Cities Meet Cinema: 5 Films Where Cities Are The Main Character

Cities have always encompassed the traveller's loneliness and adventure, and these movies are an ode to that. Here is a list of movies that will be your guide to the cities they're based in
Before Sunrise is a love letter to Vienna
Before Sunrise is a love letter to

Tell me you wouldn't casually strike the Shah Rukh Khan pose when you stand on the Brooklyn bridge or replay Iktara in your mind when you're in Marine Drive. It's an unspoken ritual for passionate travellers to mimic their favourite scenes shot in iconic places. As more urban stories emerge, we see cities taking centre stage with their characters in movies. While most films see cities as a neutral backdrop in the plot, some films integrate the city into its narrative. The audience starts to see the city and its locations as a canvas for the story to be painted on, as if the story could not take place anywhere else but there. A character in its own right, cities add layers to the story, inspiring people to add those places to their bucket lists.

A Coffee in Berlin- Berlin, Germany

A still from A Coffee in Berlin
A still from A Coffee in

If you liked exploring Vienna with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, you are going to enjoy this movie. Written in the style of Before Sunrise, a university dropout roams around the German capital of Berlin in search of meaning. The director Jan-Ole Gerster, consciously portrays the city in a realistic sense. Underground theatre joints, graffiti art, jazz and dark alleys will give you the ultimate urban feel. It may inspire you to roam around your city aimlessly while romanticising it.

Paris, je t’aime- Paris, France

A still from Paris, je t’aime
A still from Paris, je t’

Already watched Midnight in Paris? Don't worry! This anthology of stories will take you around the city with different outlooks. The movie explores love in every district of Paris. Apart from the major tourist destinations, Paris, je t'aime will bring to you the metro stations, Parisian Chinatown, mosques and the city's red-light zone, giving glimpses into domestic life in the French capital. This movie will be your guide around many neighbourhoods when you are in Paris.

Hiroshima Mon Amour- Hiroshima, Japan

A still from Hiroshima Mon Amour
A still from Hiroshima Mon

A French actress and a Japanese architect engage in a brief affair in postwar Hiroshima. With war as its primary theme, we get to see many bars and cafes in Hiroshima in the postwar era. One of the major highlights is the feature of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in the film. If you want to visit Hiroshima or know more about this historic city, this movie is ideal.

To Rome With Love- Rome, Italy

A still from To Rome With Love
A still from To Rome With

A glamourous location, written and directed by Woody Allen, To Rome With Love is also an anthology that uncovers the stories of its visitors and residents. Watch this movie if you need Pinterest board inspiration or a picturesque postcard from Europe. Filled with touristy spots and aesthetic frames, you are bound to taste the beauty of Rome. From Roman ruins to train stations, this movie will transport you straight to the Eternal City.

Once- Dublin, Ireland

A still from Once
A still from

This bustling city in Ireland has had its share of main character moments. Adding to that list is Once. This movie is a musical where a busker and an immigrant spend a week in the city writing, composing and recording songs that tell their love story. The movie was filmed at various locations in Dublin, including the Dublin Airport, St. Stephen's Green, Dunnes Stores, and Mountjoy Square East. If you want a preview before visiting the place, hop on to this ride.

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