After a month off I am back to the blogosphere! I haven’t posted anything new lately because I have been busy with finals and other things in life. Anyway, I am now on summer break and have decided to dedicate a post to different vacation destinations. Even if you don’t have the cash or the means to go anywhere this summer, that doesn’t mean you can’t watch a movie that has the power to transport you to another place. So here are a few films that will bring you to that city or place you’ve always wanted to visit.
Hawaii – From Here to Eternity
You may know the image of a young, attractive couple kissing and caressing on a tropical beach but you probably don’t know the movie it comes from, From Here to Eternity. Following the lives of soldiers before and during the attack on Pearl Harbor, the films stars Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift and Deborah Kerr in three terrific roles. This movie will have you singing “Aloha ‘Oe” in no time. Here is that iconic beach scene:
New York City – Breakfast at Tiffany’s
There are so many incredible movies set in New York; Taxi Driver, Annie Hall, Rear Window, Home Alone 2 but most of them show a grittier version of New York, which is fine but doesn’t necessarily leave the viewer thinking, to quote Liz Lemon of 30 Rock, “I want to go to there.” Breakfast at Tiffany’s on the other hand shows the audience that New York can be the most exciting, fun and promising city on the planet. Need proof? Check out this scene:
Las Vegas – Ocean’s 11
Las Vegas is hedonism at its best and worst. It is a city seemingly void of culture and full of botoxed- bimbos, greasy mobsters and obese tourists. Ocean’s 11 is a film that luckily for us focuses on the more palatable sides of the town. It is a movie that shows us that taken in small doses, Vegas can be wildest ride of your life, plus no other movie has ever made stealing look so fun.
Paris – Breathless
You’ll fall in love with Paris and with this movie. Breathless takes a somewhat serious subject matter, sets it in Paris and through the whole French-nish of it all makes it light hearted, beautiful and as charming as its star Jean Seberg.
Rome – La Dolce Vita
Just one of Federico Fellini’s masterpieces, the gorgeously shot La Dolce Vita is practically an ode to Rome. It captures the timelessness of the city along with its mystery, its glamour and its allure, especially in this following scene:
Barcelona – Vicky Cristina Barcelona
At times Vicky Cristina Barcelona feels more like a travel ad than a movie with a functioning plot. It so beautifully captures the city that even if you feel like the movie had no point you will seriously consider booking a flight to this Spanish city. Penelope Cruz is also absolutely fantastic in this film. Watch her and her co-stars explore the sights, sounds and flavors of this city in the following clip.
Japan – Lost in Translation
Though not exactly a love letter to Japan, Lost in Translation does show us the geographic beauty of the country, the unusual fun to be had there and the friendliness of its people, in addition to exploring its absurdities. After seeing the film, you too will consider booking a flight to Tokyo and getting lost.
India – The Darjeeling Limited
This film certainly glorifies and fetishizes India but it’s hard to criticize it when it is just so damn fun. This story of 3 brothers traveling through India, on the quest for spiritual enlightenment is beautifully shot and well acted. Does it turn a blind eye to the realities of daily Indian life? Perhaps but it will also transport you to a fantastic land of incredible tastes and vibrant sounds.
The Arabian Desert – Lawrence of Arabia
Okay, I’ll admit it, Lawrence of Arabia isn’t exactly a Travel Channel program. It explores the harshness of the desert, the clash between cultures and British imperialism. It also shows us the beauty of the desert and through its iconic score seduces us into a thrilling Arab world.
Latin America – The Motorcycle Diaries
Most people probably know this as the film about a young Che Guevera taking a road trip across Latin America but it also a film about travel itself. This beautifully shot film gives us spectacular views of the Latin American countryside as well as the wonder of its cities. The Motorcycle Diaries is a film that explores the transformative effect of travel and shows us that the more we know about the world, the more we learn about others and the injustices they face, the better we will become.