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Hollywood’s Latin American Fiesta

By on Feb 5, 2015 in Films | 3 comments

FLying Down to Rio (1933) and Down Argentine Way (1940) In the 1930s and 40s, the USA in general, and Hollywood in particular, went gaga for all things south of the border. In 1933, Roosevelt launched the ‘Good Neighbor’ policy, in which he sought to improve the image of the US among Latin American countries. Since it proved somewhat difficult to reassure Latin American governments of his non-interventionist direction, having suffered repeated, heavy-handed military interventions from the US in the past, Roosevelt’s Inter-American Office persuaded Hollywood’s major production companies to demonstrate this new-found love for everything Latin American through cinema. So, over the next decade or so, a flurry of films was produced, using the power of song, dance, and Betty Grable’s legs, to demonstrate friendship towards countries like Brazil and Argentina, and to show US audiences the...

Review: Waste Land

By on Jan 9, 2014 in Films | 0 comments

Lucy Walker is an established director, with documentaries including Countdown to Zero already under her belt. This Brazilian project, Waste Land, has made waves around the world. It was nominated for an Oscar and has won several other awards, including the 2010 Sundance Audience Award for a world cinema documentary. Language: Portuguese, English Year of release: 2011 Running Time: 85 mins Director: Lucy Walker Starring: Vik Muniz Genre: Documentary Rating: 5 stars The Film Brazilian-born Vik Muniz is a successful artist in his adopted home of New York, who decides to return to his native country for a community art project. His initial idea is to use garbage in his art, so he seeks out the largest garbage dump in the world; the Jardim Gramacho in Rio de Janeiro. He is not at all sure what sort of people he will find working there – he is prepared for drug addicts and questionable...

A Blogger Relay with Olympic Spirit

By on Aug 6, 2012 in Travel | 6 comments

Olympic spirit: internationalism, sportsmanship and a competitive streak. Well, you’ll find all of that here, in a new blogging relay organised by Low Cost Holidays. There are five teams: Yellow, Blue, Green, Purple and RED. I’m captaining Team Red, if you couldn’t tell! The blogging relay requires each team captain to write a post of their three top travel memories, before passing the baton to someone else, trying to build the longest chain and a winning team. One blogger will even be eligible for a prize including an iPad 2 and a Nikkon D3100 Digital SLR Camera. Now, the other teams are already out of the starting blocks, but I have no doubt that, in true Olympic champion style, Team Red can power past them and perform several double twists and backflips along the way. (You need a bit of self-belief!) My head is spinning with travel memories, both distant and...

The Iguassu Falls: Up Close and Personal

By on Jan 30, 2012 in Uncategorized | 5 comments

By the time I got to Iguassu (or Iguazu, or Iguaçu, depending on which side of the border you are), I was tired. I remember phoning home – my regular ‘Hi Mum, I’m in a new country’ call – and for the first time, I felt a little homesick. I had been travelling for a long time and suddenly, I was jaded by it. But I had just crossed the Argentina-Brazil border, getting to grips with the tropical weather after the winter of Buenos Aires. And I was  about to visit the Iguassu Falls. It was a moment I’d been anticipating from the very start of my trip, so I hoped it would revitalise me. It was an unpromising start – the weather was dull and grey and the tour guide was an hour late, having been sent to the wrong hotel. I didn’t even want a tour guide. I had booked the trip before I’d left Britain, still naive and worried about going it...

25 Things I Wish I’d Known about South America

By on Oct 1, 2011 in Uncategorized | 10 comments

Now that I’ve finished my four-month adventure, I’ve had a few moments to reflect on some of the things I’ve learnt about travel in South America. If you’re planning to go, you might just want to bear some of these in mind – enjoy!       1. That ‘winter’ means everything from 30 degree heat and bone-dry weather to temperatures below zero, to fog and rain. 2. That overland border crossings can be the most mystical, fun or downright chaotic moments of the trip. 3. That you need to carry toilet roll and hand sanitizer at all times. 4.That heating and hot water, even where nights are frosty, are novelty items 5. That Peru is the most amazing, vast and diverse country, with people who are far too kind and experiences which are far too wonderful, meaning that you never want to leave. 6. That there are dangers, but if you are sensible...

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