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January 31, 2008

"We blew it"

"If they have failed to be truly countercultural, the road now mirrors their failure with images of technology's own failure to fulfill its ideological promise of improving society: here it seems more like a contamination" (p.77, Laderman). This film represents so much and has so much symbolism and irony that I am not quite sure where to begin. Firstly though, I just have to mention that together both Billy and Wyatt truely represent future conservative, patriarchal, white supremist society as they are able to simply take off on their bikes to travel which is something both dangerous and impossible for women and other minority groups and when they arrive at Madam Tinkertoys they treat women like the rest of society does, like objects of personal pleasure. Perhaps this is what Wyatt is getting at when he makes his near the end quote but it is obvious that Billy never comprehends any of these things. Billy does not seem to be on a journey of himself but rather on some quick road trip to satisfy his enjoyment of the opposite sex. Billy is an opressed man who revolts by oppressing others and these characteristics are evident and blatant in nearly every case of him meeting new people. He pokes fun of the hippie hitchhiker and his friends and threatens George in the jail cell (placing fear in others to ultimately have the upper hand) and criticizes the people and things that do not represent him which is a complete diservice to the counterculture that he is supposed to be. The journey to find (north)America was ironic because in reality they were smack dab in the middle of it the entire time! The journey for 'America' is different for each person because no group of people truely want the same thing nor can they agree. America is constantly at war with eachother to prove who is right and who is wrong and in the mean time they are contaminating minds. Drugs are also used in this movie and in the lyrics of songs for temporary escape and also for reflection and they bring out the truth like when the men are around the campfire talking. The drugs they use are artificial and poisoning to the find though just like their conservative society and perhaps they solve a problem for the time being but they can become addictive and harmful if relied on.

January 30, 2008

Reflection on Easy Rider

In Eyerman" and Lofgren's, "Romancing the Road" they state that,

" In the end, however, it is normality that emerges victorious: the hero realizes that his yuppie life was empty and meaningless, and even manages to transform the femme-fatale into a pretty- and harmless- middle class women."

I believe that this statement does a good job summing up what Fonda meant when he said, "we blew it." while spending the night on the open road. The comment is very open- ended and can be interpreted in many ways. What I think they meant by it was that their hippie- easy going lives were given in when they sold coke and gained money the easy way. Although they profited financially they found no fulfillment. They can't even get a hotel room because of their image. Their choices are to conform and become more "normal" like the "rest" of America or camp out and piss away their money on booze, drugs, and women. Money does not make you free and is a way of conforming to control and the market.

One of the opening songs, "Born to be Wild" contains the lyrics, "like a true nature's child, we were born born to be wild." This song is basically played in its entirely showing the "Easy Riders" on their motorcycles on the open road and natures scenery. This music and composition of shots sets the mood and theme for the counterculture aspect of the show; Rebels taking the open road, not conforming to societies standards, looking rugged, having long hair, riding motorcycles and doing drugs.

Even though the movie seems to support the image and culture of the non-conformists it is about the non-conformists failure and dissatisfaction and unfulfillment of their own lives. What has seemed to happen in real America since this film is that more and more people are conforming to a standard and that doesn't seem to be such a great thing either. After discussing this film with my parents my mom said that Peter Fonda once said in an interview that their reason for making that movie was so they had a reason to do a lot of drugs....

Week Two- "Easy Rider" The ALL American Road Movie

Question Section A: We blew it!

Due: Monday, February 4, by noon

At the end of Easy Rider, Wyatt makes a prophetic proclamation: “We
blew it!� What are your ideas on what this means about Wyatt and
Billy, American counterculture and American culture in general? Start
your reflections with a sentence from the assigned readings and
support your ideas with what you saw (in particular scenes, plot
elements, soundtrack, cinematic techniques) in the film. Be specific
about the film and use the assigned readings.

Please remember to be creative in your own thinking after you have read the assigned
readings, especially “The Road to Dystopia� (Klinger) and Driving
Visions, pp. 69-81.

Do not copy or repeat what another student has written. You can
elaborate on another student’s ideas but add more to the conversation.

Feel free to comment on what other students have written using the
Comment prompt.

January 29, 2008

Late in Coming Blog Post

My own road journey is quite a lengthy story. One I won't get into here. However, I find that this first semester back in school is throwing my head for a spin. Needless to say, I do have a favorite road movie, even after missing our Monday at noon deadline. I would say that my favorite of the lot is Dead Man written/directed by Jim Jarmusch. It's the story of William Blake, an accountant from Cleveland, who leaves his parents' deaths and a rejection by his fiance behind. Somewhere around 1850, William Blake boards a train west to work for a mining company. Upon arrival, he is denied the job (it was given to someone else) and gets in bed with the company owner's son's fiance. This upset is settled, of course, at gunpoint. Blake escapes the scene, leaving the bodies of the son and fiance, but carrying a bullet next to his heart. The true "roadiness" of the film begins when Blake is befriended by an exiled Native American (self-dubbed as "Nobody"). Nobody is convinced that Blake is actually William Blake, the deceased English poet. This bond brings them through both comical and treacherously violent situations. As Blake is slowly transformed into a killer and an outlaw, struggling to survive in the chaotic world of the wild west, his eyes begin to open to the transience of life as his own life slowly comes to an end.

My Favorite Road Film

As disturbing as it may be, and even I think I am insane as I am writing this on the page, my favorite road film of all time would have to be Natural Born Killers directed by Oliver Stone. The reason this graphic and shocking film holds a special place in my heart is because it was the first movie I had ever watched that gave me that feeling deep in my stomach that is so discomforting that you find yourself wondering how it’s possible for someone's brain to be so deranged, so unsettled that when they decided to write, this was the byproduct. Perhaps they missed one too many sunday mornings or a trip to pick up some medication but there is still something oddly beautiful found in it, much like is found in many Stanley Kubrick films. When they’re done, you can’t wait for your friends to leave to start it over in hopes that this time you will understand, you will be able to make sense of it all. The underlying criticism Terantino brings on society, the media, and violence in general is so original and creative that if one was to look at is as a piece of art, one cannot help but be fascinated by it. I don’t even like horror movies and believe violence is readily overused in Hollywood but this movie is amazing. My second favorite is Dumb and Dumber if that helps.

January 28, 2008

Favorite Road Movie

I'd have to choose Planes, Trains, and Automobiles as one of my favorites movies about being "on the road". It encompasses a lot of varying elements that make it a notable film. Most of the plot focuses on the struggles in traveling with a complete and completely opposite stranger. The situations are shown fairly humorously throughout the movie, but move to a more poignant and somber tone, reflecting more of the serious aspects of all things that come with being away from home and interacting with others. I really love this movie.

Fav. Road Movie

My favorite movie that takes place on the road is "RV" with Robin Williams. I think that the movie is very funny and made me laugh at a time when I thought many other movies were not as funny. It reminds me a bit of my family vacation road trips with the siblings bickering and some of the funny jokes that come along the way when the family finally starts bonding. I don't exactly remember the name that they gave their RV but it was called something along the lines of The Rolling Turd. I thought that part was hularious.

Fav. Road Movie

My favorite movie that takes place on the road is "RV" with Robin Williams. I think that the movie is very funny and made me laugh at a time when I thought many other movies were not as funny. It reminds me a bit of my family vacation road trips with the siblings bickering and some of the funny jokes that come along the way when the family finally starts bonding. I don't exactly remember the name that they gave their RV but it was called something along the lines of The Rolling Turd. I thought that part was hularious.

Little Miss Sunshine

My favorite road movie is Little Miss Sunshine. The elements of sympathy and humor intertwined are perfectly presented through this film. The movie shows how a family comes together through a road trip to California for the daughter Olive to compete in a pageant. The family goes through many ups and down including the death of a Grandpa Edwin, Frank opens up about his suicide attempt and his sexuality, Dwayne comes to find he is color blind, Richard is faced with problems with his job, and Olive finally competes in the pageant. At the end of the movie when Olive performs her original and risky dance routine, the entire family supports her while the crowd is disgusted. The conclusion of the movie leaves you with a strong sense of family and what it means to stand up for yourself and those that you love. The message is inspiring and uplifting.

Patti's Favorite Road Movie

One of my favorite road movies has been “The Darjeeling Limited." The character dynamics are great, settings are beautiful, plus, over all, it is funny movie. The three brothers journey across India to become brothers again. None of the brothers have spoken in a year because they don’t trust each other. I enjoy how each brother has his personal connection with his family’s past history. For example, Adrian Brody’s character, Peter Whitman, is always wearing their father’s glasses even though they are prescription. All have the luggage that their dead father used to travel with, but in the end they start over by ditching the luggage to catch the train. The characters make the movie, showing how honest and comfortable people are with their families. Being on the road causes the story to twist and turn making the characters ready for change at a moments notice. The combination of characters and twits in the story make “The Darjeeling Limited� one of my favorite road movies.

favorite road film

My favorite road film of all time would have to be Y Tu Mama Tambien. The road trip the three characters take across Mexico to their final destination, Boca del Cielo (Heaven's Mouth), is truly an adventure. Although it all starts out as a joke since the two main characters who are both teenage boys, played by Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal, are trying to pick up a much older woman, played by Ana Lopez Mercado. Much of the film has to do with sexual discovery for the young boys but many lessons are learned along the way. Especially since Mercado's character has cancer and is making the road trip one of her last fun adventures. The ending is not very uplifting since the friendship between Luna and Bernal's characters morphs into a much more mature one but they both know in the back of their heads how much the trip to Heaven's Mouth changed them and opened their eyes up to manhood. I highly recommend this film to anyone and for more insight here is the link for the trailer -

My Favorite Road Film

I think my favorite road film would have to be the film Y Tu Mama Tambien, a Mexican film telling the coming of age story of two young men. I thought this film was really interesting and the actors Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna did a wonderful job portraying two young men curious about life and leaving their families for the first time. I thought that is was a fairly universal story about friendship and the growing and changing that occurs between friends when their high school days are over. I haven't seen many female road movies, which makes me wonder how the story would have been different or the same had it been two young Mexican women, or two women in general, leaving home for the first time and experiencing the world. I thought this movie was entertaining but also very thoughtful and would recommend it highly.

My Favorite Road Film

I haven't seen very many road films, and actually don't really know if this one even counts, but I think that Brokeback Mountain was a great movie that showed two men discovering who they really are, and what that means for their life. I thought it did a great job of showing emotion, not just of the two men, but of their families as well.

Corrie's Favs

I guess I can't think of one particular road movie that I like the best. Of course Thelma and Louise is classic and Little Miss Sunshine is really fun and heartwarming. I'm excited to talk about these films in class discussion. Besides those movies, Midnight Cowboy begins and ends with a journey on the road and I found it to be a really powerful way to show the change of these two men at the end of the movie. Also, I love the film Life Aquatic and although it doesn't necessarily take place on the road, it shows a trip of sorts on a boat (and my favorite part in the sub). I think the image of traveling and discovering is in many movies, it just depends on the form.

Haily's Favorite Road Movie

I don't feel as though I've seen enough of the be-all, end-all classic road movies to have a favorite, but I agree with a number of the choices I've seen listed so far. "Little Miss Sunshine" and "The Darjeeling Limited" are two of the best among the more recent. By now it's a cliche to take the atypical bickering family and their share of standard dysfunctions out for a drive, but those two films do a really great job in showing the little personal revolutions and evolutions of each character. They emphasis the art of change accomplished through unglamourous travel that anyone with family baggage especially (that is, everyone) can truly identify with and, hopefully, experience. Otherwise, any movie that follows a traveling band, whether more serious ("Almost Famous") or totally ridiculous ("This Is Spinal Tap") has my heart--it's fun to visualize a life with no attachments beyond a love of music!

My Favorite Road Movie

My favorite road movie is Two for the Road starring Audrey Hepburn and Albert Finney. Two for the Road tells the story of a fizzling marriage... how anyone could stop being attracted to Audrey Hepburn I will never know. The clothes! The hair! The sunglasses! The film takes viewers through various stages of the couple's marriage starting with when they met. This movie is both my favorite road movie and Audrey Hepburn movie. I believe that it offers a very accurate portrayal of a real marriage, somewhat rare for a film made in the 1960s. Furthermore, I love that Audrey is somewhat of a bad girl: she hitchhikes and has an affair.

"What kind of people just sit like that without a word to say to each other?"
"Married people."

January 27, 2008

Favorite Road Film

I'm going to have to go with the classic Thelma and Louise. I have probably seen this movie 100 times. I love Susan Sarandon, she is one of the most real, warm and talented women in the business. Her performance in this movie was amazing to me. I've loved every movie she has performed in. The story line in this movie is great...seeing how free and independent they are once they hit the road. I loved this movie the first time I saw it and I will continue to every time I watch it.

Favorite Road Film

Unfortunately I have just recently begun my journey into films that stand out from your average Hollywood love story or bad ass Bruce Willis adventures however, I recently watched a good Road film that was in Spanish but I can no longer remember the name. Anyways, the two main characters were women who up and left everything they had and were complete opposites but were both struggling to make ends meet to survive and happen to run into each other on the road along the way. The one women lived as a single mother with two kids, a drug dealer boyfriend, and a jealous ex-husband. She finally got fed up and left juarez Mexico after women at her work (in the Maquilladores)started disappearing. The other woman had a great college education and was incredibly witty and self reliant which undoubtedly created problems with several men who had control and self esteem issues. This movie was great because it questioned and poked fun at societal norms.

My Favorite Road Film

First of all, I don't really watch too many movies, so to pick a favorite road film was kind of a hard decision. I decided on Little Miss Sunshine because I thought that movie was hilarious and down-to-earth. I liked how there was nothing really extravagant about the film and the characters in it seemed real. I loved how the family did everything they could for Olive and stuck with her until the end. Even her dad loosened up near the end of the film. I thought the film represented many unique personalities and brought out different ways on how to approach situations.

favorite road film

I am not quite sure if I have an exact favorite, but Steven Spielberg's Catch Me If You Can was a standout film. Not only was the acting from Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Christopher Walken, etc. excellent, but they made the film alive with their connections to their characters. I think it made the film more interesting that it is based off of a true story. I really enjoyed the set and costumes of the film and the charm that DiCaprio brought to his character, Frank. The suspense and excitement of the fact that the main character Frank just keeps getting away was great and kept the film going at a great pace. Not only is it a physical journey of Frank traveling all the time, but the emotional journey he undergoes is an additional asset. Overall, I think this film is just really fun and very entertaining.

Margo's Fave Road Film

Well, at first I wasn't excited to think about a road film, because I'm not a big fan of cars. After some contemplation though I settled on Harold and Maude. I don't know if that even counts as a real road film, but Maude does some pretty bad-ass driving in it.
The second movie that qualifies as a recent favorite would be Little Miss Sunshine. The soundtrack, yellow VW van and humor of it all make it a favorite. Without the dysfunctional family dynamics and the kitschy-coolness of the van, the movie would have definitely been lacking that certain something.

Favorite Road Film

My favorite road film would have to be Road to Perdition directed by Sam Mendes and starring Tom Hanks. One of the reasons that I like this particular film is because I've always enjoyed mafia and gangster films and this film doesn't disappoint. The general plot of the film surrounds the relationship between a father, Tom Hanks, and his son during the 1920s. The two have to leave their home after Hanks' son sees a murder he shouldn't have witnessed. Now both on the run from a hitman, played by Jude Law, the film explores the relationship between father and son. This is also a reason I enjoyed the film - the story between Hanks and his son, as cliche as it may sound, was very moving to see develop. But as this relationship takes place within a gangster plotline, the film is exciting and takes many turns that I did not see coming the first time I watched it. The editing in the film and the way the director shot it creates suspense throughout the entire film all the way up to the ending. The ending in particular took a turn that I did not expect. It's a classic shoot-em-up gangster film where you sympathize with the mobsters and Road to Perdition also has star power with Tom Hanks, Jude Law, Daniel Craig, and Paul Newman. But I highly recommend the film and I definitely enjoy watching it over and over again.

favorite road movie

I would have to say my favorite is This is Spinal Tap . I love the movie because it made me laugh. Since I have traveled on the road for two years in a band I couldn't help but be entertained by the film. I love the rockumentary style of the film... it imakes it even more funny. It is a great satire of "real" rock-n-roll life style. Great stuff.

Emma's Favorite Road Film

My favorite road film would probably have to be Y Tu Mama Tambien. It takes place in Mexico and follows the lives of two best friends, Julio and Tenoch. It starts out very light-hearted and fun. I like it because it is sort of a coming of age movie. The two boys learn about themselves and life as they know it and how easily it can change. They end up meeting a beautiful woman and convince her to go on a trip to a beach that might not even exist called "La Boca del Cielo". The movie follows their adventure and the twists and turns of life's intruiging lessons and messages.

Lana's Favorite Road Movie

My favorite road movie is called Down By Law, directed by Jim Jarmusch. It stars Tom Waits and Roberto Benigni, whose acting is a big reason I call this movie one of my favorites. The movie follows the journey of three prisoners as they escape together. I think I like it so much because of the way the characters bond because they all share the experience of being in prison. It's touching and has some pretty funny dialogue, too.

Toss 'em Up between....

It's been an arduous mental journey, and two road films remain fighting tooth and nail for the position of my favorite road films. These two are Djibril Diop Mambety's Touki Bouki George Miller and George Ogilive's Mad Max Beyond the Thunderdome Both films capture to me an essence of reality and imagination that the roads offer to marginalized people. The avant garde camera work and editing of Touki Bouki hails Eisenstein and Truffaut, but the films perpetual sense of humor, mystery, and despair add up to more than either of those directors could do. Whilst Mad Max Beyond the Thunderdome has Tina Turner playing the queen of the Thunderdome, Aunt Entity. Christ, what other movie has a Thunderdome in it. Seriously though, the Mad Max movies rule for so many reasons not the least of which is the way they capture the hostility of the road, and their sweet costume design.

Tina Turner music video.

My Favorite Road Film

My favorite road film is Road Trip. The movie has a hilarious plot, filled with immaturity and nonsensical humor. Tom Green, one of the costars of the film, is one of my favorite comedians because he is unpredictable. Green and the other actors in the film like Seth Green make the movie quirky and exciting. Road Trip is a movie about a group of college kids trying figure things out in their lives, like who they are and being a college student myself I can relate to the characters in some ways. Also, Road Trip is a very versatile movie in that I personally could watch it any day of the week at anytime (which I can't say about other movie genres like horror films). Overall, it is a rather infantile movie, but that is one of the best aspects of it. You can sit back, relax, and turn your brain off for an hour and a half and laugh at a lighter, less serious, type of movie.

Amy's Favorite Road Film

I love music. Any movie that involves music is usually a favorite of mine. When I think of my favorite road film, I definitely would say Almost Famous is the best in my book. The road to self discovery of all the characters throughout this film is amazing. Although this film is supposed to be about William, who gets the opportunity to write for Rolling Stone, I believe it is also much about Penny Lane. Both obsess over musicians and live through their musicianship. Eventually find out that hiding behind them will bring them no success. Penny Lane, who calls herself a "Band-Aid" at first, goes through a very difficult road to discovery. This is my favorite road film because I believe it shows the beauty and horror of being famous or trying to become famous. I also think that Kate Hudson does an immaculate job at creating a realistic portrayal of the everyday life of a groupie. Her struggles throughout this film make me realize how hard life can be, yet how enjoyable the small awards are. This film makes me so happy everytime I see it. It's mixture of emotional states make it enlightening. I feel that it is a great road film because it shows all aspects of stardom, including its followers. The fact that this film revolves around music puts icing on the cake for me. Almost Famous is an inspirational movie to me and I love it.

Favorite Road Film.....

I definitely haven't seen many road films, in fact the only one I remember having seen is Little Miss Sunshine. I thought the film was okay overall but the thing I enjoyed most about it, and that I think is probably characteristic of many road films, is the idea of a road trip as a place for change. The road serves as a place that reveals and brings to the surface many issues (in this case within the dysfuntional family) that are left confined or unspoken in the space of the home. All the interactions and mishaps that occur on the road are forced to be dealt with right away a lot of the time. At home, people have the luxury of leaving a situation or hiding behind work and other things. They don't have to deal with things as they come, like on the road. Anyways, I'm excited to see more "road films" in this class so I can think and understand more about the genre.

roooad film...

Psh. I would have to say It Happened One Night. I grew up on early screwball comedy (see also:bringing up baby, arsenic and old lace, philadelphia story, aka every cary grant comedy ever) and this is one of the best. It stars Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert. He's a newspaper reporter, she's a run-away rich girl, hilarity (and romance) ensues. It's actually a really good example of gender roles in the thirties. The female characters in movies from that period are often more capable than one might imagine in older films because before WWII they weren't viewed as a threat in the masculine workforce and there wasn't as large of a backlash against traditional gender roles. These women were even known to get a divorce on occasion. Shocking, I know. I digress. So anyway...this is my favorite scene from the movie.

I'm pretty sure that's where bugs bunny got his carrot eating banter from, but I've never looked it up.

Favorite Road Film

It's always hard for me to choose a favorite movie, but I would say that my favorite road film would have to be Rain Man. My family is a major part of my life, so I really related to this movie. It was so sweet to see the bond between the brothers grow throughout the movie. There were many touching moments as they traveled together. One of my favorites is when Tom Cruise is running the bath for Dustin Hoffman when Dustin starts to freak out. It brought back a bad memory from their childhood, and it was touching to see the love that they had for eachother. By the end of their journey it was very evident to see that their relationship had grown and was now very strong.

Road Trip Awesomeness

I am not one to watch a lot of movies. Whenever people are talking about the latest and greatest films, I am usually at a loss. I have not spent a lot of my time in a theater, but there is one road film that I have seen an abundance of times. Crossroads would be my favorite road film. The weekend this movie came out in theaters I saw it three nights in a row. I have shed many a tear while watching a younger, more innocent Britney play Lucy. Despite the "cheese factor" of some of the scenes, to me this film meant a lot. It dealt with a lot of teenage issues, ranging from divorce, pregnancy and especially friendship. We have all had friends throughout our years in school that we have drifted apart from, and this movies shows the lives of three High school seniors and their journey back to each other. I am not going to lie, at the time, I was a huge Britney Spears fan, which plays a large role in the reason I loved the film. But, I do think it is a good teen movie and portrays the ultimate road trip. Who wouldn't want to travel across the country with their two best friends and a hunk in a convertible? The movie also does a good job of portraying Britney's talent. To me, Crossroads is the definition of Road Trip Awesomeness.

MY Favorite Road Film

My favorite road film is Hidalgo.It is not what would usually be thought of as a road film because the road is not a highway it is instead a path on a vast desert of sand. I like it partly because it is about a horse and I love horses but also because of the message in it. The journey being taken affects not only the man making the journey but also the horse he is riding. Hidalgo, the horse, is a mustang and this breed has been looked down upon and slaughtered for centuries. In the middle east where the movie takes place the blood lines of horses are highly prized and being a mustang Hidalgo has no wonderful blood lines and therefore is looked down upon but by the end of the movie he has proven his worth with stamina, cunning, and a will to live and win that even the other riders in the race are forced to admire. The man in the journey, Frank Hopkins, learns to accept his Native American heritage and to be who he is, even if he is half Native American half white. He learns to stay true to who he is and discovers that doing so does not necessarily mean that he will fail or lose.

My Favorite Road Film

Since I can't recall many road films that I have seen, I would have to say that Little Miss Sunshine is my favorite. The film is very humorous in the way that the characters interact with one another, and it reminds the viewer that every family has problems. I also love how at the pagent Olive, the main character, does something completely different from all of the other little girls and I loved the reactions on all the judges faces. Olive had confidence and I think it sent a positive message that being different is okay.

Favorite Road Movie

When I am asked what my favorite road movie is I immediately think of the 2001 film HeartBreakers. There are plenty of other great road movies out there but this film is one that I can watch time after time and still appreciate it. The film features Sigourney Weaver (Max) and Jennifer Love Hewitt (Page) as a mother-daughter duo that make their money scamming men. It is a light-hearted and humorous story of how the road allows Max and Page to escape the past but does not prevent the past from resurfacing in their future.

January 26, 2008

Favorite Road Film...

I am going to have to go with what is most likely the cliche answer of my generation, but Little Miss Sunshine is probably my favorite road film. I like being able to watch a film and see hints of reality define them. In Little Miss Sunshine, the viewer does not see the quintessential idea of what the "American family" is. Rather, the viewer sees what real American families are: dysfunctional. This movie exemplifies that there is no such thing as perfect, even if we try and pretend as if there is. This movie follows a family that wants to despretely represent "normality." In fact, it is the father's obsession with normality that tends to bring out the familiy's flaws and dysfuntion, especially while they are on the road. Towards the end of the movie, the family, in a way, embraces their dysfunction and it is at this point where they truly work together for the first time. Maybe if we all except things at face value, we can get through them easier.

Favorite Road Film

My favorite road film is Set It Off because it shows that women can be "bad ass" instead of the stereotypical sensitive and passive image of them in every other movie. The actresses take it upon themselves to make money that they think they deserve instead of waiting around for someone else to do it for them. I love the movie even though I would never have the guts to do anything equivalent to what they did.

My Favorite Road Film

Although the road that Dorothy travels consists of yellow bricks, I would have to say that The Wizard of Oz is my favorite road film. Not only was it the first film to be recognized for its use of color, but the acting of Judy Garland makes it even more enjoyable to watch over and over again. The Wizard of Oz depicts a young lady’s journey through friendship, evil encounters, and family that people of all ages can learn from. In the beginning of the film Dorothy dreams of a different life that is filled with much more than her life currently offers. This desire causes her to go on a miraculous journey only to realize that she took her original life for granted. I find this to be significant because it creates an entertaining and somewhat suspenseful story that many people of all ages can relate to at some point in their lives. This film causes the viewer to step back and appreciate all of the little things in their life that makes living worth while when those details are commonly looked past.
I also love this film for all of the creative aspects that are incorporated into the storyline such as the different types of munchkins or the horse that changes colors. It is very enjoyable to watch all of the different sequences as they unfold as well as sing along with Dorothy as she “follows the yellow brick road.�
Finally, what’s not to love about the Cowardly Lion?


Although this may not seem like a road movie at first glance, Lolita is definitely my favorite road movie for several reasons. Firstly, the unsettling relationship between Hubert and Lolita strays from the typical pairing of two people setting out on the road. Secondly, their experience is one of seeking freedom, because they must shed the social stigma of their difference in age, but also of imprisonment, because Lolita is under the control of Hubert.

Also, the road both brings the couple together and tears them apart. While driving, they are followed, which unites them together in fear of being discovered, and necessity to keep moving. However, once Lolita realizes that Hubert has lied about her mother and he becomes increasingly more controlling, their relationship begins to deteriorate. The viewer watches Hubert slowly lose the trust he built in Lolita, and he drives furiously onward, trying to repair it. Furthermore, the trip permeates the rest of their lives because people they meet on the road also decide their fate later on. The two meet a man named Clare Quilty, whose involvement in Hubert and Lolita's life does not remain isolated to their confrontation on the road. When they meet again, the results are violent (but I wont ruin it for those who haven't seen it).

What I like most is the way in which driving is both a means of escape, and a damning and detrimental environment to the couple...both the solution and agitator of their problems.

Favorite Road Film

For myself, it is hard to pick a 'one true' favorite road film, not only because the movie selection is difficult to narrow down, but i just have not viewed many 'road films,' however, it is a close tie between TransAmerica and Little Miss Sunshine. It is hard to pick one over the other, for myself, since both have amazing scripts, powerful, overall plot, and dramatic opening of the storyline. TransAmerica offers a unique plot dabbed with witty humor and a glimpse into a life that not many are familiar with. On the same note, Little Miss Sunshine meshes two contrasting genres (drama, comedy) to unravel what everyone is familiar with; dysfunctional family. Both movies offer start to finish amusements, questions of life, and the result of having varied personalities clash in the tight confinements of a car. It is hard not to relate, laugh at, and enjoy what both movies have to offer, and again, for myself, hard to pick one over the other.

Favorite Road Film

There are many films that I could choose that are excellent, but as for my favorite I have to go with Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken. It's a 1991 film about a girl named Sonora and her journey to Atlantic City where "all your dreams come true". Sonora soon discovers how to tame a horse and becomes a diving girl in Atlantic City. She gains fame and success diving and soon falls in love with Al, her trainer. After he proposes, one of her dives leads to an accident that causes her permanent blindness. No one wants her to continue diving, but she has to prove to herself and everyone else that she can. I find the entire movie exciting and enthralling. It's thrilling to see a young courageous girl pursue her dreams.

Favorite road movie....

The Motorcycle Diaries written by Walter Salles is my favorite road movie. Not only is Gael GarcĂ­a Bernal an absolute hunk, he is also an amazing actor. The film touches me in the fact that these two courageous college students go on a road trip on this tiny beaten down motorcycle. Talk about guts! The movie in itself portrays how lives can suddenly change with your surroundings. I guess this film inspires me to someday travel to the unknown in hopes of great changes and adventures. What could be even better is if my companion on this road trip could be my best friend.

January 25, 2008

The Darjeeling Limited - Heidi's Favorite Road Film

My favorite road film is The Darjeeling Limited, released in late 2007.
The film stars Jason Schwartzman, Owen Wilson and Adrien Brody, three estranged brothers who are reuniting one year after the death of their father. At first, it is clear to the audience that they have not spoken or gotten along for a while, and their relationships are very obviously strained and awkward. They have embarked on a life-changing journey across India on a train called The Darjeeling Limited. The three share a cramped sleeping cabin and very quickly begin to get on one another's nerves with their individual habits and quirks. The oldest (Owen Wilson) assumes the role of Leader; he writes very detailed daily itineraries and he orders everyone's meals during dinner without allowing them the freedom to do so. The middle child, Adrien Brody, is the quiet and moody one who opens up to his younger brother but makes him promise not to tell their older brother, creating another awkward dynamic between the three. The youngest (Jason Schwartzman) is quiet and eccentric, and is having regular trysts with a beautiful Indian woman who serves tea on the train.

The film is aesthetically beautiful, but even more beautiful and heart-wrenching is the emotional journey these three brothers experience. They begin the film, as I said, estranged and awkward, keeping secrets from one another. They begin to unravel their individual emotional intricacies as the story of their lives in the year following their father's death is revealed to the audience and to each other. By the end of the film, they have grown close again and have changed the way they looked at life - no longer grieving their father's death, all three have a renewed sense of hope and exhilaration for the future.

Road of Constant Sorrow

If I had to pick, my favorite road movie would be O Brother, Where Art Thou. Based upon the ultimate road trip, Homer's The Odyssey, this Coen brothers film has always held a fascination with me, and it's hard to really say why, though I'm sure the presence of George Clooney plays a large role in this. In this film, the travelers are on a road to a lot of different events, changes, and revelations. More than merely escaping a chain gang, the three main characters are on a search for treasure, and Everett, unbeknownst to the others, fabricated this treasure so he could get home and keep his wife from marrying another man. Along the road, these three men encounter the inconcievable: from Babyface George Nelson, to an underhanded one-eyed Bible salesman. All the while the men gain fame from a recording they made for a few dollars. I think this film really embodies the spirits of adventure and self discovery that road films so often stress. The adventure part is apparent with the dozens of mishaps and misfortunes these men face, the self discovery part, however, comes from all the events mashed together. Everett's prayer is an example of this: when the three men are caught and are about to be hung, Everett prays to God that he can see his wife and daughters again. This is a true discovery of what he finds important. The trials he faced along the road made him appreciate the good life he had abandoned, and in this appreciation he found humility and his cynicism melted...even if only for a moment. Really I love this movie because of how the journey changes everyone, yet leaves them the same, making a statement that we find our true selves in who we where all along.

Favorite Road Film

My favorite road film is To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything! Julie Newmar. Since I haven't seen many movies that can be classified as "road films", it wasn't too hard to make a choice. The movie is about three drag queens, who are played by Patrick Swayze, Wesley Snipes, and John Leguizamo, that get stranded in a small town when their car breaks down while they are on a road trip. The actors, who are used to portraying tough guys in many of their other films adapt to the roles of drag queens so well that you forget who they really are. Following the classic theme of a story with a happy ending, the characters descend upon this town and immediately start to shake things up and change the ways in which the townspeople view the world and each other. It's an enjoyable film that is fun to watch, with not too many underlying themes to decipher.

Favorite Road Film

It’s hard to pick a favorite. Runners up: Wild At Heart, True Romance, Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas.

But the best road movie would have to be Natural Born Killers. The movie speaks to me as a journalist, in loathing media outlets that sensationalize tragedy. The screenwriter of the flick—Quentin Tarantino—originally had the movie focused on Robert Downey Jr.’s character, rather than focusing on the messed up childhoods that led to the murder rampages of Micky and Mallory. But the duo—a modern day Bonnie and Clyde—showed America before its time its everlasting empathy for the underdog that we aren’t, but somehow can still relate to. The film evoked the final furious straw of the Columbine killers and several shootings of the like, and is a cult hit all-around.

Honorable mention: Crossroads, Britney Spears’ fictionalized coming of age. The movie is great only for its novelty, where grains of truth are strained to make palatable for the masses. The real vehicle of the film is not the sports car hunky Ben drives, but Britney Spears, on a road trip where serious life issues—rape, marriage, identity issues, and family dysfunctions—are discussed in a manner so fluffy and fictionalized that the attempt immediately loses merit, and succeeds only on camp value.

Favorite Road FIlm

One of my favorite womens road films is Thelma and Louise. Besides the fact that a young Brad Pitt is shirtless in this film, it depicts a timeless story. The viewer is able to see the journey each woman takes. Gena Davis' character, Thelma has one of the most dramatic transformations. With each mile that they travel down the open road, she becomes more confident and empowered. At the start of their trip, she is very naive. Her vulnerability is at an all time low when she is almost rapped. The graphic scene is extremely important to the film and her personal journey. Not only does that specific event directly impact Thelma, but also Louise who becomes enraged at the sight and turns violent in order to save her friend. It is the turning point of their trip and their fate, transforming them into violent and dangerous women. I also love this film for the illustration of the unbreakable friendships women have. Having five sisters, I love the way the film captures their journey together as women. It also shows the classic example of not judging a book by its cover. In the male-dominated highway world, they do not stand for manipulation and turn violent when confronting any such instance. Thelma's transformation is directly impacted by Louise's actions thus becoming a role model for Thelma to follow. Louise becomes a very empowered woman and leads the two women on their trip of a lifetime. Thelma and Louise is a film that sparks a flame in every woman to have their own adventure, but hopefully without high speed police chase.

January 24, 2008

Blog Now Working

Dear Students,

The blog is now working. When you are ready to post, be sure to type your text in the "Entry Body" box, select the appropriate week's "Primary Category" (ie "Favorite Road Film, if you were posting week one's assignment), save it as "Published," and return to the main page. Once you are on the main site page ("View Site"), hit "Refresh" (using the refresh button on your internet program's main navigational toolbar), and your entry should appear.

To underline film titles, highlight the name of the film and click on the italics icon located on the top right of the "Entry Body" box. To provide links to websites, type in a url or phrase, highlight it, click on the link icon, also located on the top right of the "Entry Box," and provide the url when prompted. To embed text, copy the embedded code provided and paste it directly into the main text of your blog entry. If you are embedding film clips or video, please "Preview" before you save and post your entry, so that you can make sure that all code has transferred correctly and that your fellow section-mates are able to view the media you've posted.