Road Movies: Ten Films about Travel
One way of knowing the world is through the movies; visit places guided by the characters or even look at the landscapes through their eyes, is a possibility that many films give us to the spectators.
Road movies are a film genre in which the main characters leave home and take a road trip, usually altering the perspective of their daily lives. Here are ten examples of road movies that are intoxicating, immersive and powerful:
The Trip to Italy (2014, dir. Michael Winterbottom)
Two men who travel Italy by road make six meals in six different regions: Liguria, Tuscany, Rome, Amalfi and Capri.
Sightseers (2012, dir. Ben Wheatley)
Chris wants to show his introverted girlfriend Tina his world through a trip to the British Isles in his beloved caravan Abbey Oxford. But, what begins as an idyllic vacation, ends up becoming a fun and disturbing odyssey.
The Darjeeling Limited (2007, dir. Wes Anderson)
A year after the accidental death of their father, three brothers — each suffering from depression – meet for a train trip across India. Francis, the eldest, has organized it. The brothers argue, sulk, resent each other, and fight. The youngest, Jack, estranged from his girlfriend, is attracted to one of the train’s attendants. Peter has left his pregnant wife at home, and he buys a venomous snake. After a few days, Francis discloses their surprising and disconcerting destination. Amid foreign surroundings, can the brothers sort out their differences? A funeral, a meditation, a hilltop ritual, and the Bengal Lancer figure in the reconciliation.
Into the Wild (2007, dir. Sean Penn)
After graduating from Emory University, top student and athlete Christopher McCandless abandons his possessions, gives his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and hitchhikes to Alaska to live in the wilderness. Along the way, Christopher encounters a series of characters that shape his life.
The Motorcyvle Diaries (2004, dir. Walter Salles)
In 1952, when “Che” Guevara was a medical student, he traveled on a motorcycle trough South America with his friend Alberto Granado. Ernesto is a 23-year-old medical student specializing in leprosy. Alberto is a 29 years old biochemical. Both young people embark on a journey of discovery of the rich and complex human and social topography of the continent.
Lost in Translation (2003, dir. Sofia Coppola)
Bob Harris, a decadent American actor, accepts an offer to make an advertisement for a Japanese whiskey in Tokyo. He is going through an acute crisis and spends much of his free time in the hotel bar. There he meets Charlotte, a young woman married to a photographer who has gone to Tokyo to do a story; but while he works, his wife is bored mortally. In addition to the daze produced by the images and sounds of the immense city, Bob and Charlotte also share the emptiness of their lives. Little by little they become friends and, as they explore the city together, they begin to wonder if their friendship could turn into something else.
Y tu mamá también (2001, dir. Alfonso Cuarón, Carlos Cuarón)
Although they belong to very different social classes, Julio and Tenoch are great friends. At a party they meet Luisa, a depressed Spanish girl married to a cousin of Tenoch. To overcome the crisis, Luisa decides to accompany the two boys on a trip without a fixed direction. The adventure will test their friendship and mark their lives forever.
Antes del amanecer (1995, dir. Richard Linklater)
Céline, a French student, and Jesse, a young American who travels around Europe after being abandoned by his girlfriend, meet on a train bound for Paris. When they arrive in Vienna, Jesse must go down because the next day he returns to his country, but manages to convince Céline to spend the night with him in the city. In the course of that night, they get to know each other thoroughly, discuss various issues such as life, death and sex.
Easy Rider (1969, dir. Dennis Hopper)
Two young bikers from Los Angeles take a trip to New Orleans. They cross the whole country with the intention of discovering America. After selling cocaine to a man in Los Angeles, Billy and Wiatt attend the Mardi Gras party. Soon they resume the trip and they meet quirky characters, including a rancher and his family, or a hitchhiker from a hippie commune, before being arrested in a village for stopping without a permit. His cellmate, a drunken lawyer, does them a big favor by getting them out of jail and then decides to join them.
Pierrot el loco (1965, dir. Jean-Luc Godard)
Ferdinand Griffon, alias ‘Pierrot’, flees Paris with Marianne, the nanny who has hired his wife. The couple heads to the south of France, but the trip becomes very dangerous when a gang of gangsters with whom Marianne is involved, is on their heels.