Eight Films That Will Inspire You To Travel The World
By Beth Kelly, Art Theater Co-op owner
When the cameras aren’t rolling, the world continues to turn – young lovers meet and part forever, historic battles are won and lost. Et cetera, et cetera. When movie makers shine their light on everyday magic from around the world, we have the chance to see what lies beyond the scope of our small lives. The cinema will forever be the direct inspiration for wanderlust, so pack your bags and read on: here are eight flicks that just might inspire you to book a plane ticket.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – The film showcases not only the wealth of talent amongst its cast members, but also the exotic splendor of India. Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy and their others shine in their roles as ageing Brits in a Jaipur retirement home for the “elderly and beautiful.” Each subplot is distinctively captivating, and Slumdog Millionaire’s Dev Patel delivers a fine performance as the optimistic owner of this somewhat unusual enterprise. The sequel, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, brings some fresh faces to the Indian landscape. Look for it at the Art Theater Co-op, opening March 6th!
A Little Romance – A lighthearted picture for both children and adults, it combines a fanciful scheme with the beauty of both Paris and Italy. A young boy, the poor son of a Parisian taxi driver, becomes enamored with an American girl, the daughter of a wealthy dilettante. Both children are witty and wise beyond their years. When their parents discover their romance (and immediately disapprove) they seek the help of a loveable, curmudgeonly pickpocket (played with charm and gusto by Sir Laurence Olivier). He squires them to Venice, where they kiss for the first time beneath the Bridge of Sighs. A story that can only exist in fiction, it nevertheless inspires hope in young and old hearts alike.
L’Auberge Espagnole – A smart, contemporary French film, it tells the story of a group of young people who “don’t speak the same language,” yet they understand one another regardless. Set in Spain, it captures the excitement of living abroad as a student amongst other young people who are in the process of discovering themselves. Xavier is an Erasmus student and film’s protagonist. He’s French, but his roommates in Barcelona come from England, Belgium, Germany, Italy and Denmark. The romantic misadventures of his new companions furnish most of the film’s plot, as Xavier’s own heartaches demonstrate the borderless nature of love.
Roman Holiday – Audrey Hepburn’s nuanced portrayal of princess on the run from responsibility earned her the Best Actress Oscar in 1953. Princess Ann (Hepburn) escapes from the confines of the palatial British Embassy to partake in Roman nightlife as a commoner, only to wind up asleep in the bed of American newspaperman Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck). He’d found her asleep on a park bench and rescued her out of pity. But a trip to the barber and a glimpse at her photo in the paper reveal that his mystery woman is royalty – the ultimate scoop. He offers to spend the day with her doing whatever she pleases, while covertly covering her personal tour of Italy’s most photogenic city. If you haven’t seen it yet, Roman Holiday plays on both YouTube and GooglePlay.
Dr. Zhivago – An epic picture that is as much about the breathtaking landscapes and indefatigable spirit of Mother Russia as it is the tale of two lovers, the 1965 film adaptation of Boris Pasternak’s novel is a true classic. Despite being primarily filmed in Spain (the winter scenes, Canada and Finland), it succeeds magnificently in its portrayal of the tumultuous years before the dawn of the Soviet Union. Omar Shariff delivers an unforgettable performance as the sensitive poet-doctor Yuri Zhivago, Julie Christie is beautiful and beguiling as his mistress-muse, Lara. The eighth-highest grossing film of all time – stream it on Amazon or catch it on DirecTV’s lineup of classic channels – it tells a story of love and loss that could only come from Russian literature.
Chasing Liberty – Anna Foster – codename “Liberty” – is the daughter of the United States President, and she’s sick of it. Aching for a little freedom, she hatches a scheme with the daughter of the French ambassador to head to Berlin for the yearly Love Parade. When her dad finds out, Anna pulls a fast one and escapes on the back of a mysterious boy’s motorbike. The young pair (played by pop starlet Mandy Moore and witty Brit Matthew Goode) embark on a colorful jaunt across Europe, heading to Venice, London and finally Berlin, where the film reaches its dramatic climax.
Room With a View – Set in both England and Italy, it contrasts the beauty of both countries, presenting them as symbolic representations of the rational mind and impetuous heart. Italy is where Lucy Honeychurch and her lady companion, Miss Bartlett, have traveled for a holiday, and where Lucy first encounters the free-thinking and dreamy George Emerson. The two share a breathtaking kiss in a barley field before she is whisked back to England to be married. Back home in Surrey, however, George Emerson and his father reappear, once again provoking Lucy’s restrained passions.
Every Which Way But Loose– The open road and the barren vistas of the American West have seduced filmmakers for decades. In this slapstick comedy, Clint Eastwood plays Philo Beddoe, a mellow trucker who makes his home in California’s San Fernando Valley. Living alone with an orangutan for company, he fist-fights on the side for extra cash with the help of his friend Orville. Then one fateful night, Beddoe falls for the charming country music singer he meets at a bar. When she packs up from the trailer park without notice, Beddoe, Orville, and the orangutan give chase, heading to her hometown of Denver, Colorado. Plenty of madcap adventures ensue once the trio encounters a gang of pesky bikers known as the “Black Widows.”