Rolf and fellow travel writers share their favorite ‘city movies’

How many times has a movie destination started you dreaming about a new place to visit? (Dozens, or maybe hundreds of times?)

Some film locations just seem to have that effect. They might be blatantly featured, or they could lie in the background the whole time, discreetly showing more of themselves with every frame. But no matter—something about them has made such an impression that you’ve already traded your movie ticket for a plane ticket.

Film in Focus recently took a look at great portrayals of cities in film. To help, they asked Rolf and four other travel writers—Pico Iyer, Tony Wheeler, Heidi Julavits, and Ayun Halliday—for their favorites.

They’ve come up with an interesting mix of movies, and just as many reasons why these particular movies stand out as great caricatures of a city. Some choices intentionally venture to the less obvious locales (Isfahan in “Arabian Nights”). Others are appreciated for having a certain authenticity not typically shown in Hollywood (Omaha in “About Schmidt,” and Boston in “Mystic River”). Two flicks stood out enough to show up on several lists: “Lost in Translation” (Tokyo) and “Before Sunset” (Paris).

I’d personally second the motion for “Before Sunset” and “Buena Vista Social Club,” but might also throw in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”

What about you—do you have a favorite portrayal of a city in a movie?

Posted by | Comments (6)  | June 25, 2008
Category: Notes from the collective travel mind

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