Five films that will help you escape somewhere far away (without leaving the house)

BY SOPHIE GRIFFITHS

It’s likely that many of us have already had our summer plans cancelled by the current COVID-19 pandemic, and there may be many travel restrictions continuing into the rest of the year. Lez be honest, we’re all craving that holiday feeling. Socially distanced picnics will never beat strolling an unfamiliar place in the sun. 

Films have the power to transport us elsewhere and that’s why we’ve put together this list of some queer travel films. Whether you’re longing to be swept away on a European adventure or cross a desert dressed in drag, here are some queer films that evoke the magic of travel. 

Portrait Of A Lady On Fire

Set on an isolated island in Brittany in the late 18th century, Portrait Of A Lady On Fire tells the story of a forbidden affair between an aristocrat and a painter commissioned to paint her portrait. 

Although Portrait Of A Lady On Fire seems to teach us a lot about social distancing – such as staying two metres apart at all times and wearing masks – Marianne and Héloïse’s sexually tense social distancing soon turns into a steamy love affair. With the beautiful beaches of Brittany as the backdrop, you’ll be wishing you’d spent your lockdown there too.

Rafiki

Rafiki will transport you to the neon soaked, vibrant life in Nairobi, Kenya. Kena and Ziki’s father’s are up against each other in the local election, but that doesn’t stop the two daughters from bonding. They become the talk of the town as Kena and Ziki have a number of romantic encounters in secret. The first flush of love is matched with dreamy visuals, with Kenya’s colour popping out wherever it can be found, even in the briefest and most mundane shots of aubergines ripening in the sun. 

Carol

Carol is a great period piece as well as the ultimate love letter to road trips. A forbidden 1950s love affair between shop girl and photographer Therese (Rooney Mara) and soon-to-be divorcee Carol (Cate Blanchett) grows stronger on a winding road trip, that takes the couple from New York City through Ohio, Illinois, and Iowa, before reality catches up. 

The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of The Desert

Guy Pearce, Hugo Weaving, and Terence Stamp star as two drag performers and a transwoman who travel to Alice Springs, Australia, in a lavender-hued school bus they’ve named Priscilla. A road trip across the Outback serves as a dusty backdrop for personal revelations and an amazing fireside lip-sync performance of Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive. 

Call Me By Your Name

Consider Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me By Your Name a starter guide to the Italian countryside life you’ve always wanted. Riding bikes through hundred-year-old piazzas, diving for fossils in Lake Garda, and waking up to a breakfast of soft-boiled eggs and freshly picked peaches. An immersive taste of Italy and a queer love story? The real thing can wait until next year as long as you’re watching this.

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