Barcelona on film

When you consider Barcelona's undeniably camera-friendly looks and irresistible charisma, it comes as quite a surprise to find that so few good films have been set here. But the city isn't a complete stranger to the cinematic spotlight, as the following memorable movie moments attest.

Todo Sobre Mi Madre (All About My Mother), 1999 – One of Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar's most polished films, mostly set in Barcelona. A quirky and colourful commentary that ties together the lives of the most improbable collection of women (including a couple of transsexuals).

Vicky Cristina Barcelona, 2008 – Barcelona was all agog in 2007 as Woody Allen, Scarlett Johansson, Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem wandered around shooting Allen’s vision of Barcelona. Bardem, a painter, gets Cruz and Johansson all hot and sweaty in this light romantic romp.

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, 2006  – Starring Ben Wishaw as the psychopathic Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, Tom Tykwer's adaptation of Patrick Süsskind's extraordinary novel is partly shot on locations across Barcelona and around Catalonia.

L’Auberge Espagnole (The Spanish Apartment), 2002 – In this movie directed by Cédric Klapisch, a young Parisian from the suburbs, Xavier, goes to Barcelona to learn Spanish for business. It ain’t easy when university classes are given half the time in Catalan, but Xavier has no yen to return to Paris.

El Gran Gato,  2003 – A kind of musical directed by Ventura Pons, dedicated to the singer-songwriter Javier Patricio ‘Gato’ Pérez.

Gaudí Afternoon, 2001 - From the woman who gave the world Desperately Seeking Susan, Susan Seidelman, this film stars Judy Davis as a translator living in Barcelona who is asked by an American woman, Frankie, to help her search for her husband, who has run away with their daughter and his lover.

Barcelona, 1994 – Two American cousins get tangled up in Barcelona, where love, politics and a little terrorism are the ingredients of this so-so film by Whit Stillman, with some striking views of the city.

El Taxista Ful, 2005 - Taxi driver José R lives on the edge, because the cabs he drives around Barcelona are stolen. Making a living isn’t easy in the big city. This Jo Sol-directed flick is loosely based on a true story.

Fancy being a superstar in your own Barcelona movie? Grab a copy of our latest city guide or Encounter guide, and start scouting locations now.