Movies have always been a great source for me both for my travels and my music preferences. Here is a list including some of the movies that I watch either when I am not on the road as much as I would like to be or to get myself in the mood before an upcoming trip.
#1 Sideways – I have been to California many times but never to the wine region. Not that I don’t like wine (who would believe it anyways) but I always went to California to visit friends or the cities and there was never enough time to explore the rural areas. Yet the Sideways is a movie that always make me better understand why I like the West Coast of the USA a little bit more than its East Coast. I especially love the picnic scene. #2 The English Patient – English Patient was my all time favourite movie when it came out at a time when I was 15. I am now 34 and I could admit that it is still my favourite movie if I was not supposed to act a little bit more sophisticated than that and more like the art house movie buff type due to the social group I am in. Oh I love Ralph Fiennes, I love all his movies like the Constant Gardener, like the End of the Affair and like the latest the Grand Budapest Hotel. However, English Patient will always hold a dear place in my heart and I still cry during the final cave scene whenever I watch it. Also, the old church scene with Kip and Hana also always reminds me of my beloved Cappadocia.
#3 The Constant Gardener – You saw it coming, did not you? I watched it maybe five times before I traveled to Kenya and the soundtrack for this movie is as good as the movie itself. #4 The Painted Veil – This is an amazing movie. It walks around the expat community in China and then takes you down to the Southern China and always with the fabulous Edward Norton and Naomi Watts on your side. This movie is usually on repeat play on my screen during this time I am planing my upcoming trip to Vietnam, a place which I hope offers equally beautiful landscapes.
#5 Into the Wild – A must watch movie for any independent traveler. The song Society originally written by Jerry Hannan and covered by Eddie Wedder for the movie speaks for the movie itself. I can however not watch this movie very often as the final scene and the words Chris says makes me question myself so I try to avoid it 🙂 #6 Manhattan – I do not like any of Woody Allen’s Europe movies except for the Match Point but I adore all his NY movies (except for Whatever Works). I also liked Blue Jasmine taking place in San Francisco. Manhattan which is considered as Allen’s odd to NY is my all time favourite Woody Allen movie. Maybe together with Annie Hall and also maybe together with Husbands and Wifes and Hannah and Her Sisters. Oh and maybe together with New York Stories. Well, you get the picture. #7 North Face – Such a sad movie depicting true events but this is the movie I always think of when I am in my beloved Switzerland around Eiger. #8 Lost in Translation – If you are traveling to Japan, you must watch this amazing movie directed by the equally amazing Sofia Coppola. This movie makes a great job reflecting that crazy side of Japan by also showing the solitude experienced by the outsiders in the middle of all that craziness. I love traveling to Japan for many different reasons and one of the reasons is to experience the loneliness you feel even when you are surrounded by such loudness – talking about you Tokyo! It is also by many considered one of the best love stories of all times. I concur with that.
#9 Tracks – The movie is based on the true story of Robyn Davidson who took a solo track across the Australian outback in 1977. Pretty amazing views and a lot of solitude – more than one can take. #10 Cairo Time – Beautiful views of Cairo, Egypt. A classic travel story focused on expats and their interactions with the local people living in an (authentic!) Middle Eastern city. #11 Wild – Reese Whiterspoon is lovely in this movie depicting the true story of Cheryl Strayed who solo trekked from Mexico border up to the Canadian border of the United States (Pacific Crest Trail). This movie based on a book gives you an incredible urge to walk: I walked to work for the entire week following this movie – it was sure a much less attractive walk taking around 1 h 10 minutes and taking you through the busiest and loudest parts of Istanbul.
#12 Away We Go – Story of a couple traveling through North America to find the ideal city to raise their yet to be born child. Montreal looked quite attractive to me. #13 Perfect Mothers – A controversial movie based on a short novel of Doris Lessing which will definitely make you want to jump on a plane and travel to the Australian coast, beautiful houses and such beautiful landscape views.
#14 Little Miss Sunshine – I remember watching this movie in the small town of Perugia located in Umbria region of Italy. Such a heart warming road movie with great acting by all and amazing soundtrack by Devotchka. #15 Thelma and Louise – Such a classic. I can watch the scene where the Ballad of Lucy Jordan by Marianne Faithfull plays every single day.