By David Light
If you feel the two-week horizon that is the National Day holidays is still too distant, or you have no idea where you’re going to head for your extra time off, we feel you. It seems ages since the summer break and our feet have become progressively itchier.
In the interim, a couple of programmes have furnished us with travel options through showcasing the lands in which they are set so appealingly, we’ve been scanning the flight deals before the final credits have even rolled. We thought we’d pass on the knowledge in case these the pique an interest and you can begin planning.
And while we do still have a bit of a way to go until that holiday scramble, here are a few screen features, which allow us to not only figuratively escape, but provide destination inspiration for when the time comes.
The Motorcycle Diaries (2004)
Okay, this film is set in 1952, so we can’t say everything featured therein will be the same 60 years on, but you are 100 per cent made of stone if the South American vistas portrayed don’t have you firing up the ticket compare sites. Based on Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara’s real-life bike trip he made with his friend as a young man, the scene up at Machu Picchu and conversation with the Peruvian people in the centre of Lima will fire the imagination. Just expect many more tourists these days and fewer leather-coated potential revolutionaries scribbling in notebooks.
The Darjeeling Limited (2007)
Okay it’s twee, somewhat idealised and not even in director Wes Anderson’s top five movies (in our opinion), but there is just something about an epic train journey through India, which cannot fail to ignite the adventurous spirit. Mostly shot in the beautiful Jodhpur desert and mountainous Udaipur, what the film lacks in substance it more than makes up for in scenery. If you’re expecting as many stereotypes as in the picture when you land, though, you’ll be sorely disappointed.
Before Midnight (2013)
Almost 20 years after Celine (Julie Delpy) and Jesse (Ethan Hawke) first met in Before Sunrise (1995), we catch up with the couple living an obscenely gorgeous life on the Greek Peloponnese peninsula that will leave you as positively green as their property’s surrounding hills. Al fresco lunches with abundant produce pulled right out of the turquoise Ionian and fertile earth, clear blue skies and hammocks in which to read or doze off… okay when is it National Day again?
Some may have seen Saif Ali Khan’s Bollywood remake, but we would implore you to stream the John Favreau original if only to take in a side of the United States rarely featured on film. Driving a food truck from Florida to California, the picture’s cooking team notably make a splash in New Orleans, Louisiana and Austin, Texas, which are two of the most wonderful cities America has to offer. Just don’t watch this movie on an empty stomach — your unfortunate delivery driver won’t be able to handle the number of sandwiches you will inevitably order.
The Dressmaker (2015)
Much like the The Motorcycle Diaries, this movie is somewhat hindered by being set in decades gone-by, though nevertheless has us pining for a walkabout in the Australian wilderness even if it has immeasurably developed since the 1920s. Plot aside (as the excellent revenge-comedy starring Kate Winslet does not wholly revolve around its location), the glimpses into the outback and small town living are as irresistible as some of the script’s lines.
David is an avid traveller. Give him half a chance and he’s off exploring