© 2012 - Gravier Productions
Regular Features, Travel Film Inspiration, Woody Allen Tourism

The Woody Allen Tourist: To Rome With Love (2012)

I’ve had Rome on the brain recently, ever since coming back from Lisbon. Lisbon’s centuries old alley ways and faintly Catholic churches had me pining for the epic history lesson paired with all the pizza, pasta and ice cream I could eat… which only Rome could offer. I last went to Rome when I was 17 and I definitely think it’s time for another visit. Alas, this year is supposed to be focused on UK travel and I need to stick to the promise I made to myself, so I’ve been keeping my Roman thoughts satisfied with watching Roman films. Recently I watched Bicycle Thieves (1948) for the first time, and then watched Angels and Demons (2009) purely for the extensive locations of Rome and the Vatican (okay, okay, I actually like the film) and then finished off with a slice of To Rome With Love (2012). Out of the three, To Rome With Love builds a more idillic and romantic portrait of Rome with the usual tourist haunts, the amazing food, the fine wine… But that’s about it. To Rome With Love I’ll say it now, To Rome With Love is not a good film. Do not confuse feeling nostalgic or or wistful towards the subject matter of […]

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Films set on American Summer Camps | almostginger.com
Film & TV Specials, Travel Film Inspiration

Films set on American Summer Camps

It’s that time of year again. The time of year where Timehop reminds me how excited I was about working on American Summer Camps a whole 4 years ago now. I still remember I left for camp on Friday June 15th like that date will be embedded in my brain like my birthday or my wedding day. As with every holiday or upcoming occasion, I watched a ton of films and TV shows to get me excited about going to the States. Blue Bloods was getting me excited about going to New York in a I-can’t-even-contain-myself kind of way, as was the weird UK TV show Beaver Falls which was about 3 guys who do exactly what I was about to. I also watched many of the below films set on American summer camps before crossing the pond, and even now I seek them out knowing that even if it’s a crappy film, the nostalgia element (can you get nostalgia after 4 years?) will pull at my heartstrings regardless. The Parent Trap (1998) I’m sure my sister would be very disappointed in me if I didn’t mention The Parent Trap first. It’s an AWESOME film. Wet Hot American Summer (2001) Warning: If you […]

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© 2009 - Corinth Films
Regular Features, The Blind Spot

Bicycle Thieves (1948): May Blind Spot

The last time I visited Rome was six years ago. That would have been around 50 years after Bicycle Thieves and most wouldn’t presume your average city to still be recognisable. But Rome isn’t your average city. Considering many of Rome’s buildings are hundreds, even thousands of years old, I would expect a little comparability, a hint of a feeling that tells me this is the same city I grew to love walking through it’s famed cobbled streets a mere six years previously. Bicycle Thieves But the world that the classic and highly regarded Bicycle Thieves introduces you to isn’t the ancient world I had witnessed. Our main man Antonio Ricci lives on the outskirts of town in an estate, if you’d call it that. It reminded me of built up apartments in rough areas or urban cities as exhibited in La Haine (1995) and Fish Tank (2009). The mid-sized tower blocks were stripped of any detail, any design that I had known of Roman buildings. It was not the glamourised Rome I was objected to, it was not a fantasy. This was post world war II Rome and a far cry from birthing the modern world. Ricci is an average, Roman man. He lives with his […]

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Europe, Lisbon, Portugal

39 Photogenic Reasons to Visit Lisbon

The capital city of Lisbon holds a surprise around every cobbled corner. The quaint alleyways, funiculars, mosaics adorning every home are a photographer’s delight. An amateur photographer, like myself, would find it effortless to capture Lisbon in all it’s splendour as I did last weekend, in both the sun and rain. I miss it already. Everyone should have the chance to visit Lisbon as only in Portugal’s most diverse and multi-cultural city would you find… Vespas parked on every street These beautiful front doors And the colour coordinated neighbours The rustic orange roofs Old worldly street lamps An elevator from the 1920s connecting street levels Many, many tiles… everywhere Literally, everywhere you look The jaw dropping scale and detail of this Monastery And the contrasting design of the churches The fruit trees that reside on ordinary streets like this orange tree The cute little fishes at the Aquarium And of course the famous street art that juxtaposes against the centuries old buildings And the funiculars that are covered in street art And the architecture is jaw-droppingly gorgeous This hipster living room in an ordinary restaurant And this striking monument Or this sunset across the river Not forgetting the well-preserved castle […]

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© MGM
In Flight Movies, Regular Features, Travel Film Inspiration

In-Flight Movies to… India

I would bloody love to go to India and I’m not really sure why. I’m a vegetarian so I would enjoy being able to eat almost everything on offer, but I’m not a fan of really fragrant curry spices. I’m as pale as a ghost so the fiery sun would seer through my skin and who likes the car crash of smells I’m told you experience in the bigger cities? Nevertheless, I’m intrigued. I do love yoga and I’ve always wanted to be more in touch with my spirituality, but I’ve always been drawn to Buddhist practices rather than Hindu. I love Bollywood films after taking a course at University in Bollywood film but I don’t love them that much but I just know I’d love the country. I’ve chosen a few films that have no doubt played a huge part in my longing to visit India. There are soooo many others and I’ve listed a few at the end but these are my personal favourites. India The Darjeeling Limited (2007) There was no way this film wasn’t going to appear on this list. I don’t know how well The Darjeeling Limited is received but I don’t care. It’s set on a train going across India where […]

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A Weekend in London | Clink 78, The Shard and The Breakfast Club | almostginger.com
England, Europe, Restaurants & Cafes, Reviews, UK

Weekend in London|The Shard & The Breakfast Club

The last time I had a weekend in London I ate at some of the most boring restaurants imaginable. On the Friday night, I had a veggie burger from McDonalds (classy), breakfast at my hotel (all the blandness) and for lunch I ate some pathetic pancakes at some random restaurant on the outside of Leicester Square. With the sheer amount of awesome places to be wined and dined in London it’s like I went out of my way to have the worst meals ever. This is my home country and my capital city; I speak the language and I’ve been to London heaps of times, it should be no problem finding much better places to eat and visit and I was supremely disappointed in my efforts and vowed to ‘do better next time.’ Next time happened to be Easter bank holiday weekend at the BFI Flare film festival on London’s Southbank and do better I did! Clink 78 Hostel I still wanted to keep my overnight trip as cheap as possible so I decided to stay in a hostel, but not just any hostel… A hostel that I’ve heard travel bloggers go on and on about for months, including my […]

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Daffodils
My Year In Films, Regular Features

That’s a Wrap! April on Almost Ginger

I need to lie down for a moment. What just happened? Is it over? Have I slept through April or did I fly through it at warped speed? Looking at my calendar and my camera memory card it appears to be the latter. I don’t even know if I slept in April, I just had so many goddamn plans. My boyfriend asked me a couple of days ago ‘so what trips have you got coming up after we go to Lisbon?’ because I’ve had a million recently and I’ve ditched him almost every weekend and my answer was none. A big fat none until the middle of June. THANK THE LORD. Have a read of everything I got up to in April whilst I nap for the next 16 hours. What I’ve been watching It won’t be surprising after my overdramatic intro that I watched shockingly few films in April after doing so well in March. I didn’t realise until around the middle of April that I hadn’t watched a single new film, both at home or at the cinema. But whatevs, you know? Swings and roundabouts. You win some you lose some, all that jazz. Re-watches: Zilch! Screenings: Eddie The Eagle (2016) […]

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© 1994 - Miramax Films / Sweetland Films
Regular Features, Woody Allen Tourism

The Woody Allen Tourist: Bullets Over Broadway (1995)

1920s. New York City. Broadway. Prohibition is enforced, girls are smoking cigarettes and everyone’s having a jolly good time. You’ve just got a play commissioned in one of the best theatres in the country and you’re even allowed to direct it and your dream actors have agreed to star. Aren’t you just the luckiest SOB around? Not if you’re David Shayne (John Cusack) and your manager has been a sneaky so-and-so and promised a big-shot mob boss his floozy can have a part in the play if he funds the entire project. Not only that, but his girlfriend is an annoying two bit hack who couldn’t act to save her life. Even more annoyingly, your play really isn’t that good, and when the Floozy’s bodyguard starts offering up great ideas for re-writes, you reluctantly accept the help from a murderous gangster with a recently dormant knack for dramaturgy. Enter the hilarious gangster-theatrical comedy… Bullets Over Broadway When I think of New York City at it’s most glamorous and fantastical, I think of the 1920s. I think of flappers and smoke swirling around speakeasies and Charleston dances and gangsters in pin striped suits sipping whisky and gunning each other down in alleyways […]

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Cardiff Castle, the 'other' Doctor Who experience | almostginger.com
Cardiff, Film Locations, Travel Film Inspiration, UK, Wales

Cardiff Castle: The Other Doctor Who Experience

I think the best Doctor Who is David Tennant. Matt Smith is good (read: fit) too and Peter Capaldi is fab but apparently I am incorrect. They play good characters, but weren’t ‘the Doctor’ that original fans had come to know and love. I found out why when I ventured to Cardiff Castle, a frequently employed film location for Doctor Who, Sherlock, The Sarah Jane Adventures, Torchwood and I’m sure many others once they cotton on to how flipping’ beautiful this place is. I attended one of Cardiff Castle’s daily film location tours led by Doctor Who obsessive Dean and I honestly can’t imagine enjoying the tour nearly half as much had Dean and the rest of the tour not been so enthusiastic. That might be because I’m not a huge Doctor Who fan (I was more interested in the Sherlock one, see the bottom of this post for those) but I still felt the excitement with the rest of the group. Doctor Who Locations The Castle Library as the TARDIS library in “Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS” – Season 7 And this me going back to my #dramakid routes, pretending to be Clara Oswald… A random underground […]

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© New Yorker Films
Regular Features, The Blind Spot

Aguirre, Wrath of God (1972): April Blind Spot

You know when American or British films are set in a foreign land, and they still speak the English language, but are portraying a different nationality? There’s loads of examples. The Hollywood version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011), Les Miserables (2012), The Man in the Iron Mask (1998), Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014), Schindler’s List (1994) there’s literally too many to mention. So it shouldn’t take me aback when I watch a German film, in the German language, with the actors portraying Spaniards. But it does. It’s just really bizarre and I can’t think of another non-English language film I have seen whose characters are not the nationality of the language they are speaking. It’s jarring to me but I know that’s problematic, so I’m very happy for that reason alone that I chose this film as my April Blind Spot along with many others. Aguirre, Wrath of God This is my very first Werner Herzog directed film and I had a few expectations. I knew it was going to be an epic and shot entirely on location, the shoot that was riddled with monumental technical issues and I knew Herzog and Klaus Kinski, the actor who played Aguirre, clashed severely on the direction of the character. […]

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