Budget Travel Online recently published an interesting list of 25 Films That Literally Moved Us, as in caused a great many people to visit the destinations revealed in the movie.
Here’s a sampling of the some of the more recognizable names:
18. Easy Rider (Southwestern US)
17. Crocodile Dundee (Australia)
16. Indiana Jones (the world)
14. Swingers (Los Angeles)
9. Moonraker (outer space)
7. The Lord of the Rings (New Zealand)
5. Before Sunrise (Vienna)
3. Lost in Translation (Tokyo)
1. The Sound of Music (Austria)
Quite the eclectic mix.
Some of the choices make sense, such as Lord of the Rings showcasing New Zealand (it didn’t take long before their tourism commission starting showing ads before the films in the movie theaters), and Before Sunrise which could be said to romanticize anything European, rather than simply Vienna.
Crocodile Dundee is probably the most-loathed film by actual Australians. As I found out when I visited a few years ago, they LOVE when foreigners have too many pints and start quoting Paul Hogan in a butchered Aussie accent.
Surprisingly, The Beach was a distant 24th on their list. While in Bangkok last spring, it briefly crossed my mind to locate the nearest snake’s blood seller, though I confess I decided against it. The sway of the southern beaches portrayed in the film were the must-visit destination.
No matter what you think of the film, the scenery was pretty mindblowing (even if you forgive the fact that their “hidden paradise” was half created with CG effects). The enclosed lagoon is actually the national park of Phi Phi Le, which caused some controversy when the film crews arrived to set up shop.
Almost from the start they were causing controversy with their plans to bulldoze two sections of the beach in Maya Bay and plant 60 palm trees. Unknown to Fox, a war had been waging here for a long time, and their arrival just put it onto the international stage for the first time.
Fox and their representatives found themselves in the spotlight and they received a lot of un-wanted media attention. It seemed they were being attacked on many sides. The most outspoken, of course, were the environmentalists.
While the island was quickly restored to it’s pre-filming grandisity, it’s a reminder of the damage these types of films can wreak during production, and perhaps even more so when the tourist hordes come looking for the fantasy. In which case, perhaps sticking in an Aussie pub and working on your accent may be a better idea.
Do you agree/disagree with Budget Travel’s list? What travel films would you add to your own list?