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Driving Visions: Exploring the Road Movie

ISBN: 0292747322

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Driving Visions Exploring the Road Movie

Driving Visions: Exploring the Road Movie By David Laderman
Publisher: University of Texas Press 2002 | 334 Pages | ISBN: 0292747322 , 0292747314 | PDF | 4 MB

In 1934, audiences swooned when reporter Clark Gable and heiress Claudette Colbert bickered and then fell in love on a cross-country bus trip in It Happened One Night, an early American road trip movie. America's vast open spaces, colorful and varied locations, multicultural population, and love for cars, mobility, and speed make the road movie a peculiarly (though not exclusively) American fixture. This book is an academic study of American road movies as a "rebellion against conservative social norms" with "an embrace of the journey as a means of cultural critique." The emphasis here is on "outlaw" road movies. Laderman (film, Coll. of San Mateo) discusses literary sources and visions (On the Road), gay road movies (My Own Private Idaho), Native American films (Smoke Signals), and African American (Get on the Bus) and feminist road journeys. He dismisses most comedies, saying they fail to "incorporate any visionary rebellion." Indeed, the author's tone is humorless throughout. His complaint about "heavy-handed" irony in Raising Arizona, for instance, seems to be based on the fact that the irrepressible Coen brothers failed to follow his vision of what a road movie should be. There are some provocative ideas here, but Laderman's rigid approach causes the book to run out of gas. An optional purchase for large American film collections.


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