A good film cannot do without good actors, a director in control and a script that is rock solid. We all get that. But what would have happened to movies like Forrest Gump, Dirty Dancing, and Out of Africa if the locations that come to mind right now were not part of the picture?
Sometimes movie locations are just as important as the actors who give them a background. Take the Four Seasons Resort on Maui. The luxurious hotel may have a different name in the HBO series The White Lotus, but it really is a fantastic setting for the satirical series about the confrontation between a group of wealthy Americans and the resort staff. Almost every scene was filmed at the Hawaiian resort in the autumn of 2020 (with the COVID19 guidelines in hand). After watching the series it almost feels like you have stayed at the resort yourself.
The Park Hyatt Hotel in Tokyo, Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego, and the Mountain Lake Lodge near Pembroke, Virginia are all equally fine examples of locations so inextricably linked to the movies that were shot there that you might call them protagonists too. Just a quick quiz: do you know which movie is linked to which hotel without reading further? I will give you the answer in a minute.
The White Lotus copyright HBO
A less well-known, but no less beautiful example of a location that can no longer be seen separately from the movie that was filmed there is the Juvet Landscape Hotel in Norway. The designer hotel, located in the beautiful Scandinavian forests, was used for the shooting of the intriguing high-tech thriller Ex Machina for two weeks in 2013. In the movie it is not a hotel, but the home of Nathan Bateman, the CEO of the IT company Blue Book. That's what makes it so nice, because you can stay there as a fan of the movie, which is not possible in all the private residences that are so often used in movies.
Fans of The Silence of the Lambs are also catered to in that regard. Earlier this year, art director and prop stylist Chris Rowan bought the house in Perryopolis, Pennsylvania that was used as Buffalo Bill's home in The Silence of the Lambs. He converted the private residence it into a Bed & Breakfast and left the defining pieces of the house intact so that you can now spend the night there. I am a big fan of the movie, but I like to leave the overnight stay to others.
Ex-machina copyright Universal
There are, of course, many more locations than just hotels that are so clearly linked to movies. The list is endless, as you can discover here on Sceen-it.com. But because we are doing so well now: Jamaica is the home of GoldenEye, the villa where James Bond's spiritual father Ian Fleming took up residence after the Second World War and where he wrote the books about the famous secret agent. The house that Fleming himself designed is now part of a luxury resort. You can book overnight stays there, but only if you are willing to pay the price of 8.000 US dollar per night. Thanks to Google Maps you can still look around for free.
By the way, I still owe you the answer to the question about the three movie hotels. If you came up with the titles Lost in Translation, Some Like it Hot and Dirty Dancing without hesitation, you can call yourself a true film location expert. Welcome to the club!
Out of Africa copyright Universal
The last location we all came to identify with one particular movie I would like to take you to for now is in Kenya. Out of Africa is the 1985 movie adaptation of the African adventures of the Danish writer Karen Blixen. The movie was not shot in Blixen's real home, which today serves as a museum, but in the former home of the widow of Kenyan Prime Minister Jomo Kenyatta. The really beautiful mansion is now owned by Florian Keller, co-founder of Enchanting Travels, a tour operator specialized in luxury travel. Anyone who books the special safari trip to Kenya with this company can visit the house. Although you cannot stay for the night, it is still amazing spot for the bucket list...
Eric of SCEEN IT
November, 6, 2021
The White Lotus
The Silence of the Lambs
Out of Africa