I love film festivals. The atmosphere in and around the cinemas is bursting of creativity. Film buffs and journalists from every corner of the world come together to celebrate and cherish film. Filmmakers from everywhere put forward their recent works of passion. On top of some great films there are extraordinary parties to dance instead of sleep. And the best thing: there are so many of them! In Berlin alone there are 50 film festivals – almost one per week! To my biggest joy, I made it back to Scotland just in time to visit the 10th Glasgow Film Festival. After a week of films in Berlin, I just continued and had the chance to see at least 12 films over the last ten days.
Confronted with an overwhelming program, I decided to mainly chose films that are travel-related, or have a heavy focus on the country their placed in. As a consequence, I found myself sitting in the cinema, and instead of paying attention to what is actually happening on screen, daydreaming about the adventures that wait for me in the respective country. If that sounds familiar, you will hopefully appreciate my list of films that make me want to travel the world!
Cas & Dylan – A Roadtrip through Canada
Considering some of my past posts my love for Canada is no big secret. I felt all the more blown away by Jason Priestley’s (remember Brandon from Beverly Hills 90210?) first feature film Cas & Dylan. It tells the story of 60-something Cas, who gets diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. Deciding to spend his last days out west, he starts an epic roadtrip from Winnipeg, Manitoba to Vancouver Island, British Columbia. On his way he picks up 20-something Dylan, who doesn’t have any other plans than joining him. And as if their spiced up love-hate wouldn’t be enough, we also to see a good part of Canada‘s natural landscape. Their little red VW Beetle dashes down the vast and flat fields of Manitoba and Sasketchwan, winds its way up and down Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, finally reaches the picturesque Vancouver and gets aboard the ferry to Vancouver Island. At the latest by the glimpse of beautiful Tofino, I knew – this is a roadtrip I have to undertake very soon!
A Long Way Down – An Unexpected (Island) Hopping
If it wasn’t for the film’s cheerful original, a novel by English writer Nick Hornby, the plot of this film would rather be tragic. Four forlorn individuals decide to end their lives on December 31st. Fortunately they all choose the same roof to jump off, and as four makes a crowd they postpone their plan until the second most popular suicide day, Valentine’s Day. Subsequently we learn about their reasons for giving up, but also follow them on a tour-de-force through depression, friendship, loss and hope. Most of the movie takes place in the quartet’s hometown London: the nightclubs, the markets, along the Thames, over the rooftops – in itself fascinating enough to fill an entire film. But as a special inspirational eye-candy the four also take us on a trip to Tenerife. While they only want to escape the inquisitive English press, we get to sip away on imaginary cocktails and hear the drumroll of the ocean as if it was just behind us. Planning a trip to Tenerife, check out Katja’s Travelettes Guide.
The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window and Disappeared
Not only is this the longest film title of the entire festival – the cool kids call it ‘The 100 Year Old Man’ -, it is also the long awaited screen adaption on Jonas Jonasson’s bestselling novel of the same title. And by the name of the author, you have probably already guessed, to which country this film takes us: Sweden. Well, actually the story of the extraordinary centenarian resembles a comprehensive guide to the history of the 20th century and society’s issues of the 21st. But for most of the film, we follow the old man and his motley gang to idyllic small towns, picturesque lake houses and along windy roads through forests and meadows. Drifting off into a carefree summer holiday in a wooden red house next to a deep blue lake, I hardly even noticed that the film ended in paradisiac Bali. Questions anyone?
Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed – Invented History
In the autumn of 1966 John Lennon visited the Almería province of Spain to shoot the How I Won The War with director Richard Lester. The booklets of every Beatles album released from 1967 on contained the song lyrics. At first sight these seem to be two completely unrelated facts. But in Living is Easy with Eyes Closed director David Trueba invents a possible, yet highly unlikely link. Antonio, an English teacher and Beatlemaniac, who uses Beatles songs to teach his pupils undertakes a road trip to meet John Lennon and ask about some missing lines. The most obvious dream destination after watching this film is the Spanish seaside – the blue sea, the alien desert and the sweetest strawberries on Earth. But where this really makes me want to go is back to the 1960s: wear candy colored dresses, fit my belongings in a leather suitcase and hit the road in a bright turquoise Mini. To the time machine!
Under The Skin – Mysterious Scotland
If I hadn’t moved to Scotland half a year ago, this film would have inspired me to at least visit for some time. Scarlett Johansson, seductive as always, roams the streets of Glasgow in her white van. She’s hunting for lone strugglers she can bring back to her house and – well, I’m not entirely sure what she does to them, but it’s definitely not what they expected. Glasgow isn’t glamorous Paris, quirky London or classic Vienna; it’s an underdog, but a very lovable one. When Scarlett’s character leaves town she wanders through the beautiful landscape of the highlands, meets talkative busdrivers and gets lost in the misty forests. While her cinematic trip doesn’t seem so enjoyable, the real thing is exactly that!
Now the festival is over and I feel lost with all the time I suddenly have. Maybe I’ll take a break from dark cinemas for a while as seek the adventures in the streets and parks of Glasgow. Maybe Scarlett’s still around?Tweet