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The Road Movie Book by Steven Cohan, Ina Rae Hark

By Steven Cohan, Ina Rae Hark

The line is a permanent subject in American tradition; from The Wizard of ounces to Thelma and Louise , and from Bonnie and Clyde to traditional Born Killers , cinematic portrayals of street trips always captivate the yankee mind's eye. yet what's so American in regards to the style and why does it translate good to a few international locations yet no longer others? In the line motion picture ebook , Steven Cohan and Ina Rae Hark gather essays that try and resolution those, in addition to different questions, approximately one of many key genres of recent cinema. equipped into 3 sections, the 1st, Mapping limitations , includes essays that cartoon large issues and ideological tropes of the style. the next part, American Roads , additional historicizes the problems raised in part one and strains the continuous reinvention of the style in Hollywood movie from the early Forties to the tip of the Eighties. trade Routes , the ultimate component to essays, concentrates on highway motion pictures that go away from the yank panorama or that shuttle on its cultural margins to discover why the line motion picture is so pertinent to people who are alienated or marginalized by way of society. The essays talk about a extensive diversity of movies, together with effortless Rider, Thelma and Louise, The Grapes of Wrath, It occurred One evening, quicker Pussycay! Kill! Kill!, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the barren region, and my very own deepest Idaho. With forty four stills from the flicks mentioned, this interesting assortment is the main accomplished quantity committed completely to the style of the line motion picture.

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For example, in It Happened One Night, Capra records the presence of a helicopter, the autogyro, as a commentary on travel and human relations. The autogyro is associated with King Westley, the effete playboy who means to marry Colbert (ostensibly for her fortune). King is posed against Gable, who first appears in the film crowned the carnivalesque King of the Road (“make way for the king,” shout his fellow reporters after he hangs up on his boss and exits a public phone booth). 11 For the serious road films of the postwar era, it is this second polarization that predominates.

The film ends with a forking road (photographed by Robbie Muller, also responsible for so many of Wenders’s images), Jack and Zack at the crossroads.

Even mainstream road films with heterosexual protagonists have changed markedly during this decade. The outlaw-couple film productively reinvented itself through the lens of postmodernism (Wild at Heart, Kalifornia, True Romance, Natural Born Killers). And, just when the buddy movie might seem to have exhausted its resources, late-1996 releases in the US feature a man–elephant buddy pair (Larger than Life) and feuding former presidents (My Fellow Americans), as well as a more familiar coupling of mismatched road men (Good Luck).

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