Exploring the Road Movie
334 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 0.80 in
Sales Date: July 1, 2002
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.
This is a superbly conceived, thoughtfully organized, and well-written study of a subject—the ‘road movie’—that has lacked anything close to a coherent, book-length overview. . . . It will make an ideal course text and should also have a wide appeal to non-academic readers.~Scott Simmon
- Chapter 1. Paving the Way: Sources and Features of the Road Movie
- Chapter 2. Blazing the Trail: Visionary Rebellion and the Late-1960s Road Movie
- Chapter 3. Drifting on Empty: Existential Irony and the Early-1970s Road Movie
- Chapter 4. Blurring the Boundaries: The 1980s Postmodern Road Movie
- Chapter 5. Rebuilding the Engine: The 1990s Multicultural Road Movie
- Chapter 6. Traveling Other Highways: The European Road Movie