Aladdin: the landscapes of Jordan
A remake of Aladdin, directed by Guy Ritchie, will be on the big screen next year, with Mena Massoud as Aladdin and Will Smith as Genie. It takes place in the fictional kingdom of Agrabah and was shot in Wadi Rum, Jordan, where the protected desert landscape, sandstone and basalt mountains, canyons and rock formations of another world – such as the bridge Burdah Rock, one of the highest natural arches in the world – create a dramatic landscape.
It is recommended to explore in 4×4 and visitors can also stay in a Bedouin camp in the desert, go on a camel ride and visit the 4000-year-old cave drawings of the Khazali Canyon. It is advisable to book directly with the Jordan Visitors Center on arrival or with a travel agency in advance.
The ninth film of Quentin Tarantino (and so-called penultimate) has an exceptional cast including Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Margot Robbie and Al Pacino. All the details of the crime drama have not yet been released, but the director told the CinemaCon convention last April: “Once upon a time in Hollywood was held in 1969, at the height of the counterculture, the hippie revolution and the new Hollywood. Street by street, street after street, we will turn Los Angeles into Hollywood in 1969.”
Photos and videos appeared showing a stretch of Hollywood Boulevard, between Las Palmas and Cherokee, transformed into vintage cars, storefronts and cinemas. But although most of the sets are temporary, it is possible to visit some of the permanent installations presented in the film, including the oldest Hollywood restaurant, Musso & Frank Grill, opened in 1919 and whose reputation was established at the age of Hollywood, visited by stars such as Charlie Chaplin.
Other Hollywood venues to experience the retro vibe include Dan Tana’s Italian in West Hollywood, the city’s first nightclub, where celebrities would dine anonymously – celebrating 50 years of the year last. Next to the Pantages Art Deco Theater, is the oldest dive bar in Hollywood, Frolic Room (opened as speakeasy in 1930, was a real hole for Barfly’s writer, Charles Bukowski, and featured in LA Confidential). And the Hollywood Museum, located in the restored Art Facto Max Factor building, is bursting with memories and home to a historic pink lobby.
Nearly 25 years after the release of the animated classic, a CGI version featuring the voices of Beyoncé, Donald Glover, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Seth Rogen is out. Research trips on the original animated film took place in Kenya’s National Park, Hell’s Gate, although Pride Rock was a fictitious item added by the animators.
Hell’s Gate National Park, located 90 km from Nairobi, owes its name to the intense activity of geothermal energy within its limits. The spectacular landscape includes deep, winding gorges, volcanic rock towers and steam plumes. Here, the number of big cats is low, which means that in Kenyan parks, pedestrians are allowed to freely access. But the fauna is abundant with more than 103 species of birds, buffaloes, zebras, gazelles, hyenas, antelopes and baboons. Rental bikes and local guides (for both walking and walking safaris) are available at the entrance; those wishing to explore by car can rent 4x4s at Nairobi airport). If a distant hyena lullaby looks attractive, there are three camp sites in the park (Endachata, Naiburta and Oldubai) and more options at nearby Naivasha Lake.
After the finale of the December 2015 television series, the film continues to tell the stories of the Crawley families, their friends and their servants. Although filming took place in Yorkshire, filming was largely carried out at Highclere Castle in Hampshire (where also shot Jeeves & Wooster, starring Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry). The 17th century Jacobethan Castle, with a landscaped park of Capability Brown, offers special winter tours (January to March, £ 120), afternoon tea tours (every day, from April to September, from £ 51) and a live Downton concert by the room. London orchestra with Carson’s (Jim Carter) narration on June 22, 2019.
Scenes of Downton, a fictional Yorkshire village, were shot in Bampton, Oxfordshire, including the 11th century St Mary’s Church. Other scenes were shot in Lacock, Wiltshire, a village almost entirely owned by the National Trust, including many historic cottages and Lacock Abbey, including Harry Potter and Pride and Prejudice
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)
On The Spot: 2019 Releases of Films to Inspire Your Travels
Aladdin: the landscapes of Jordan