Movie Locations in Morocco: A Tour

Movie Locations in Morocco: A Tour

Morocco is a land of mountains, deserts, medieval cities, roman ruins and more than a few familiar movie locations. Thinking about Morocco and film undoubtedly conjures up images of Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in the 1942 American classic, Casablanca. Ironically none of Casablanca was filmed in Morocco, but many classics were, such as Lawrence of Arabia, Alfred Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew To Much, and Bertolucci’s The Sheltering Sky. More recently, not one but two James Bonds have been seen giving chase across the Tangier rooftops, while other hits like Gladiator, The Mummy and Game of Thrones were filmed on locations across the country.

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UNESCO World Heritage Series: Ait Ben Haddou

UNESCO World Heritage Series: Ait Ben Haddou

I was traveling through the dusty south of Morocco, touring the Sahara with my guide, Hamid. He was trying to show me exactly where a particular scene in Ridley Scott’s epic film, Gladiator was shot. If you’ve seen Gladiator, you’ll remember Proximo (played by Oliver Reed, looking sufficiently Arab-ish) who purchases General Maximus (Russell Crowe). In one very memorable scene, Proximo says to the slaves, including the disgraced General Maximus: “I did not pay good money for you for your company. I paid it so that I could profit from your death.” (more…)

High Atlas Foundation Moroccan Film Festival

On November 18 and 19, 2011, Tribeca Cinemas will host the second Moroccan Film Festival. While Morocco has long been utilized by American filmmakers to provide dramatic backdrops for films like Lawrence of Arabia, Gladiator, Rendition and Babel, in recent years the country has developed a strong cinematic tradition all its own. The Moroccan Film Festival gives American audiences a chance to experience this new addition to the world of film, as well as the opportunity to gain a unique perspective on modern Moroccan culture.

Ten feature films are planned over the two-day festival, as well as a number of short student films from the Ecole Supérieure des Arts Visuels de Marrakech. (more…)