci effectively questions the intelligence of America's decision to go to war in the Middle East.

British Minister of International Development Simon Foster (Tom Hollander) does not support the idea of a war in the Middle East. However, due to a couple of poorly thought out and contradictory statements that stray from the country's party line of a neutral stance, Foster becomes both the pawn of an anti-war Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomacy, Karen Clark (Mimi Kennedy), and the butt of jokes for the British press. Foster and his assistant Toby Wright (Chris Addison) proceed to follow a path of ill-advised if well-intentioned decisions in their push for peace, relevance and likability. Meanwhile, Malcolm Tucker, Director of Communications for the Prime Minister (played by a foul-mouthed Peter Capaldi) and Assistant Secretary of State for Policy, Linton Barwick (David Rasche), look to foil them and push their own agendas at every turn. James Gandolfini and Anna Chlumsky also star.

Although the film is shot in New York, the U.K. and Washington D.C., the D.C. scenes succeed in getting the character of the city as accurately as the characters who work within it. In addition to portraying ambitious ass-kissing underling (Zach Woods) and the over-worked, hyper-stressed assistant (Anna Chlumsky) to a tee, the movie includes the conversation that every native has had with visitors about what they should do. In this case, Karen Clark and Liza Weld (Chlumsky) recommend visiting the Air & Space Museum and eating at La Taverna. Plus, this movie does not just film the obvious downtown landmarks but also heading to 14th Street and Woodley Park for a realistic sense of where the characters in these positions would live and hang out.


· In the Loop (2009) [IMDB]
· In the Loop (film) [Wikipedia]
· United States Department of State [Wikipedia]
· Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport [Wikipedia]

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U.S. Department of State, Harry S Truman Building

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As several of the main characters on the American side work here, it makes sense that the exterior would appear in some establishing shots and that the offices would play host to pivotal scenes. This building in Foggy Bottom has been the location of the Department of State since 1947. Photo by NCinDC

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA)

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Is it the high-ceilinged, brass accented hallway connecting Terminals B & C that Toby deems "fucking cool" or is he merely excited to be in America? It's tempting to go with the Cesar Pelli designed hallway with its brass arches. Photo by Photo by Victoria Pickering.

Newseum

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The characters don't actually stop by the Newseum (which having opened in 2008, may not have even been open at the time of the filming), but while Simon and Toby go down Pennsylvania Avenue in a motorcade (with Toby taking cell phone photos) it's possible to see the large and distinctive building in the background. Fun fact about the motorcade: their limo has Maryland license plates. Photo by Christa Burns.

Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill

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The dialogue by Simon and Toby about this hotel is pretty priceless.Simon: "Strange hotel. It's like a hangar for businessmen, isn't it?"Later on Toby says as he stares at the top of the Capitol dome, "Well, there's the Capitol. You can see it through that window and that tree. Technically, you've got a Capitol Hill view."Photo by Flickr user PaulSh.

3193 Cleveland Street NW

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As of this posting, the house where Karen Clark meets up with George Miller (Gandolfini) is still a mystery, but when Liza leaves the party and calls Toby, she calls from this intersection, approaching Garfield Street as she walks down Cleveland.

Black Cat

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The piling in the middle of the audience floor and the give away that the metal show where Liza takes Toby is at this D.C. institution. The Red Room is instantly recognizable because it's decked with Christmas lights on a mirror, which is surrounded by old Polaroids. As an aside, the crowd at that metal show has far too many suits and not enough black t-shirts to actually be realistic, but it works in context. Photo by Flickr user NCinDC.

Liza Weld's House

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How convenient for Liza and Toby that she lives within stumbling distance of the Black Cat after their night out! Too bad poor Toby couldn't give the cab company an accurate idea from where he was calling. "It's a nice street. It's quite leafy. Federal houses." No, Toby, those aren't Federal style houses.

Washington Monument

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The monument appears as an establishing shot in several movies but in this case, it's the backdrop of one of the latter shots in D.C. "If you pull that out, America deflates." Photo by Caroline Angelo.

U.S. Department of State, Harry S Truman Building

As several of the main characters on the American side work here, it makes sense that the exterior would appear in some establishing shots and that the offices would play host to pivotal scenes. This building in Foggy Bottom has been the location of the Department of State since 1947. Photo by NCinDC

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA)

Is it the high-ceilinged, brass accented hallway connecting Terminals B & C that Toby deems "fucking cool" or is he merely excited to be in America? It's tempting to go with the Cesar Pelli designed hallway with its brass arches. Photo by Photo by Victoria Pickering.

Newseum

The characters don't actually stop by the Newseum (which having opened in 2008, may not have even been open at the time of the filming), but while Simon and Toby go down Pennsylvania Avenue in a motorcade (with Toby taking cell phone photos) it's possible to see the large and distinctive building in the background. Fun fact about the motorcade: their limo has Maryland license plates. Photo by Christa Burns.

Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill

The dialogue by Simon and Toby about this hotel is pretty priceless.Simon: "Strange hotel. It's like a hangar for businessmen, isn't it?"Later on Toby says as he stares at the top of the Capitol dome, "Well, there's the Capitol. You can see it through that window and that tree. Technically, you've got a Capitol Hill view."Photo by Flickr user PaulSh.

3193 Cleveland Street NW

As of this posting, the house where Karen Clark meets up with George Miller (Gandolfini) is still a mystery, but when Liza leaves the party and calls Toby, she calls from this intersection, approaching Garfield Street as she walks down Cleveland.

Black Cat

The piling in the middle of the audience floor and the give away that the metal show where Liza takes Toby is at this D.C. institution. The Red Room is instantly recognizable because it's decked with Christmas lights on a mirror, which is surrounded by old Polaroids. As an aside, the crowd at that metal show has far too many suits and not enough black t-shirts to actually be realistic, but it works in context. Photo by Flickr user NCinDC.

Liza Weld's House

How convenient for Liza and Toby that she lives within stumbling distance of the Black Cat after their night out! Too bad poor Toby couldn't give the cab company an accurate idea from where he was calling. "It's a nice street. It's quite leafy. Federal houses." No, Toby, those aren't Federal style houses.

Washington Monument

The monument appears as an establishing shot in several movies but in this case, it's the backdrop of one of the latter shots in D.C. "If you pull that out, America deflates." Photo by Caroline Angelo.