Wednesday, September 30, 2009

the road movie - 10/01/09

The trajectory of a Road Movie is as follows:

  • A character experiences abstract loss and attempts an exodus from normal life.
  • The character reinvents his or her self-identity while travelling.
  • Along the way, the character encounters iconic individuals who (usually) illustrate authenticity and desolation.
  • Upon the recognition of seemingly self-evident realisations, the character desires to return to the point of origin.
drawn from Ride9/Road-movies-motion-pictures.htm

***Road Movies are often claimed as a distinctly American genre. From Easy Rider (1969) to Bonnie and Clyde (1967), the road movie indeed often takes place on the road but it is possible for the thematics of this genre to be projected onto other types of journeys. The underlying theme beneath the act of physical travel is the enactment of a transformative experience. As outlined in the above "definition" (and similarly to the bildungsroman of literature) the character experiences some loss and follows the trajectory of his/her exile down the open road.

One of my next projects is an exploration of the mythology of self, conceptualized as an actual journey and described in three distinct stages: the process of leaving, the act of travelling, and the goal of arriving. Since the second section of the film involves an actual journey - car on blacktop - I think it's important to consider the history of the road movie genre, both in how its conventions might inform my work and in how I may circumvent these conventions, in the true spirit of the transgressive road movie.

clip from the classic road movie, Bonnie and Clyde (1967)

read: Sargeant, Jack and Stephanie Watson. Lost Highways: an Illustrated History of Road

Movies. United Kingdom: Creation Books, 1999.

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