Everything Else

Traveling Through Cinema

In my opinion there is very little that can save a bad movie except if it was shot on location. Years ago, back as a pre-teen, I was a huge fan of Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen’s straight to video movies. No, my preference for taping them had nothing to do with the twins’ “stellar” acting or engrossing story lines, because honestly there was never really any of this exhibited in the films. I taped them and would watch them again and again because they were shot on location, always in some of the world’s prettiest cities:
  • When in Rome (not to be confused with the the 2010 Kristen Bell/Josh Duhamel film)
  • Passport to Paris
  • Winning London
See the recurring theme here?
The opening scene of When in Rome features one of the main characters waking up and stepping out onto her verandah which just happens to overlook the Roman Forum and the Colosseum (sometimes you need Hollywood’s budget because the view from the hostel where I stayed at in Rome sure didn’t resemble that). Although I haven’t seen them in years, were I to watch one of them again, I would be content to just press the mute button for the whole film because the scenes shot on the Spanish Steps, in the Piazza Navona, along the banks of the Tiber, are simply that lovely. 
In keeping with movies shot in Rome, Roman Holiday, the classic 1953 masterpiece starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck which was also the first American film to be made in its entirety in Italy.
The delightful 2009 film Cairo Time from director 
Rubba Nada starring Patricia Clarkson and Alexander Siddig
Out of Africa, the screen adaption of Isak Dinesen’s (a pen name used by Danish author Baroness Karen Von Blixen-Finecke)  memoirs of the seventeen years she spent in East Africa (what is now Kenya).  Travelers today can visit her former Kenyan home which is located on the outskirts of Nairobi. 
Indochine, a French film set in the waning days of France’s colonial rule in Southeast Asia. Starring the supreme Catherine Deneuve, the scenes set in Vietnam’s magnificent Halong Bay
are visually stunning. 

And some other favs with incredible settings:
  • Memoirs of a Geisha
  • Proof of Life
  • Love in the Time of Cholera
  • A Room with a View
  • The Mission 

 We may not always be able to physically travel to far flung places around the world, but we can sure visit them through the movies.

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