Guest blogger, Nick Ball, shares his passion for Lanzarote with My Several Worlds.
The small Canary Island of Lanzarote has enjoyed a leading role in a number of major motion pictures over the years. The island boasts a dramatic and surreal landscape, making it a terrific location for filming motion pictures. Lanzarote is currently enjoying some motion picture madness as the feature location in Broken Embraces, a film by Spanish director Pedro Almódovar.
The surreal scenery of this Spanish-owned island – which is located just off the south west coast of Morocco – was created by a series of enormous eruptions during the 18th and 19th centuries. These eruptions transformed and remodeled the islands interior, leaving the whole region resembling the surface of the moon. So much so in fact that Apollo 13 astronauts were shown pictures of the region in preparation for their own lunar landings. As a result the island became a natural choice for science fiction film makers.
Starting with the production of One Million Years BC in 1966, the film industry in Lanzarote has since been followed by eminent directors such as Wolfgang Petersen, who shot Enemy Mine starring Dennis Quaid on the island.
Lanzarote is in the spotlight once again at the moment thanks to Almódovar’s latest release, which stars Penelope Cruz as the wannabe actress Lena. Lena is conducting an illicit affair with screenwriter, Mateo Blanco. Their romance is uncovered by Lena’s jealous partner and the pair escape to Lanzarote for a blissful week away from the stresses of their situation.
A number of key scenes were filmed in and around Lanzarote´s volcanic region, known locally as the Timanfaya National Park and The Fire Mountains. The audience is first introduced to Lanzarote by a sweeping aerial shot of the wine region of La Geria, where local farmers have adapted to the twisted volcanic terrain by developing a unique method of viniculture. They use volcanic chippings called picon to mulch their vines whilst protecting them in semi-circular stone windbreaks called zocos´. Viewed from above, the local scenery is a stunning visual effect. Other key scenes are shot at the beach and bay at Famara in the north of the island, where Lena and Mateo rent a holiday apartment. Green Lagoon at El Golfo is another photogenic natural wonder created by an interaction between volcanic minerals, algae and sea water, and creating an emerald green lake landlocked in a black sand beach.
One Million Years BC (1966)
El Golfo and The Fire Mountains enjoy starring roles alongside Raquel Welch and her fur-skin bikini. As she joins forces with Tumak, played by John Richardson, to battle marauding dinosaurs. The special effects look dated today but there’s still extensive footage of Lanzarote to enjoy.
Journey To The Centre Of The Earth (1976)
One of many adaptations of Jules Verne´s classic, this 1976 version stars Kenneth More and was shot on location in the Fire Mountains.
This science fiction fantasy movie depicts Lanzarote as the Planet Krull, which is invaded by an evil monster, known fittingly as The Beast.
Enemy Mine (1985)
This classic sci-fi epic chronicles the battle between earthmen and an evil alien race called the Drac.
Find out more about Lanzarote and download a free guidebook to the island by visiting the Lanzarote Guidebook website, where visitors can also book Lanzarote villas, holidays and hotels direct online.