Ben Whishaw is making his return to BBC AMERICA this month (January 21), starring in the original series London Spy. We’re looking forward to touring the capital with Whishaw taking the lead.
We’ve covered a good amount of territory with our Brit Binge and Snapshot series, just to name a couple, so let’s stretch our stride a bit and take a twirl around the globe with these movies spotlighting a specific city:
1. Trainspotting – Edinburgh
In 1996 Danny Boyle adapted Irvine Welsh‘s novel for the big screen. The story revolves around four friends passing time in Edinburgh, Scotland, getting in and out of trouble. Original cast members Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller, Ewen Bremner, and Robert Carlyle are confirmed to return for the sequel, marking the 20th anniversary of the original release. When it’s your hometown you might find it boring, but of course we find the dynamic city and sprawling landscape of Edinburgh fascinating.
2. Run Lola Run – Berlin
Franka Potente, who you may also know from 2002’s The Bourne Identity, starred in the 1998 release Run Lola Run as Lola. She literally spent the entire film running through the streets of Berlin, Germany. She was no track star by any means, but we see her desperately trying to find her father to get a loan to help out her deadbeat boyfriend. While exhausting for Lola, following in her footsteps we get an exhilarating feel for Germany’s vibrant capital without losing our breath.
3. Bread and Tulips – Venice
An Italian woman (Licia Maglietta) and her family are on a bus tour when she is accidentally left behind at a rest stop in the 2000 film Bread and Tulips. Rather than chasing after her family or having a pity party, the matriarch heads to Venice for a little “time out” from her responsibilities. She gives life a go on her own, sorting out a job at a flower shop and setting up an apartment. Bread and Tulips shows us this laid-back city through a fresh set of eyes.
4. Amélie – Paris
Audrey Tautou took on the title role in 2001’s Amélie. Amélie comes across as a quiet French girl minding her own business. But really, she’s watching, thinking and planning. She’s an observer and doesn’t necessarily like what she’s seeing, like the shop owner who is rude to his employee. She figures out a way to put the older gentleman in his spot. She also uses what she picks up from watching people to match up two friends. Her interactions take her all over Paris with us tagging along.
5. Y Tu Mamá También – Mexico City
Two teenagers (Gael García Bernal, Diego Luna) living in Mexico City, Mexico, find themselves conveniently single in 2001’s Y Tu Mamá También. They meet an older woman (Maribel Verdú) at wedding and work to win her attention by boasting of a secret beach they know of. At first she declines their offer to join them on a road trip but finally agrees to go along. We get the chance to visit Mexico City and travel through other parts of Mexico.
6. The Kite Runner – Kabul
The Kite Runner is the film adaptation of Khaled Hosseini‘s bestselling novel by the same name. The 2007 film follows writer Amir (Khalid Abdalla) who grew up in Kabul, Afghanistan, fled to Pakistan, and eventually moved to San Francisco, CA. As his novel is about to publish he is called back to his native home. He is filled with a lot of emotion, and this is a hard trip for him to make, but he has to face his fears. The film flips back and forth between San Francisco now and Kabul then, giving us a knowledge of the vast differences between the two cultures and lives Amir experienced.
7. Adrift in Tokyo
Adrift in Tokyo stars Japanese mega star Joe Odagiri, also referred to by some as Japan’s Johnny Depp, reports CNN. In the 2007 dark comedy he portrays a college student who runs up a gambling bill he can’t pay off. He’s approached by a loan shark (Tomokazu Miura), who’s representing the mob, and is offered a way out. The loan shark asks the college student to walk with him through Tokyo, ultimately dropping him off at the police station. If he agrees to it, the loan shark will erase his debt. We’ve never been to Japan, and now we can go for a walk all around town with these two new friends.
8. Slumdog Millionaire – Mumbai
Danny Boyle‘s Slumdog Millionaire won the 2009 Oscar for Best Picture, revolving around a young boy living in Mumbai, India. We meet him as a young man (Dev Patel) sitting on stage as a contestant of India’s version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. As he’s faced with hard-hitting questions the film flashes back to his experiences growing up, leading him to the answers. We get an outsider’s look at the harsh conditions of some parts of Mumbai.
9. Invictus – Pretoria
Clint Eastwood‘s 2009 film Invictus begins with the release of Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman) after serving 27 years in prison. He is soon after elected President of South Africa, stationed in Pretoria, and is very aware of the unrest following the recent end of apartheid. Mandela realizes sport brings people together and recruits the South Africa rugby captain François Pienaar (Matt Damon) to help ease racial tension, leading up to the 1995 Rugby World Cup. Invictus shines a light on the beauty of Pretoria, the city and its people.
10. Attack the Block – London
In 2011’s Attack the Block we get a look at South London … at night. The film follows a group of teenage Londoners who are under alien attack. These kids are tough and aren’t giving up their neighborhood to some uninvited extraterrestrial life forms. Attack the Block gives us a glance at London in all its greatness, the rough bits too. The film stars John Boyega (before he was a reformed Storm Trooper), Jodie Whittaker, Alex Esmail, Leeon Jones and Franz Drameh. Seasoned alien butt-kicker Nick Frost (The World’s End) pops in for some adult advice.
Where should we go first?Read More