Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Sightseeing for Cinephiles

6:04 PM

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Take a break from your math homework and take a virtual journey to these far-off places.

We all know that feeling.

One minute you're working on that darn Accounting long problem you just can't seem to solve, and the next, you're plopping your head down for a quick nap and dreaming of far-off places.

Sometimes, it's just one of the signs that you're in dire need of a break. So take one, and make the most out of it by travelling to new and beautiful places – minus the expenses and the hassle – through these films that are sure to ignite your wanderlust!


Into the Wild (Alaska)
Based on a true story, Into the Wild is about Christopher McCandless, who rejects society and conventional living to go hitchhiking in the wilderness. The film immerses audiences in a world of unbridled, dangerous beauty, coasting through roaring rapids and sprawling forests. Even if it doesn't end well for McCandless, the film echoes wanting more from life, asserting your independence, and finding yourself on your own – something that is sure to resonate.

The Motorcycle Diaries (Peru)
With its gorgeous scenery and daring road adventures, it's no wonder why this film has stirred countless journeys to South America. But The Motorcycle Diaries is more than just a travelogue; it's also a simple retelling of the political conversion of Che Guevarra, the Argentine Marxist revolutionary. An 8000-mile trip from Argentina to Peru reveals South America in all its breathtaking beauty, not shying away from revealing its harsher side crippled by inequality. Nevertheless, The Motorcycle Diaries leaves an impression that will make anyone itch to hit the road.


Mamma Mia! (Greece)
When people think of Greece, they usually think of brightly-colored houses, floral-lined alleyways, and gleaming waters — which is really what you get in Mamma Mia! (With the added bonus of a bunch of singing Hollywood A-listers, of course.) A young woman preparing for her wedding in the Greek island of Kalokairi decides to invite to her nuptials three men who might be her father, but without the knowledge of her mother. A feel-good film with stunning landscape, it’s a definite must-watch for those who are itching to visit Greece.

Before Sunrise (Austria)
The first film in Richard Linklater's critically-acclaimed Before trilogy, Before Sunrise is not just an insightful exploration of relationships, but also an ode to the beautiful city of Vienna. Two strangers meet on a train to Vienna. Believing they have only one night together and will never see each other again, they become closer, having intimate conversations about things from love to religion, Vienna, and life in general. Exploring new places, meeting and connecting with different people, breaking away from our everyday routines - it’s more than enough to convince you to hit the road or book a flight.

Vicky Christina Barcelona (Spain)
After years of creating his films in and focusing on the Big Apple, Woody Allen decided to give tribute to European places in his film Vicky Christina Barcelona. It tells the story of two best friends who decide to travel to Spain together for the summer and wind up falling for an artist with an estranged marriage. It's a film filled with beautiful people (Scarlett Johansson, Rebecca Hall, Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem) and even more beautiful scenery — the exhilarating city of Barcelona and the golden Spanish countryside.

Roman Holiday (Italy)
Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck riding around any other town on a Vespa would've already been pretty cool. But in Rome? Iconic. Considered a classic, Roman Holiday sees the (mis)adventures of a frustrated princess in Rome who escapes her stifling life and the reporter who finds her. It's sweet, romantic, and perhaps best of all, shot on location in one of the most beautiful cities on earth. Roman Holiday is the perfect company for when you feel a little romantic, and all you wanna do is walk hand-in-hand beneath awnings and stunning arches with someone you love.


The Darjeeling Limited (India)
Like other Wes Anderson films, The Darjeeling Limited is whimsical and stylistic at first glance, but profound and melancholic underneath the surface. A fraternal trio travel along a dazzling and colorful India by train as an odd reconciliatory experience concocted by Francis, the overly-controlling eldest brother. At its core, The Darjeeling Limited talks about letting go of your baggage — both literally (the brothers share a huge set of luggage once owned by their recently-departed father) and figuratively (the three men are embroiled in their own emotional crises) — and freeing yourself from the limitations we often feel trapped in.

The Scent of Green Papaya (Vietnam) 
After the tragic death of a wealthy family’s daughter, 11 year-old Mui is uprooted from her simple life to be a servant working in the household. And does she work – there is a serene quality to Mui’s daily interactions. Quietly, she scrubs floors, prepares meals, and listens to the world bare itself around her. Like the papaya, Mui blossoms into a beautiful, learned woman. Tran Ahn Hung’s masterpiece is gentle, poetic, and sparing in words, but generous in revealing to us tranquil snapshots of the spiritual and exquisite everyday lives of the Vietnamese people.

Lost in Translation (Japan)
A film that has often been described as sweet yet sad, Sofia Coppola's Lost in Translation tells of the unlikely friendship that develops between two lonely tourists - an aging Hollywood movie star and a recently-graduated newlywed – in the busy, bustling city of Tokyo. The sardonic cult classic deftly presents some of the downsides of travel – the sense of alienation, the transient nature of relationships, the feeling of cluelessness – as well as its upsides specifically, experiencing new things, meeting new people and forming a bond with them, and finding yourself in a new environment.

The Beach (Thailand) 
The Beach revolves around a young American travel enthusiast who, in his search for adventure, manages to reach an isolated, self-sustaining beach community and is immersed in its hedonistic lifestyle. It's not too long before bad stuff happens - there's a crazy leader, a fatal shark attack, and armed marijuana farmers - but one look at the sparkling waters, golden sands, and dense tropical plants (and shirtless Leonardo DiCaprio to match) will undoubtedly have you booking the next flight to a tropical beach.

House of Flying Daggers (China) 
The year is 859 A.D, and in the last glimmers of the golden Tang dynasty, China is beset by turmoil. A pair of officers is tasked to uproot the Flying Daggers, a rebel group; but after an encounter with one of its members, a blind dancer named Mei, the fine line between truth and deceit grows thin. The film journeys across plains, bamboo groves; with action scenes sure to captivate even the most indifferent viewer. Deftly interwoven with magic realism and tragic love, House of Flying Daggers is a story as gorgeous and precise as brush strokes.

Got any more travel-inspiring films to add to this list? Hit us up in the comments section below!

Article by Mariel and Andrea
Art by Danielle

Mariel has always been the quiet mild child, but she's now looking to shake things up. She is a workaholic whose great ambitions both drown and keep her afloat. Her interests include Stephen King's works, zombie films, and Pinterest. Nearly all of her social media accounts are under the name @astrogirl911 so feel free check her out there (or y'know, don't. No pressure.

Andrea Lopez is a 19-year-old communication junior. Part meme supreme, part pretentious literary hoe, she's always cooking up something good.

Danielle is a 22-year-old illustrator / comic artist / writer / director and just a girl for all seasons. She enjoys reading novels about crime and killers, learning how to cook, visiting Korean spas, and watching movies over Skype with her far away boyfriend. You can read her comics on Tapastic @bedmoss and find her all over social media as @bedmoss or @bedmosslife.


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