Late this morning I spent more than an hour tapping out a piece about HE’s ten favorite road films. It was called “Road Movies As Existential States of Mind.”
I’d been inspired by Ilya Povolotsky‘s Grace, a somewhat gloomy mood piece about a father and teenaged daughter drifting through Russia’s outlying regions and screening outdoor movies to small-town congregations.
When we sat down the other night Povolotsky emphasized that Grace is much more in the tradition of Wim Wenders‘ road trilogy than, say, Federico Fellini‘s La Strada (’54), which Grace bears a certain resemblance to but is far less emotional than.
I then wondered if it was fair to categorize road films into two groups — movies in which travellers seem to have succumbed to the idea of roaming around as a permanent state of being with no particular goal or destination in mind, and other road flicks that are defined by a single quest and a single journey that has a beginning, middle and end.
I then spent a long time deciding which are my favorite road films of the last 60 or 70 years, and then deciding on their proper order and whatnot and including links for all ten.
And then I saved the piece and my online connectivity somehow ruptured or collapsed. The article had failed to be acknowledged on the other end and was sent down a black tunnel-like hole, never to be recaptured. 90 minutes of hard work destroyed. I shrieked and wept like a nine-year-old boy whose dog had just died. I pounded on the armrest of a couch I was sitting on. I was so furious and distraught that it took me a good hour to recover and start over. But I’m on a clock and I can’t create another list with links…not now.
I know that The Last Detail was #2 on my list, and La Strada was #3 or #4. Easy Rider and Planes, Trains and Automobiles were somewhere in the top ten.
Note: Obviously Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore is NOT a road movie.