March 3, 2014 11:54 AM   Subscribe

Any suggestions for movies / television shows set in very peaceful settings?

Preferably set outdoors and away from the city, for example in forests or on mountaintops? Desolate but non-horror settings are OK too. I'm not looking for documentaries, rather good mood pieces. Animated and silent movies are OK. A good plot or rightly done dialogue would be an added bonus.

Anything that evokes this scene is a win for me [SLYT]

Please reach into your brain vaults for some hidden gems, I'd appreciate it. :) Thanks!
posted by mysticreferee to Media & Arts (48 answers total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
Wind in the Willows. The stop motion animation version.
posted by ian1977 at 11:56 AM on March 3, 2014

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter....and Spring takes the cake. Floating monastery on a pristine lake.

Old Joy (not to be confused with Old Boy) is lovely.

I may be back with more as they come to me.
posted by janey47 at 11:57 AM on March 3, 2014 [3 favorites]

The farm in the movie "Babe" is utterly lush and beautiful and peaceful and I want to go to there.
posted by jbickers at 11:57 AM on March 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

My Neighbor Totoro fits this about ten thousand percent for me.
posted by MeghanC at 11:59 AM on March 3, 2014 [10 favorites]

Enchanted April
posted by valeries at 12:02 PM on March 3, 2014 [3 favorites]

The Straight Story
posted by jng at 12:03 PM on March 3, 2014 [2 favorites]

Samsara it's on Netflix;

Mood music with beautiful scenery

Also the oldie Jonathan Livingston Seagull movie is exactly that kind, filmed in the 70s I believe.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 12:03 PM on March 3, 2014

The Lord of the Rings trilogy, if I could edit it down to just the parts that take place in Hobbiton before the ring is discovered and after it is destroyed.

I find Alone in the Wilderness by Dick Proenneke to be peaceful. Not good if you do not like snow.
posted by Elly Vortex at 12:05 PM on March 3, 2014

It's a fairly dry, dark comedy but Alfred Hitchcock's The Trouble With Harry features some absolutely stunning cinematography of New England in autumn.
posted by usonian at 12:11 PM on March 3, 2014

On Golden Pond
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 12:11 PM on March 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

+1 on Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter...and Spring. Also just a good movie!

I think this is just what you're looking for: Into Great Silence

also: Endless Summer

and don't forget BBC's Planet Earth series
posted by Quisp Lover at 12:12 PM on March 3, 2014 [2 favorites]

All Creatures Great and Small - there is all manner of conflict and loss that runs through this show but, for whatever reason, when I want to be comforted as to nature of life, I often put this on.

Another show that does this for me sometimes: Northern Exposure - much in the way of quirky disfunction but ultimately coming from a core of peace and goodwill.
posted by jammy at 12:15 PM on March 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

Oh, am now watching your linked video (beautiful scene!).

Neither of my suggestions will serve.
posted by jammy at 12:17 PM on March 3, 2014

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter...and Spring, does indeed have a peaceful setting, but the movie itself is not without violence. I'm not sure from your question whether or not this is an issue.

If violent content is OK, then Terrence Malick has several movies that could fit the bill.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 12:19 PM on March 3, 2014

Also: a couple HBO shows that are meditative and lush (though a bit more plotty/cerebral than you may want):

Luck and John from Cincinnati

Both were cancelled after single seasons for being too meditative/lush (it's a perennial problem)
posted by Quisp Lover at 12:19 PM on March 3, 2014

Per jammy's posting (about watching the linked video), you may be more satisfied with nature documentaries than with films per se (e.g. my suggestion of "Planet Earth", above). But if you want to see people living and things happening in such settings, some good tips in this thread.
posted by Quisp Lover at 12:23 PM on March 3, 2014

Agreed, was just going to suggest The New World. A not very peaceful movie with stunningly, beautiful scenery (though from what I remember, Aguirre had violence also?).
posted by jng at 12:23 PM on March 3, 2014

I saw the new Miyazaki film, The Wind Rises, last night, and there's a long segment in the middle where the protagonist is staying at a country inn, where I kept thinking, "I want to go there, it's so peaceful and beautiful." Actually, any Miyazaki film will have great pastoral scenes in it somewhere.
posted by matildaben at 12:24 PM on March 3, 2014

Actually, any Miyazaki film will have great pastoral scenes in it somewhere.

Someone needs to do a mash-up of this right now! I recently saw Castle in the Sky and there were pastoral scenes in there that made me cry like a babby.
posted by jammy at 12:27 PM on March 3, 2014

McCabe and Mrs. Miller has a wonderful forest setting.
posted by steinsaltz at 12:34 PM on March 3, 2014

One of my recent favorites - The Kings of Summer.
posted by cnc at 12:42 PM on March 3, 2014

Being There immediately sprung to mind.
posted by anotheraccount at 12:52 PM on March 3, 2014

Doc Martin sounds like it might do. It started with a TV movie and then continued in a series. Big city doctor (grouchy with heart of gold) settles in tiny, peaceful seaside village.
posted by tomboko at 1:07 PM on March 3, 2014

The scene you posted reminds me of the beginning of To the Wonder. And this scene from a few minutes later somehow makes leaf blowers in Paris seem almost peaceful.
posted by lharmon at 1:11 PM on March 3, 2014

A little obscure, but the children's film Dunderklumpen (animated over filmed landscapes) fits what you're asking for.
posted by Mchelly at 1:14 PM on March 3, 2014

From Mauritania, one of my all-time favorite movies: Heremakono (Waiting for Happiness)
posted by mykescipark at 1:23 PM on March 3, 2014

I'm so surprised no one has mentioned The Story Of The Weeping Camel, it's exactly what you are looking for.
posted by smoke at 1:30 PM on March 3, 2014

The british TV show Last of the Summer Wine is both peaceful and quiet. Some of my favorite films are meditative rather than exciting....especially ones by Bertrand Tavernier: Daddy Nostalgie, It All Starts Today, Une semaine de vacances.

I assume you want something with little to no violence as well? Many of these suggestions above are for horror movies and the like.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:34 PM on March 3, 2014

Yah, Picnic at Hanging Rock and Stalker are ambient masterpieces but they will *not* leave you feeling chilled out. Quite the opposite.
posted by jammy at 1:38 PM on March 3, 2014

The Black Stallion is perfect nature mood piece. About half of it is on an island, with no dialogue; the rest has minimal dialogue and mostly country settings. Incredible cinematography and sound design.
posted by Erasmouse at 1:40 PM on March 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

Walkabout, though avoid this one if it needs to be a feel-good movie (it's a bit unclear).
posted by susanvance at 2:29 PM on March 3, 2014

This might be slightly too twee for you, but Reader's Digest produced a number of nature videos about 10 or 15 years ago - I found one on YouTube as a sample, but there may be others. They are nothing BUT nice music (Vivaldi etc) and video of Yosemite and similar. Nothing eats or kills anything and I find the combination very soothing.
posted by ninazer0 at 2:32 PM on March 3, 2014

Alexander Sokurov - Mother and Son

Two films that I've seen maybe three or four years ago and recall a lot of peaceful landscapes and not much happening would be Claire Denis - The Intruder and Apichatpong Weerasethakul Syndromes and a Century
posted by citron at 2:44 PM on March 3, 2014

The 1970s classic Australian surfing film Morning of the Earth might suit.
posted by goo at 3:44 PM on March 3, 2014

Manon of the Spring, set in the French countryside.
posted by madonna of the unloved at 5:51 PM on March 3, 2014

The Pacific Northwest does it for me, so things like Snow Falling on Cedars, White Fang, or some parts of Twin Peaks, or even Twilight hush it has lots of forest scenes can be nice if misty piney coastal rainforest is your thing.

Valhalla Rising is similar to this, though it does have spots of Vikingy violence. Severed Ways isn't as gorgeous but there sure are plenty of trees. Andrei Rublev can be beautiful but unsettling. Ugetsu, Ran, Winter Light, parts of The Seventh Seal, the recent Wasikowska/Fassbender (and others, but especially this one) Jane Eyre. Thin Red Line? I don't know. If you stray too far out of the best, Ang Lee-est adaptations of 19th century British novels, there's almost inevitably brutality in proportion to natural beauty.
posted by notquitemaryann at 6:09 PM on March 3, 2014

Rosemary and Thyme is a British series about two gardeners who get involved in rather daft mysteries, but was for two glorious months as I carefully spaced out watching episodes, the same effect as a pot of tea in a quiet country garden under drowsy sunshine. It's on Netflix, and I cannot recommend it enough for gorgeous gardens and the pleasure of the company of these women.
posted by viggorlijah at 6:33 PM on March 3, 2014 [2 favorites]

The TV series, Monarch of the Glen, has beautiful scenes of Scotland.

Ditto for Hamish Macbeth.
posted by BlueHorse at 6:45 PM on March 3, 2014

My Father's Glory/La Gloire De Mon Père and its sequel My Mother's Castle/Le Château de ma Mère. Or almost anything set in southern France, really, but those 2 films also have a really sweet story.
posted by pianissimo at 7:20 PM on March 3, 2014

How to Train your Dragon has some really lovely forest scenes. and adorable dragons.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 7:40 PM on March 3, 2014

That clip you provide and music reminds me of scenes from The Mission. It won awards for cinematography and music. Here's a short clip.
posted by SpacemanStix at 10:15 PM on March 3, 2014

I think you will enjoy Babette's Feast. Part one is here.
posted by Naanwhal at 4:13 AM on March 4, 2014

Wow, almost all these are A+. Thank you everyone!

Violence is fine, the clip I provided is from the movie Aguirre (by Werner Herzog). It turns into something brutal and disturbing by the end, but through it all I was just silently and peacefully transported to the locales presented in it. Beautiful stuff.

Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli is always a win, but unfortunately Terrence Malick has always been a huge turn-off for me :/ I agree his cinematography and locales are beautiful, but personally, I find his plots too hammy and overtly new age-y. I'll give myself a chance and check them out though! Thank you.

I'm going to start with Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring. What a perfect suggestion that was, and straight away too! :)
posted by mysticreferee at 12:52 PM on March 4, 2014

One more!
Meek's Cutoff
posted by perhapses at 1:42 PM on March 4, 2014

Anime? Hoshizora e Kakeru Hashi is about a pair of brothers who move to the country on account of the younger one's asthma. The small town they go to is a place they lived when they were much younger, and the older one has romantic encounters with several girls who live there. The anime is based on an H-game but the anime isn't raunchy, and the location is green and peaceful.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 1:59 PM on March 4, 2014

Tales from the Green Valley, historians spending a couple months living and working on a Welsh farm. It's so calm. This is one of several BBC farm reenactment series of different periods, Tudor, Victorian. It came up in a thread here before.
posted by yoHighness at 4:03 PM on March 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

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