When we were in Iceland, all the people we met who were more or less doing our tour had seen "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty". These encounters did definitely not happened by chance, as the art has always inspired the travellers in all times and all over the world.
Literature in the beginning, then painting, the cinema today: art generates magic, desire, fascination about characters and places. It sometimes happens to choose a destination because we have seen a movie that inspired us or perhaps we choose to see a movie to feed the desire to visit a place we have been dreaming about for a long time: the connection between cinema and tourism is now widely demonstrated by statistics and flows.
It was evident in the case of Sex and the City for New York, in the case of The Lord of the Rings for the New Zealand, of Harry Potter for England and of Brave Heart for Scotland, to name only the most striking cases. Here below the list of some of the films that made us yearn for departure:
1) Babel, the 2006 film by Alejandro González Iñárritu, starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett. Shot in the High Atlas of Morocco, Tokyo and Mexico, it tells of how places so far from each other can be connected by the stories of the people who live there or travel through them.
2) Dangerous Liaisons, a 1988 historical drama by Stephen Frears, based on the novel of the same name, with an exceptional cast (Glenn Close, John Malkovich, Michelle Pfeiffer, Uma Thurman, Keanu Reeves). Set in France during the XVII century, in lavish mansions and stately country homes, it tells the interests and passions of an unscrupulous aristocracy that becomes the victim of its own lack of feelings. Compelling dialogues and evocative settings.
3) The Lives of Others, the 2006 film by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck that tells about how the Stasi’s spies kept under control every East Berlin family for alleged security reasons. A Berlin that doesn’t exist anymore, as in the film Goodbye Lenin! (Wolfgang Becker, 2003), but full of that charm made of attics, prisons, state food, listening rooms.
4) Dances with Wolves, film dated 1990, directed by and starring Kevin Costner, set during the Civil War. Lt. John Dunbar is sent to the prairies of Nebraska, where he comes into contact with a nearby Sioux tribe that will give a new meaning to his life.
5) The great beauty, Paolo Sorrentino's films of 2013: a new Rome, wonderful and decadent, glitzy and impoverished, monumental.
6) Dracula, 1992, film directed by Francis Ford Coppola based on Bram Stoker's novel, in which Coppola took the liberty of inventing the love story between Mina (Winona Ryder) and the Count Vlad (Gary Oldman), that does not exist in the book: a wonderful plot device that immediately instill the desire to fly towards Transylvania.
7) Into the Wild, the 2007 film directed by Sean Penn in which Christopher McCandless, a young American guy, leaves behind himself Virginia and decides to spend two years traveling across the US in search of inner happiness, that he finally finds in Alaska’s white immensity: a wild and inhospitable but overwhelming land.
8) The Mission, film of 1986 directed by Roland Joffe with Robert De Niro, Jeremy Irons and Liam Neeson, in which the wonderful soundtrack by Ennio Morricone makes what seems impossible to do: make rainforest appear even more beautiful that it is around the Falls of 'Iguazu, on the border among Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. A breathtaking nature.
9) The Lover, 1992 film directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud and based on the beautiful Marguerite Duras’ book of the same name. The film shows the passionate affair between "the girl" and "the Chinese", set around the mouth of the Mekong River, in the '30s French Indochina. Paddle steamer leading away, the busy streets of Saigon, the quiet rooms that leave outside lights and noises. Humidity, slowness and gloom.
10) Memoirs of a Geisha, the 2005 film directed by Rob Marshall and based on the book by Arthur Golden. Set in the early '900 Japan, between a small fishing village and the great Kyoto, the film leads the audience in the secret rooms of the geishas, showing the strict rituals and ancient rules of a world that for centuries remained impenetrable.
And yours? Have you ever seen a film that makes you book a flight?