While there is an endless amount of movies set in New York, California, Paris or London, Barcelona is not so famous for being a film location. However in recent years some productions have ignited a resurgence and interest to film in the city. We have selected five of our favorite movies filmed in Barcelona that depict a balanced overview of what the city is all about.
Vicky Christina Barcelona (Woody Allen, 2008)
Woody Allen continues his European adventure with Vicky Christina Barcelona, a romantic comedy starring Scarlett Johansson, Javier Bardem and Penélope Cruz. Barcelona works as the backdrop of the story, with several locations appearing on screen, such as Santa Maria del Mar, Montjuïc, or Tibidabo.
Many complain that Vicky doesn’t portrait the “real” Barcelona, but without a doubt the city looks exquisite through Allen’s lens.
All about my mother (Pedro Almodóvar, 1999)
A streetcar named desire, a nun, a transvestite, Bette Davis’ All about Eve and a single mom who just lost her 17 year old son, all converge in this Almodovar’s Oscar winning film. Barcelona is shown quietly and subtly in the background, with beautiful shots of the Sagrada Familia and the Palau de la Música Catalana.
Biutiful (Alejandro González Iñárritu, 2010)
The director of 21 grams and Babel, chose Barcelona and its outskirts as the backdrop of this harsh story. Starring Javier Bardem, this one could easily be called the anti Vicky Christina Barcelona. While that one depicted the life of wealthy American girls, Biutiful is about a man coping with his own misery in a crime-ridden environment. A must-see if you want to see a darker side of Barcelona.
L’auberge espagnole (Cédric Klapisch, 2002)
This French film deals with an Economics student from Paris moving to Barcelona as part of the Erasmus exchange program. Starring Audrey Tautou and Romain Duris, gives a spot on depiction of foreign student life in Barcelona.
The city is shown profusely in many exterior shots, with scenes taking place in La Rambla, Parc Güell, Barceloneta, and many more, this is the film you should see if you plan to visit or stay in Barcelona.
Perfume: The story of a Murderer (Tom Tykwer, 2006)
Even though the film adaptation of this bestseller is set in eighteenth century Paris, it was heavily shot in some parts of the Gothic Quarter and Poble Espanyol in Barcelona, as well as other locations outside the city, like Girona or Figueres.
Nice to watch after you’ve been to Barcelona and try guessing all the familiar spots.
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