Hol­i­day in my lounge­room

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel & Indulgence - SU­SAN KUROSAWA

COUR­TESY of the abun­dance of boxed sets of tele­vi­sion crime se­ries filmed in ex­otic climes, I travel ex­ten­sively in my lounge­room most nights. Such is my ad­dic­tion to, say, The Killing, that I have watched 12 hour-long episodes in one hit, in which time I could have got half-way to Copen­hagen and made a fair fist of knit­ting my­self a chunky Sarah Lund sweater in prepa­ra­tion for a guided tour of the sites used for the hit show’s film­ing.

Copen­hagen looks like a very small place and it does have to be said that the same lo­cales (and ac­tors) pop up in all those so-called nordic noir se­ries. If I do get to Den­mark, I think it will feel de­light­fully fa­mil­iar.

The Dan­ish lan­guage seems a breeze, too. Tak, tak seems to cover al­most ev­ery­thing and so my part­ner and I read­ily com­mu­ni­cate our thanks to each other in telly Dan­ish, sound­ing all the while like a cou­ple of cuckoo clocks gone batty. My French is pretty good but I have ter­rific new gang­ster vocab, thanks to Spi­ral, the Parisian cop cult se­ries we dis­cov­ered (be­lat­edly) th­ese sum­mer hol­i­days. It stars Gre­gory Fi­toussi, the most hand­some man ever, as pub­lic prose­cu­tor Pierre Cle­ment, and if we were to meet I feel con­fi­dent I would daz­zle him with my com­mand of court­room French and un­der­world slang.

It’s got so silly chez Kurosawa that we have be­gun to es­chew some boxed sets with­out sub­ti­tles as be­ing too loud and declar­ing and, well, blink­ing ob­vi­ous. Down­ton Abbey is one ex­cep­tion, and there you have a splen­did ex­am­ple of how a fas­ci­na­tion with char­ac­ters and set- tings can drive tourism trends. High­clere Cas­tle, where it is filmed, is now one of the most vis­ited places in Bri­tain. Lo­cated on the bor­der of Berk­shire and Hamp­shire, it has been the an­ces­tral home of the earls of Carnar­von since the late 17th cen­tury and the in­cum­bent 8th Earl, Geordie, and busy, blog­ging wife Fiona, must be chortling all the way to the bank.

At the very least they’ve surely re­cov­ered from an un­so­licited of­fer in 2010 by neigh­bour An­drew Lloyd Web­ber to buy High­clere as a home for his art col­lec­tion. Ap­par­ently he got wind that the own­ers needed mil­lions of pounds for es­sen­tial re­pairs.

There are other, much ear­lier, ex­am­ples of the tourism-pulling power gen­er­ated by screens wide and small. Wit­ness the rush of visi­tors to north York­shire’s Cas­tle Howard af­ter Brideshead Re­vis­ited was such a hit in the early 1980s and the sa­fari boom in Kenya when Out of Africa was re­leased in 1985 and we all dashed to tog up in leop­ard­print scarves and khaki trousers.

In this week’s is­sue of T& I you will see that Al­bu­querque in New Mex­ico is now quite the place to go, thanks to the ex­tra­or­di­nary im­pact of Break­ing Bad. I met the show’s cre­ator, Vince Gil­li­gan, on a train in Scot­land in 2011 and we got chat­ting. It took many press­ing ques­tions be­fore he re­vealed he worked in Hol­ly­wood and de­vel­oped Break­ing Bad.

‘‘Noth­ing big time,’’ he shrugged. Well, tak, tak, Vince, as we say in the land of boxed sets. Close the cur­tains, lock the door and let’s feed that habit.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.