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eBook Driving Visions: Exploring the Road Movie ePub

eBook Driving Visions: Exploring the Road Movie ePub

by David Laderman

  • ISBN: 0292747314
  • Category: Movies
  • Subcategory: Entertainment
  • Author: David Laderman
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: University of Texas Press; 1st edition (July 15, 2002)
  • Pages: 334
  • ePub book: 1587 kb
  • Fb2 book: 1506 kb
  • Other: mbr doc lrf rtf
  • Rating: 4.6
  • Votes: 823


David Laderman begins by identifying the road movie's defining features and by establishing the literary, classical Hollywood, and 1950s highway culture antecedents that formatively influenced it. He then traces th. .

David Laderman begins by identifying the road movie's defining features and by establishing the literary, classical Hollywood, and 1950s highway culture antecedents that formatively influenced it.

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From the visionary rebellion of Easy Rider to the reinvention of home in The Straight Story, the road movie has emerged as a significant film genre since the late 1960s, able to cut across a wide variety of film styles and contexts. Yet, within the variety, a certain generic core remains constant: the journey as cultural critique, as exploration beyond society and within oneself.

This book traces the generic evolution of the road movie with respect to its diverse presentations, emphasizing it as an "independent genre" that attempts to incorporate marginality and subversion on many levels. David Laderman begins by identifying the road movie's defining features and by establishing the literary, classical Hollywood, and 1950s highway culture antecedents that formatively influenced it. He then traces the historical and aesthetic evolution of the road movie decade by decade through detailed and lively discussions of key films. Laderman concludes with a look at the European road movie, from the late 1950s auteurs through Godard and Wenders, and at compelling feminist road movies of the 1980s and 1990s.


Vetalol Vetalol
if you're buying this book, you are probably taking professor ladderman's literature into film course based around road movies/novels. good class, great teacher but the book is a little monotonous to read.
from earth from earth
Sorry for taking forever, but I'm very thankful for this book!
Amarin Amarin
I was required to buy this book for a film theory class that I was required to take for my film minor.

Simply put: I don't understand why film theory, or literary theory, exists, or at least I don't understand why it's considered a valid academic discipline. It's great for late-night conversations during your college years, the kinds of navel-gazing conversation where one talks about Life, the Universe and Everything, but what value it has beyond that, let alone enough to justify it being part of a college curriculum, is beyond me.

I find literary theory and film theory writing boring and pointless, and more than often, pretentious. If that's what you're seeking, this book is probably for you. Some of the arguments made within it struck me as outright nonsensical at times, or at least a tremendous stretch. Nonetheless, there's probably enough valid film theory argument in here for it to be worth your while if film theory is what you seek.

If you aren't interested in film theory, avoid this book.
Rindyt Rindyt
I had the unique opportunity to interview the author and fellow College of San Mateo colleague, David Laderman, for my TV cable access series, "Peninsula Speaks" produced locally here in the Bay Area.

What initally started out as a 30 minute installment about the book and his work ended up being a fascinating hour long discussion and survey of the "road movie" and its impact in the cinema.

At any rate, Laderman's coverage of the road movie is exhaustive--virtually nothing is left uncovered; if anything, the book is complete survey of the road movie from its humble beginnings to the present day--a very comprehensive and, I must say, a very multicultural perspective (Pardon my ignorance, but I had no idea there were road movies per se in gay/lesbian cinema!)

What I truly appreciate is Laderman's focus on some true historical classics like John Ford's "Grapes of Wrath" and a low-budget, little-known film noir gem, Edgar J. Ulmer's "Detour", perhaps one of the most underrated efforts of the film noir era. Also included is "Five Easy Pieces," one of Jack Nicholson's best work. (If you have seen the film, you know Jack's scene telling the waitress in the coffee shop what to do with his sandwich is priceless!)

Laderman's ideas are sound: the road movie is an ideal medium, because characters are linked together--compelled to interact side by side as the action carries on around them. Nonetheless, they are also moving--a unique idea for the road movie as a metaphor for all Americans pursuing the American Dream: people constantly searching and moving forward towards a goal and a better life.

In later films (1960's-90's) the road movie is a catalyst toward self-discovery, identity and even despair as in "Five Easy Pieces" and "Easy Rider." I enjoyed the book and the interview; my only slight disagreement with Laderman is his contention that the road movies of the 1980's can easily be dismissed as a kind of cinematic propaganda ("Madd Maxx" and "Back to the Future") throwback to Reganesque quasi-traditional 1950's era values over the progressive and pluralist views that followed in the 90's. But all in all, a very interesting, competent and complete survey of a genre that deserves more study.
Cha Cha
Among the features of this entertaining and provocative study, I like the fine discriminations: "REPO MAN, we should clarify at the outset, is not really a road movie. It belongs to the non- or semi-road movie tradition of AMERICAN GRAFFITI, TAXI DRIVER, and SPEED." These are movies, he tells us, in which the characters drive all the time, but "within city limits." To qualify as a real road movie you have to go somewhere. The genre began in earnest in the late 1960s, sort of as a cinematic aftershoot of the epochal road novels of the 1950s, including Kerouac's ON THE ROAD which itself oddly has never been filmed. However, you can find precursors to the road movie in the American cinema of the 1950s, 40s, 30s, and even earlier, because it seems as soon as people started hitting Route 66, filmmakers had the idea to restage the old quest legends, or pilgrimage stories, in a Model T or a Thunderbird.

Laderman points out it is not strictly an American genre and there are plenty of road movies from other continents--look at Mel Gibson in THE ROAD WARRIOR for example, or even something like WEEKEND by Jean-Luc Godard, in which most of the characters get stuck in a mammoth traffic jam--quel ennui! Laderman links the road movie to a variety of sources such as the picaresque novel of Defoe or Cervantes, the novel of social realism (think of THE GRAPES OF WRATH and how it moves slowly across a vast, devastated and dusty America), or the visions of Europeans coming to America and seeing it as one big highway--Nabokov with LOLITA, Antonioni with the bizarre and underrated ZABRISKIE POINT. In between he treats everything from EASY RIDER to DETOUR, BADLANDS to SUGARLAND EXPRESS. Gay and indie cinema are not neglected either so expect plenty on MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO and STRANGER THAN PARADISE. I wouldn't drive and read this book at the same time, but outside of that, ready, set, go!
Malalanim Malalanim
Insightful and beautifully written. I especially liked the section on Agnes Varda's "Vagabond", one of the most haunting road movies ever made. Laderman is a provocative theorist that writes with unusual clarity and economy.