Movies have always been my passport when I can’t travel. The best part is, through movies set in different countries, we can all travel without visas, tickets and travel passes from the comfort of our homes. It can probably never match the real experiences, but can spark a feeling of wanderlust in us. I often feel that the past, culture, aesthetics and uniqueness of a place survive in its art and movies, which are otherwise dwindling in a globalized and digitized world today. In this article, let me suggest some incredible movies set in Europe to spark your wanderlust, as they do to me. Having watched all of them, I can surely say that these movies are adept at immersing us fully within their time and space – hallmarks of any great cinema. Find out about all the movies and savor them at your own pace.
Cinema is truth 24 frames-per-second.Jean Luc Godard
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Movies set in Europe
Those of you who follow my blog must be aware by now that I am smitten with Europe! Whenever I need to abandon the overscheduled routine I’ve fallen into, I travel; and if time doesn’t permit or I find myself in a strange situation like now where we all are in the middle of a pandemic, I love getting lost in a faraway land somewhere in Europe through a beautifully made and thoughtful movie. There are plethora of movies set in Europe. I handpicked some of my favorites for you all. In some movies lush sceneries will often transport you to a near meditative state and in some, the characters will take a center stage. You may very well find yourself walking virtually on the cobbled stone streets beside the protagonist. All I hope is you enjoy them as much as I do.In some movies lush sceneries will often transport you to a near meditative state and in some, the characters will take a center stage. You may very well find yourself walking virtually on the cobbled stone streets beside the… Click To Tweet
1. The Wall
The beautiful Austrian countryside is the backdrop of this movie. This film invites its viewers into a journey that is poetic, profound, and mysterious. It is about a woman who finds herself completely isolated and cut off from any human contacts by an invisible wall. She fights her loneliness, despair and loss. She is forced to face, for the first time in her life, the fundamental questions about the essence of existence. Is individualism an existential trap? What is it to be human? What is our relationship to the natural world?. This is a kind of movie which stays forever with a viewer. Watch this movie and fall in love with the stunning Austrian Alps. Here is one of my favorite monologues from the film.
Cinema is truth 24 frames-per-second. #Cinema #Movies #Quote Click To Tweet
Something new was beginning. I didn’t know what it would bring me, but my homesickness and anxiety about the future were fading. I started to realize that the pasture is beautiful, strange and dangerous and like all strange things, filled with secret seductions.The Wall
This film is about the journey of Lucy, a girl from Ohio. She discovers the beautiful and strange films of the legendary Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini and sets off on a journey to Italy to meet him. While savoring this movie, you will get to see the beautiful city of Milan, the eternal city of Rome, the medieval old town Verona and the oh so romantic Venice.
There is no end. There is no beginning. There is only the infinite passion of life.Federico Fellini
This movie is a love letter to the unforgettable city of Berlin. No wonder this film won the German Academy Award for Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Director. This film revolves around the main protagonist named Niko, a law-college dropout and his bizarre encounters one day. I loved the scenes and sounds of the city and it reminded me of my short but beautiful stay in Berlin. If you decided to watch it then put on the English subtitles, get yourself a cup of dark and hot coffee, and get lost in a dynamic city with Niko. The film is shot entirely in black an white, which gives it an extra edge and aesthetic appeal. Here is one of my favorite dialogues from the film.
Do you know what it’s like… to have the feeling that all the people around you are honestly kind of weird? But when you think it over, then it becomes clear that the problem is with yourself.A Coffee in Berlin
Director Woody Allen and Paris is just a perfect combo for a romantic movie. I am smitten with Paris once again after watching this film which captured Paris in its varied moods. This film is about an aspiring novelist who is holidaying with his fiancée in Paris. One night while roaming on the streets of Paris, he encounters a group of art and literature icons from the past, who take him back in time and his life is transformed. After watching this movie I felt that the perpetually alive Paris is a golden repository of art and culture that still enriches our present.
The artist's job is not to succumb to despair but to find an antidote for the emptiness of existence. #Travel #Movies #quote #wanderlust Click To Tweet
The artist’s job is not to succumb to despair but to find an antidote for the emptiness of existence.Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
5. By the Sea
The shooting location of this film is Gozo, Malta, which is an island in the Mediterranean Sea. I loved the free flowing movie and its shooting locations, you guessed it, by the sea! Directed and acted by Angelina Jolie, this film revolves around a couple and the troubles in their relationship. If you want to relax and watch a movie shot in a beautiful Mediterranean location then start watching it.
If it can be written, or thought, it can be filmed.Stanley Kubrick
6. The Tourist
I remember seeing the poster of this movie while waiting for a train to Pisa in Florence. I had the pleasure of watching it recently and loved the hidden mystery in the movie shot in the breathtakingly beautiful floating city of Venice. If you love watching action thrillers, then this movie is for you. The plot is about a math teacher’s visit to Europe to mend a broken heart. Later he finds himself in an extraordinary situation with an alluring stranger.
I left the ending ambiguous, because that is the way life is.Bernardo Bertolucci
The movie, Under the Tuscan Sun literary took my breath away and filled me with wanderlust to take a flight to Italy. I can’t wait to visit Tuscany, a dreamy paradise. I loved everything about this film. Secretly, I too wish to buy a house impulsively while on a trip like the main protagonist of this film. It was wonderful to see how a place and situation changes somebody’s life completely. If you are a die-hard romantic traveler like me then think no more. Watch this movie.
There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.Sophia Loren
Clouds of Sils Maria is an award-winning film which starts on a train and mostly was shot in the snowy Swiss Alps and in the village of Sils Maria, Switzerland. After living in Switzerland for six years, it is both my strength and weakness. I try and savor its beauty whenever and however I can. While watching Juliette Binoche, one of my favorite actresses, I hardly got time to look elsewhere. The electrifying performance of Kristen Stewart is gripping without any doubt. The intense and serious drama between the two actresses will leave you with a thought to ponder. Isn’t it what a good film does? They make us think! Keep aside a Sunday afternoon for this movie and savor Switzerland.
I live for the present always. I accept this risk. I don’t deny the past, but it’s a page to turn.Juliette Binoche
9. The Pianist
World war II, concentration camps, Holocaust, struggle of survival are a dark and important part of European history. The Pianist tells the true story of a brilliant pianist and composer named Władysław Szpilman in Poland of Jewish descent. This exceptionally well-made and multi-award winning film should definitely be in your list. Do watch this movie.
I like chance meetings – life is full of them. Every day, without realizing it, I pass people whom I should know.Krzysztof Kieslowski
10. The Danish Girl
This remarkable love story is shot in the beautiful city of Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark. The film is inspired by true events of an artist who later on became a transgender pioneer.
Film as dream, film as music. No art passes our conscience in the way film does, and goes directly to our feelings, deep down into the dark rooms of our souls. #Movies #Film #Cinema #Travel #wanderlust Click To Tweet
Film as dream, film as music. No art passes our conscience in the way film does, and goes directly to our feelings, deep down into the dark rooms of our souls.Ingmar Bergman
The Theory of Everything portrays the love story of the renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking and is shot in England. I have known Stephen Hawking and his work through his famous book, A Brief History of Time. After reading his book, I started taking keen interest in particle physics and visited Cern, the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Switzerland. It is a world of awe and it never fails to amaze me. I loved watching the movie about a man with an incredible mind and a soft heart.
There should be no boundaries to human endeavor. We are all different. However bad life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. While there’s life, there is hope.Stephen Hawking
I enjoyed watching this movie with my daughter which was shot in England. A wonderful, fun-filled family production from Disney, it is sure to bring a smile to all – young and old alike.
Here is the world of imagination, hopes, and dreams. In this timeless land of enchantment, the age of chivalry, magic and make-believe are reborn – and fairy tales come true. Fantasyland is dedicated to the young-in-heart, to those who that when you wish upon a star, your dreams come true.Walt Disney
This is a sweet romantic film shot both in Italy and England. If you are in a mood to plan a trip to Europe in future or in the middle of planning a trip, then sit and watch and let it fill your heart with wanderlust.
Once life is finished it acquires a sense; up to that point it has not got a sense; its sense is suspended and therefore ambiguous.Pier Paolo Pasolini
Hillsides bathed in golden light; steep and stony little towns; tile roofs and gently sloping vineyards of Italy shown in this film are a treat to the eyes and heart. This film comes with a simple message that romantic love is timeless and one that can cross many generations.
I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it’s the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It’s probably the most important thing in a person.Audrey Hepburn
15. Eat Pray Love
Eat Pray Love takes its viewers on a journey from New York to Rome to India and finally to Bali. Elizabeth, the main protagonist played by the wonderful Julia Roberts, is trying to discover the meaning and happiness of life along the journey. The diversity of different cultures is portrayed brilliantly in the film. Despite the differences, the human emotions which revolve around a few cardinal values are universal. One can befriend a person from a completely different culture on the basis of universal virtues and compassion.
I have always preferred the reflection of the life to life itself.François Truffaut
Good movies, documentaries, and books are a part of my creative realm. I love seeing both old and new films and love a varied cinematic diet. In this list too, I handpicked the movies which are set in Europe and are interesting and have different layers. Your viewing process itself will be a real-time experience of joy, surprise, and realizations. Most of them challenge our expectations and prejudices and show us something new about culture, art, life, and love. Let me know which one you liked the most after watching them and which one instills in you wanderlust the most? Hope you will able to catch a flight or hit the road and go on a journey sometime soon. Enjoy your movie time and let me finish this post with one of my favorite quotes by a legendary director.
Art attracts us only by what it reveals of our most secret self. #Art #Travel #Wanderlust #Cinema #quote Click To Tweet
Art attracts us only by what it reveals of our most secret self.Jean-Luc Godard
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I know you are reading this post because you love watching good movies and far away lands instill dreams in you. Let me inspire you too with a few posts of mine. Let me present you with a bouquet of sunsets from all around the world. Let me show you glimpses of beautiful California, which I now call home. How about a photo essay of weddings from all around the world? It shows that the culture and celebrations for weddings are different in different places, but they all endorse the same cardinal values of love and togetherness. If you want to delve deeper, then read about my appreciations as well as apprehensions of this world from a traveler’s perspectives. Read a soliloquy of a sojourner.