I must include both film titles in this string of gibberish.
Ruth Hottell quotes that "the Woman is central insofar as the woman's desire is the central problem or challenge for the male protagonist." This is a nice summary of the typical perspective of the andocentric narrative film. As in Easy Rider, the woman is the function of the male desire, not even its end. Even the sexual pleasure that he can take from her is momentary, and seems to separate her body from herself, as with Mona in Sans toit ni loi. Mona is so abnormal and ephemeral, removing herself from the typical physical aspects of human life and clinging to the essential: hunger, for substance as much as sustenance. The men that surround her can't understand this need for vagrancy, the compulsion of the wind to keep her moving. All they want from her is her body, what it can do. Wyatt in Easy Rider has that same nomadic tendency, that same essential and feral approach to life. Their characters are remarkably similar. What is different is both their approach and their end. Wyatt uses a traditionally "male" vehicle, and tears through the filmic space with all the phallic power he possesses. Mona has no vehicle, no power except herself. The problem herein is that the outside system is the same. Wyatt works within the male-dominated system, trying to explore, understand, and perhaps change it. Mona cares nothing for what's already organized in society. "Without roof, without laws," she is separate and therefore independent.
But they both died. Wyatt's complacence and decadence don't take him anywhere new, not really. So when he and Billy are killed by the motorist, it's more of a misunderstanding than a poetic downfall. The drivers were the stereotype of systematic male, and couldn't accept or understand a different appearance of male. Their deaths are significant but only in the wantonness of a couple of redneck idiots taking out their heteronormal, homoerotic frustration. Yet Mona, all fey and momentary, is a reality unto herself. What frustrates me is that I can't decide what her death means, what caused it. In a spiritual sense, of course. There is the foreshadowing of the road taking a person over and killing them, and then there are the constant attempts of all who meet her to plant her somewhere, in something, to normalize and therefore possess her. The difficulty that I have is that Mona herself is a changeling. She is at once as unsturdy as the wind and more real than any other person in the film. Of course she had to die. But what poetic can explicate it best? Was it that she was a woman? Or that she was more than man or woman could ever simply be defined, and the jealousy of the collective took its toll?