“You wake up at Seatac, SFO, LAX. You wake up at O’Hare, Dallas-Fort Worth, BWI. Pacific, mountain, central. Lose an hour, gain an hour. This is your life, and it’s ending one minute at a time. You wake up at Air Harbor International. If you wake up at a different time, in a different place, could you wake up as a different person?”
– Fight Club

Not quite sure of direction, standing upon a vast expanse of  verdure; a roach bearing infinitesimal significance in a desert, a wanderer puts his map down, to get wonderfully lost.

Art, romance and travel are three concepts, devoid of which, anybody’s life could be rendered incomplete. Here are 5 Indie films telling beguiling stories, which are an amalgamation of these.

Caution – You might feel a sudden urge to leave everything behind, and head out on a world tour.

Easy Rider (1969)

Starring – Dennis Hopper, Peter Fonda

“Billy – Where ya from man?

Stranger on the highway – Hard to say.”

Wyatt and Billy, two hippies riding Harleys, sell off a large score of drugs in Southern California and decide to pursue the road to New Orleans. On their journey, they navigate through innumerable virgin landscapes, a hippie commune, a graveyard with a bevy of hookers, while experiencing bigotry from local residents, who are hateful of their long-haired freedom and usage of drugs.

This quirky story of realization, delivering a strong counter cultural message, along a cross country trek, is sure to make you want to take your bike out!

Before Sunrise (1995)

Starring – Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy

“Jesse: Would you be in Paris by now, if you hadn’t gotten off the train with me?

Celine: No, not yet. What would you be doing?

Jesse: I’d probably be hanging around the airport, reading old magazines, crying in my coffee because you didn’t come with me.

Celine: Aww…Actually, I think I’d probably have gotten off the train in Salzburg with someone else.

Jesse: Oh, yeah? Oh, I see. So, I’m just that dumb American momentarily decorating your blank canvas.

Celine: I’m having a great time.

Jesse: Really?

Celine: Yeah.

Jesse: Me too.”

Hopeless romantics, this one’s for you. Two young wanderers; Celine, holding a collection of erotic short stories, and Jesse, reading ‘All I Need Is Love’, are travelling to Vienna, sitting next to each other on a train. Conversation rolls, and they impulsively decide to spend a day and night together.

What follows is a concatenation of intellectual dialogue – on life, love, religion, and the brief time they have at hand. Director Richard Linklater will force you to believe in destiny, fate and relationships based on deep understandings with the enthralling depiction of the protagonists falling hard for each other.

Also Read – Before Series: Realistic Romance of modern life

The unsanitized presentation of the historic and breathtaking city of Vienna will cause a nasty itch on your travel bone. If you want to follow up on Jesse and Celine’s captivating story, with complementary postcards from Paris and Greece, make sure to glue your eyes on Before Sunset (2004) and Before Midnight (2013).

Lost in translation (2003)

Starring – Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson

“Let’s never come here again because it will never be as much fun.”

Bob Harris, an actor going through a mid life crisis, and Charlotte, a Yale graduate, are two characters; lonely, isolated, and missing something; present in a large space with thousands of people shuffling by.

Countering their self-imposed confinement, sharing doubts about the course of their lives, they grow an inexplicable bond and abscond into the Japanese life and culture.

Director Sofia Coppola presents Tokyo as a place full of splendour, sounds, and energy – which will stir you and make you want to reserve a flight seat to Japan.

Into The Wild (2007)

Starring – Emile Hirsch

“Two years he walks the earth, no phone, no pool, no pets, no cigarettes. Ultimate freedom. An extremist. An aesthetic voyager whose home is the road. Escaped from Atlanta. Thou shalt not return, ’cause “the West is the best.”

Based on a real life person, Into the Wild brings forth the adventures of a young man who, with the vision of freeing himself from the clutches of the rigmarole of his mundane life – thoroughly ensnared by people desiring money and material goods, hitch hikes his way across the United States.

The thought provoking questions running along the perplexing American landscape brings out this film as an ode to people who have an affinity for simple living and a willingness to defy our hypocritical society.

This poetic narrative will resonate with all those, who want something more from life, and have a propensity for gaining new experiences; be they pleasant or unwelcome. That’s precisely why we travel, right?

Midnight in Paris (2011)

Starring – Owen Wilson, Marion Cotillard

“That Paris exists and anyone could choose to live anywhere else in the world will always be a mystery to me.”

From Monet’s Garden to the Seine River, Midnight in Paris offers you a stroll across the charming locations of Paris through Woody Allen’s eyes.

Gil Pender, a creatively unsatisfied screenwriter is working on his first novel, while vacationing with his fiancée Inez, in Paris. Inez, belonging to a high class conservative family is exceedingly materialistic, and has strikingly different ideologies than Gil. Gil finds Paris a breath of fresh air, and is inclined to permanently settling there, whereas Inez wants to live in an American suburb. One night, while touring the city alone, he encounters a group of strange, yet familiar revellers, who take him along, apparently back in time, and Gil finds himself pitched into Paris in the 1920s, in a party which has F. Scott, Zelda Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and other cultural heroes in attendance.

The streets, parks and bars of the city play host to Gil’s musings and conversations with Adrianna, and perfectly encapsulate the magic of Paris, while delivering several powerful messages. This film will have you succumb to the romance of Paris in a number of ways, and have you think, that “Paris is always a good idea”, indeed.

Also Read – Five Films That Give You The Feels