Travelling introduces you to new places, new people and new cultures. However, as the world has gone into lockdown and travelling is at a standstill the only way to travel safely is vicariously through film. Thanks to the magic of film you can be transferred to somewhere outside of your bubble. Here are some films that incorporate travel and discovery that take you to France, Turkey, Spain, China, Australia and America. These films can be accessed on our wonderful streaming services Beamafilm and Kanopy!
Length: 89 minutes
Directors: Agnès Varda and JR
This film is simply wonderful and is a real joy to watch. It follows the iconic film director Agnès Varda as she teams up with artist JR. They go to rural parts of France in a photobooth van and take photos of locals to print off on a massive scale to paste onto the side of buildings. They travel to small villages which is great to see as they go to places that you wouldn’t think to visit. Every local they meet is friendly and has a story to tell. It makes you appreciate the importance of listening and learning from people.
Agnès says, she wants “to meet new faces and photograph them so they don’t fall down the holes in my memory” which I can relate to as I take photos of everything as a reminder. There is a joyful playfulness to this film but there is also melancholy as Agnès wonders “if everyone that she meets will be the last”. This film celebrates and embraces life as they both marvel and wonder at every aspect and it makes you realise you need to appreciate life.
Beamafilm: Find out more about the artist JR by watching Inside Out The Peoples Art Project.
CIA World Factbook: Find out facts about France with the CIA World Factbook! This provides data and information on different countries so you can find out about key demographics, government, economy and more.
Lynda.com: If you want to improve your photography skills then there are heaps of useful photography tutorials on Lynda.com.
Length: 79 minutes
Director: Ceyda Torun
This sweet and charming documentary transports you to Istanbul where there are an incredible number of stray cats roaming the streets which has been the case since the Ottoman Empire! One person in the documentary states that “without the cat Istanbul would lose a part of it’s soul” and throughout the film you can see how much of an impact the cats have on everyone. The people who take care of the cats show incredible displays of kindness, such as a café owner who donates all his tips to look after the cat who frequents his café. It’s amazing to see how cats can change and enhance people’s lives as one man states that the cats that he looks after helped him to recover from his nervous breakdown. I especially like how the camera shows you Istanbul from the cats’ point of view as they explore and wander through the city.
PressReader: Want to know more about cats? Then you should check out the magazine Modern Cat that is available for you to read on PressReader!
Mango Languages: Did you know that the title of the film Kedi is Turkish for cat? Learn some more Turkish words by heading to Mango Languages.
The Trip To Spain
Length: 108 minutes
Director: Michael Winterbottom
This is the third installment of The Trip as comedians Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan play fictional versions of themselves and on this occasion, they take an adventure around Spain. Steve wants to follow in the footsteps of Laurie Lee and Cervantes and their route is heavily influenced by these writers. They drive around the country and this allows us to soak up the exquisite scenery, especially Malaga’s amazing coastline road. The impressions are non-stop as they compete to be the best Sir Mick Jagger, Sir Michael Caine, Sir Ian McKellan and Sir Roger Moore in a variety of fancy restaurants. If you are familiar with The Trip and The Trip to Italy then you’ll know what to expect but I still enjoy spending time with these two as their often cutting exchanges and quick-witted banter is fun to watch.
OverDrive: If you’re looking for new recipes to try out at home during lockdown, then check out this awesome Spanish cookbook eBook.
OverDrive: Want to read As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning by Laurie Lee that inspired the trip? Well you’re in luck as it’s available as an eBook here.
OverDrive: The other book that was mentioned a lot in The Trip To Spain is Don Quixote and this can also be borrowed from our extensive eBook collection.
Length: 96 minutes
Director: Philippe Muyl
In fast-moving, business-focused Beijing two parents Chongyi and Qianying are busy trying to make a career and don’t have enough time for their child Renxing who is glued to her iPad. The parents both have work trips at the same time, so Qianying entrusts Renxing to be looked after by her grandfather, who has previously lost her whilst under his care. Renxing and her grandfather are off on their travels to visit his village along with his bird, a nightingale. At first Renxing acts up, but they soon bond after getting lost in a luscious bamboo forest. Rural China’s scenery is breathtakingly beautiful. This film is extremely cute and lovely and the grandfather and granddaughter are engaging characters who have a beautiful rapport as they learn much from each during their journey.
Dragonsource: Take a look at Dragonsource for Chinese language magazines in both simplified and traditional Chinese for online reading.
Length: 85 minutes
Director: John Richardson
The Australian countryside is shot stunningly in this film that is all about the bond between man and his dog. A dog gets sold to a farmer, Tom, who is told that the dog is pure kelpie but is actually part dingo. By day, Dusty becomes a trusty and reliable sheep dog but at night he does like to terrorise the sheep when his natural dingo traits come out. This causes tension on the farm as some people want Dusty dead whilst Tom has grown incredibly fond of him. The film shows how much humans and dogs can be attached to each other due to friendship and gives an insight into life in the Australian countryside.
OverDrive eAudiobooks: Want to know how to make your dog happy? Then listen to Cesar Milan’s Guide to a Happy Dog here.
Length: 79 minutes
Director: Alex Simmons
This silly comedy follows David and Flula as they go on what would have been David’s honeymoon hike. David has been dumped by his fiancé so his incredibly happy and enthusiastic German friend Flula decides to join the hike to cheer him up. Flula is a character that you’ll either love or hate–I love his eccentricities, strange logic and how excitable he is. David provides narration of journal entries from American pioneer explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark and the comparison of Meriwether to Flula is a running joke. This is a sweet bromance film that is lots of fun. Their hike into the wilderness is incredibly shot and will make you yearn for an outdoor excursion which hopefully we can do again sometime soon!
OverDrive: This film is all about friendship and David and Flula are best friends in real life. If you want to carry on the theme of friendship with humour thrown in then take a look at these eBooks.