question of the weekend: what place that exists only in a movie would you like to visit?

Movies are fantasy factories, perhaps never more so than when creating places that do not exist in the real world. Sometimes these are settings that are so hugely imaginative that they could not possibly exist here and now, like, oh, Star Wars’s Death Star. Sometimes they are places that could conceivable exist, or have existed, yet didn’t, but nevertheless conjure up associations that thrill us, like the place I’ll mention as my pick: Rick’s Café Amerícain in Casablanca. I’d love to visit there to soak up the atmosphere and the emotion the movie so brilliantly evokes with it, the sense of purpose that comes from the struggles of those therein.

What place that exists only in a movie would you like to visit? Why?

(I’m reviving my “questions” posts — just on a weekend basis — as an experiment, to see if there’s any interest in them. I’m also posting these as free posts at Substack or Patreon. You don’t need to be a paying subscriber at either service if you’d prefer to comment at either of them, but you will need to register with either site to comment.)

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David_Conner
David_Conner
Sun, Aug 01, 2021 10:22am

The Orient Express, as it’s depicted in fiction. A journey on a steam-engine train through exotic locations, going to the dining car for gourmet meals in the company of elegant but enigmatic passengers and Communist spies who order red wine with fish.

amanohyo
amanohyo
Sun, Aug 01, 2021 4:52pm

I’ve got a ton. In rough order of preference, here are my top ten:

1) 2019 L.A. as depicted in Blade Runner
2) Willy Wonka’s Factory
3) Hotel Adriano from Porco Rosso
4) Spirited Away’s Bathhouse
5) the Ivory Tower of the Neverending Story
6) Cloud City
7) the Overlook Hotel
8) the Palace in Last Year at Marienbad (I’ve been to Nymphenburg Palace once, but it’s not the same)
9) the City of Lost Children
10) Maison Ikkoku and Takahashi’s fictional 1980’s Tokyo in general

susmart3
susmart3
Sun, Aug 01, 2021 6:39pm

1) Dark City (1998) with memory intact, to see a city transform at that scale and, 2) WALL-E, to see humanity return and recolonize the Earth. (Would be happy to be one of the machines or a friend of the cockroach.)

Danielm80
Danielm80
Mon, Aug 02, 2021 1:03am

Here’s my problem: Most of the imaginary places in movies aren’t designed to bring joy or tranquility to the people who visit them. People may feel those things while they’re there, but fictional places are mostly designed as locations to have adventures in, for the entertainment of the viewing audience. If you travel to Neverland or Wonderland or the place where the Wild Things are, you’re probably going to get attacked by pirates or monsters or members of the royal family.

So I’m not sure I’d have all that much fun in those places.

(Disclaimer: If you think you’re the sort of person who’d enjoy fighting pirates YMMV.)

If I were going to go to a fictional place, I’d go to New York or Paris, but it would be the Paris of Amelie or the New York of The Royal Tenenbaums. I bet Wes Anderson’s New York, with all its extra streets, has amazing concerts.

A possible alternative: I might like to visit the inside of Newt Scamander’s suitcase in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, but only if Newt–possibly accompanied by Tina–were there to make sure the fantastic beasts treated me nicely.

althea
althea
Mon, Aug 02, 2021 1:22am

Pepperland, and the Yellow Submarine. I’ll also second the Spirited Away Bathhouse.

Bluejay
Bluejay
Mon, Aug 02, 2021 8:01pm

All the places in My Neighbor Totoro: the house amid the fields, the river where you dip a basket of vegetables to cool, the enormous tree, the bus stop, Totoro’s secret grove. Also Kiki’s bakery, and her artistic friend’s cabin, in Kiki’s Delivery Service. The antique shop and violin workshop in Whisper of the Heart. These locations in the Studio Ghibli films just fill me with tranquility and quiet joy. Like I could visit those places and just BE.

I’d also love to be on board the Leonov as it’s parked right beside the great monolith orbiting Jupiter. And I’d love to be in Ellie Arroway’s little pod when it zips through wormholes, brushes by giant worlds tantalizingly lit with the nighttime glow of sprawling cities, and ends up at the otherworldly beach. Wonders of the universe and all that.

Wakanda. (Of COURSE.) Also: Krypton from Man of Steel (but waaay before it explodes) and Hala from the beginning of Captain Marvel, because those were visually fantastic sci-fi civilizations that never really got fully fleshed out in their respective films. I’d love to have seen more.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZJphVdLX38&ab_channel=MarvelUniverseEntertainment

Also also: I only vaguely remember What Dreams May Come, but I remember this scene of paradise, literally a painting come to life. I’d love to stay in it a while. And maybe see some people I’ve been missing… that’d be nice too, if only in a dream.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hQh3G1dVpk&ab_channel=Sabconth

Danielm80
Danielm80
reply to  Bluejay
Tue, Aug 03, 2021 4:54am

“Someone asked me, ‘What’s your favorite moment in the movie?’ ” says Gaiman. “And I said, ‘There’s a moment in the movie where you’re looking at a rock, and a raindrop hits it, and leaves a little wet splotch. And then another raindrop hits, and leaves another splotch. And then the rock is glistening and shining, and you pull back, and it’s raining.’

“That’s my favorite scene in the movie because it wouldn’t be there in any other film. Disney would never have put that scene in. It’s a scene of almost unutterable beauty. It’s world-building, and that’s where Miyazaki is a master.”

—Neil Gaiman on translating Princess Mononoke

https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/bs-xpm-1999-11-29-9911290257-story.html

zak1
zak1
Tue, Aug 03, 2021 9:52pm

How about this place? (note the two glowing trees on the horizon – and guess where this is)

comment image

Danielm80
Danielm80
reply to  zak1
Wed, Aug 04, 2021 5:39am

Oddly enough, as the rare geek who isn’t a Tolkien fan, I’d rather visit that place in the real world.

Bluejay
Bluejay
reply to  zak1
Wed, Aug 04, 2021 3:33pm

Is Amazon’s LOTR series a movie? :-)

Because if we’re expanding to include streaming series, then I have to add in Republic City, the Crystal Gems’ temple in Beach City, and parts (but ONLY parts) of Infinity Train. :-)

Danielm80
Danielm80
reply to  Bluejay
Wed, Aug 04, 2021 4:32pm

What I actually want to do, of course, is raid a prop warehouse, so I can load all the clothes and inventions from The Nevers into a house from a Wes Anderson movie, and drive them all to New Zealand in a tiny steampunk car. This is, in fact, my main goal in life.

Bluejay
Bluejay
reply to  Danielm80
Wed, Aug 04, 2021 6:33pm

I Googled “steampunk car pulling a house” and this is what I got. :-)

https://www.collectorsweekly.com/articles/there-goes-the-neighborhood-mobile-victorian-house-sets-sail-for-desert/

Danielm80
Danielm80
reply to  Bluejay
Wed, Aug 04, 2021 7:04pm

That wouldn’t solve all of my problems in life, but it would come closer than you’d expect.

zak1
zak1
reply to  Bluejay
Fri, Aug 06, 2021 7:21pm

I admit that posted this image on a sudden impulse – I had just seen this image posted online, and was bowled over – and then at the same time I came across this question here – it felt almost like fate, so I rushed to post this image in response – but you’re right, this entry may be stretching things a bit, lavish widescreen format notwithstanding lol

LaSargenta
LaSargenta
Fri, Aug 06, 2021 6:03pm

The loft belonging to Gorodish in Diva. Bits of it are visible in this clip: https://youtu.be/YhQbZkAlCjM

I definitely can’t go there at all, the building where they shot it has been torn down. http://www.movie-locations.com/movies/d/Diva.php

Also, that lighthouse that is Gorodish’s safe house la Phare de Gatteville. I mean, I can go there physically, but, it is a museum, not a house.