With its Meditteranean light and historical heritage, not to mention good looks and sex appeal, Barcelona is very much an A-list film star. Barcelona has inspired very different artistic visions among film directors. While Woody Allen chose to dwell on the city's arty, romantic appeal, Ken Loach went for the political jugular and Pedro Almodovar trawled its quirky underworld. Here are our top five Barcelona films.
1. Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Two American girls (Scarlett Johanssen and Rebecca Hall) fall for a Barcelona artist (Javier Bardem) and Barcelona itself, in this Woody Allen homage to the Catalan capital. You might recognise locations in El Born, Pedralbes and other haunts across the city.
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2. L'Auberge Espagnole (The Spanish Apartment)
A French movie, this one paints an amusing picture of life in an international student house in Barcelona. The film follows the amorous adventures of a young French writer living with English, German, Danish, Spanish and Italian housemates. The beach, Eixample, Sagrada Familia and El Gotico all play cameo roles.
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3. All About My Mother
Pedro Almodovar's film is a tale about a woman (Cecilia Roth) searching for a lost love and discovering a seedily glamorous Barcelona of pre-op transsexuals, pregnant nuns and lesbian actresses. The area around the Santa Maria Church in El Born features prominently.
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An alternative to the romantic, arty vision of picture-postcard Barcelona. This Oscar-nominated Spanish film by Mexican director Alejandro González Iñarritu portrays the dark world of the mafia, black market trafficking and illegal immigration in Barcelona's underworld, through the emotive eyes of Javier Bardem's desparately out of luck character. We're taken on a trip through the city centre right out into some of the city's most cosmetically-challenged areas, including the atmospheric Zona Franca.
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