This is one of those posts that will see me called out as wrong, or state something painfully obvious, but you can't blame a girl for trying.

I've mentioned before that I've been watching a lot of film noir. Naturally, those kinds of Netflix searches lead one to watching a lot of fedora-filled films, and revisiting anything of Alfred Hitchcock's that happens to be online. Watching everything from Gilda to The Man Who Knew Too Much in a very short period of time has led me to jump to a silly conclusion --film locations used to be a lot more exotic. The films of the 1930s, '40s, 50s, and even 60s are set in all kinds of fabulous locations: Brazil, Buenos Aires, Shang-Hai, Istanbul, Cannes, Casablanca. Characters travel languidly and carelessly to all four corners of the Earth without thinking too much of it, which is pretty remarkable in a time when few people left their hometown, let alone their country.

Most of these "locations" are never seen, of course. (A huge exception is always Hitchcock, who plunks everyone right there on the streets of Istanbul or Rio de Janeiro) I don't think there's anything remotely Argentinian about Gilda (the South American casino looks like it reused the walls of Tara), but it oozes exoticism all the same. You never see the Shang-Hai of The Lady From Shang-Hai, but the fact that the blonde beauty speaks fluent Chinese just adds that extra bit of mystery. Plus that film sees them sailing all over the place via the Panama Canal, as if that's something everyone with a yacht does every summer. But even if the exotic locales are nothing more than a name drop or a bunch of stock footage, it makes the film far more sensual than if it's simply set in San Fransisco or Miami.
categories Cinematical