Story: Van Anh
Photos: Josh Couch, Riccardo Gazzin, Chris Curry, Fred Nassar

Romance blooms in cinema’s most memorable cities. While Paris is considered the capital of romance, other cities have shined as the background for movie magic. Heritage Fashion looks at four of the silver screen’s most romantic cities.

Vienna – Before Sunrise

Before Sunrise by American director Richard Linklater skips the happy ending in favor of rambling walks and unexpected encounters across one unforgettable night.

After Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Céline (Julie Delpy) meet on a Eurail train, they decide to spend time together in Vienna before going their separate ways. They ride a tram, stop at the Reichsbrücke Bridge, listen to Kath Bloom at a record store and share their first kiss at the Wiener Risenrad, one of the most popular tourist spots in Vienna. As they sit outdoors and chat with locals at a typical Austrian café, the streets light up in a magical glow.

The movie is a minimalist masterpiece that consists mostly of conversations between the two characters as they drift around the romantic city at the heart of Europe. Critics applauded this postmodern exploration of romanticism, and the film is still considered one of the most beautiful love stories in the cinema world.

New York – Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Breakfast at Tiffany’s, the film adaptation of Truman Capote’s novella, is a love letter to the magical city of New York. The story centers around Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn), a mischievous and mysterious young woman who is infatuated with the Tiffany & Co. jewelry store in Manhattan. Together with her cat and her neighbor Paul Varjak (George Peppard), she discovers New York through a series of unconventional adventures.

In her black dress, which made Audrey Hepburn a timeless fashion icon, Holly gazes longingly at Tiffany’s in the early morning. In the afternoon, she plays the guitar by the windowsill while Paul listens to her. At night, New York is an endless party where people from a multitude of backgrounds gather.

Another side of the city emerges through the repressed and ambiguous love between the two main characters, but Breakfast at Tiffany’s leaves no doubt that New York is a city of love.

Berlin – Posthumous

For those in love with Berlin, Posthumous is a must-see movie despite its relative obscurity. The directorial debut of Chinese-born American filmmaker Lulu Wang, the movie follows young American McKenzie Grain (Brit Marling) and her mysterious artist friend Liam Price as they discover Berlin.

The story starts at a modern art gallery located on a grimy yet charming backstreet in Berlin. A series of both amusing and embarrassing situations follows as the characters explore the world of contemporary art.

If one must describe Berlin, then the opening of Posthumous could be the most concise depiction of one of the world’s culture hubs.

As every conversation brings along a new experience, the main characters are among many couples who look for love in a setting of culture, art and a carefree lifestyle that only Berlin can offer.

Tokyo – Lost in Translation

Director Sofia Coppola wrote the script for the movie Lost in Translation based on her love for the capital of Japan, and love is the highlight of the movie. The story follows aging actor Bob Harris (Bill Murray), who arrives in Japan to film a whiskey commercial. During his stay, he befriends a young American woman, Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson), and the two begin to discover this very unfamiliar country. Tokyo at night emerges in all its liveliness and vibrancy, while highlighting the loneliness and alienation of the characters of different generations. In this setting, they start to bond with each while discovering this magical city.

To many critics, Lost in Translation offered a fresh take on romanticism. Love doesn’t necessarily come from physical contact; it can also grow in silence and from the fragmented conversations its characters share. We can connect with other people and find love in various ways, especially in a city of romance.