Given that in-person trips are not an option right now, these are our chance to take a cinematic urban holiday. The films below are those that missed out on PART #1 of this list, in many cases because they offer a slightly darker urban experience.

1. ROME: THE TALENTED MR RIPLEY (1999) This film steeps us in the atmosphere of 1950′s Italy  - or rather, the version of it that our wealthy ex-pat characters enjoy. Despite his personal demons, the Rome we see as Tom Ripley explores it is the elegant, sun-drenched, city of his dreams.

2. JAKARTA: THE YEAR OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY (1982) Peter Wier brings his customary lyricism to this atmospheric portrait of the Indonesian city on the cusp of a communist uprising.

3. NEW YORK: THE WARRIORS (1979) A gang are forced to travel, mostly on foot, from the Bronx to Coney Island, through the territories of militant rivals. The city they traverse is rendered as a dystopian extension of the real-life problems of violence and urban decay in 1970′s New York City.

4. LOS ANGELES: NIGHTCRAWLER (2014) As in fellow neo-noir DRIVE (2011), nocturnal LA is a character in its own right, with ruthless cameraman Lou Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) prowling the streets in search of lucratively grisly footage.

5. LONDON: BLOWUP (1967) Michelangelo Antonioni’s first film in English is a meditation on voyeurism and perception, and also an iconic portrait of Mod 1960′s London. Like his globetrotting THE PASSENGER (1975), it makes for an unusual city film, due to its pervasive sense of solitude and emptiness.

6. SHANGHAI: LUST CAUTION (2008) Ang Lee’s espionage thriller is set against a backdrop of colonial architecture within 1940′s Shanghai, as the city struggles against its Japanese occupiers.

7. CITY OF GOD, RIO: CITY OF GOD (2002) A visceral journey into the 1970’s slums of Rio de Janeiro, with a predominantly amateur cast that included residents of the City of God Favela itself.

8. SAIGON: THREE SEASONS (1999). A lyrical exploration of the past, present, and future of the Vietnamese capital, as characters struggle with the aftermath of war, and the onslaught of Westernisation and capitalism.

9. PRAGUE: THE UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF BEING (1988) A sexual, moral and political drama connects three individuals in this adaptation of Milan Kundera’s novel, set against the backdrop of socialist liberalisation in 1960′s Prague.

10. LOS ANGELES: CHINATOWN (1974) Roman Polanski paints a sun-drenched and beautiful (if conceptually bleak) picture of Municipal corruption in 1930′s LA.

11. NEW YORK: TAXI DRIVER (1976) Scorcese shot this film in New York City during a heatwave and a garbage strike. He has said that he sought to create an on-screen world that felt like a dream or a drug-induced reverie.

12. PARIS: BREATHLESS (1960) The French capital stars alongside Jean Seberg and Jean Paul Belmondo in this heavily improvised New-Wave classic.

13. LOS ANGELES: LA CONFIDENTIAL (1997). Like Chinatown, this is a beautiful and visually pristine, but seedy, incarnation of retro-Los Angeles.

14. SAIGONTHE LOVER (1992) Although it’s an underwhelming adaptation of the novel, this film makes the list because it does create an evocative and deeply atmospheric rendering of 1920’s Saigon.

15. ISTANBULCLIMATES (2006) Sombre but beautifully filmed depiction of the end of a relationship, set against the vivid backdrops of summer in Kas and winter in Istanbul.

16. MEXICO CITY: Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN (2001) Although it’s primarily a road movie, the opening and closing sections of this film take place in a socially restive Mexico City, and set the scene for many of the cultural and political themes explored throughout.

17. LOS ANGELES: HEAT (1995) Amongst the countless movies filmed in LA, this is one of a handful in which the city itself it is a central character. Al Pacino plays cat and mouse with Robert De Niro through a series of iconic urban locations.

18. NEW YORK: DO THE RIGHT THING (1989) Spike Lee’s Brooklyn boils over on the hottest day of summer.

19. HAVANA: BEFORE NIGHT FALLS (2000) Julian Schnabel ’s portrait of the exiled Cuban writer unfolds in an atmospheric incarnation of 1950′s Havana, during the Cuban Revolution.


COPENHAGEN: COPENHAGEN (2014) Despite the (intentionally) unlikeable protagonist, and the uncomfortable romantic pairing, this ultimately makes for a sweet and life-affirming visit to the title city. 

‘Bonus: MIAMI’: SCARFACE (1983) Few films have a more iconic association with this city, which itself becomes a central character, but after objections from Florida officials, who feared the antics of Tony Montana might be seen as typical of the population as a whole (!), the majority of the movie ended up being shot in LA. (Photo: vanityfair via Pinterest)