By Kari Friedlander
Tags: war horse, the war horse, the woman in black, woman in black, brave, daniel radcliffe movies,dan radcliffe, emily watson, kelly macdonald, billy connolly, kevin mckidd, craig ferguson, bourne, the bourne legacy, the best exotic marigold hotel, jiro dreams of sushi
Throughout the Great Depression, as families worldwide experienced rough times and devastation, we headed to the movies for escape, refuge and perhaps even a laugh.
It seems history repeats itself, as Hollywood today has the same emotional appeal. It taps into our innate desire to search deep within ourselves and explore the world we live in. In fact, travelers often choose their destinations from what they’ve seen in the movies.
I traveled to India shortly after the release of Slumdog Millionaire in 2008 and it was as astounding in person as it was in theaters. From the eruption of color to the blast of sound and motion, the complexities (and congestion) of India explode the moment you step off the plane and into an auto-rickshaw. With horns sounding off like musical instruments and young children approaching you so covered in filth it tugs at the human spirit, I remember thinking: ‘How will I ever explain this to those back home?’ I then realized that Hollywood did the difficult part for me. This movie provided the framework to insight imagination.
In 2012, U.S. filmmakers will continue to provide a tourism boost to places that are less familiar.
Steven Spielberg’s War Horse, starring Emily Watson, is one film that has been credited with helping to boost the UK’s tourist industry and has many predicting Dartmoor will become a must-see destination this year. Travelers can reach south-west England by catching flights to Bristol, Exeter and other destinations in and around the region.
The Woman in Black, featuring Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe, is another film with English locations. It will include scenes shot at the Bluebell Railway in East Sussex, the Colne Valley Railway in East Anglia and the Tudor palace of Layer Marney Tower near Colchester in Essex.
Scotland, often remembered by its presence in Braveheart, should be looking forward to this year’s highly anticipated Scottish-set animated movie Brave, which is voiced by Scottish stars including Kelly MacDonald, Billy Connolly, Kevin McKidd and Craig Ferguson. It is set to be released in August and portrays Scotland in a way it has never been seen before.
In the next year, you’ll also be able to visit the capital of the Philippines for the fourth of the blockbuster “Bourne” series The Bourne Legacy, to Bangalore India in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and one documentary will send taste buds soaring to Japan, as Jiro Dreams of Sushi follows Jiro Ono, the 85-year-old sushi chef at the tiny, prominent Tokyo restaurant Sukiyabashi Jiro.
Movies will continue to inspire people to travel to a new country, try a new recipe, or perhaps see their own city in a new way. As stars rejoiced in Times Square to celebrate the start of 2012 in the flick New Year’s Eve, I came to realize why so many travel to the city I live in to feel inspired by its “pulse and promise” on the most glamorous night of the year.