My favorite movie of all time is City of God, a violent but highly-stylized drama about the slums of 1960’s-era Rio de Janeiro. As much as I like the film’s plot and characters, what stands out most is the way director Fernando Meirelles imbues the film with a distinctly Brazilian “feeling” in its style and narrative construction. I feel literally transported to Rio every time I watch it, swept up in the city’s percussive rhythms, bright, sunwashed colors and dense humid jungle air.
The film buffs over at Film in Focus share similar opinions on the way certain movies can immortalize a place. They recently asked some well-known travel writers, including Rolf Potts, Pico Iyer and Tony Wheeler to discuss this very question, sharing five of their favorite city-specific films. There were some clear winners, with certain movies shining through on several lists, including Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation (Tokyo) and the Ethan Hawke/Julie Delpy romance Before Sunset (Paris). Aside from Tokyo and Paris, the writers called out several films set in New York among their favorites including Saturday Night Fever (Brooklyn) and Do the Right Thing.
What are some of your favorite movies that immortalize a destination? Leave a comment below to discuss.