Without a doubt the movie I am most excited to see this year is not Tree of Life, but rather Monte Hellman’s return after a more than 20 year absence, Road to Nowhere. This title can apply to just about any of Hellman’s best works. Consider that Two-Lane Blacktop, a movie that is, on the suface, about a cross-country automobile race but that ends before either of the competitors is within a few hundred miles of the finish line; or, recall Oates and company wondering through the desert in The Shooting in a way that has been compared with Beckett’s Waiting for Godot.
I’m not quite sure what Road to Nowhere is about. I have in fact avoided reading too much about it; however, I did watch the trailer…and then I watched it again, and again, and again. It doesn’t give away too much other than it’s intentionally enigmatic and meta-Hollywood in a way that waxes Lynch’s last two features. What makes the trailer most captivating is the theme song by Tom Russell, which, I am guessing from his website, was written specifically for the movie.
Possible Problems The looks on the faces of Shannyn Sossamon and Cliff De Young in some of the scenes seem overly melodramatic, but I am guessing that in context these will be the scenes where they are supposed to be acting in the film-within-the-film. I love the look of the plane crash at approx 01:27, but again, I am guessing this is eaither part of some meta- or otherwise deamlike aspect of the film.
Near the end of 2009 I started keeping a spreadsheet of my movie-going habits. What follows in this post are the numbers only. None of this is meant to be qualitatively evaluative. The fact that the Goodrich Randall 15 is the theatre I most frequented does not mean that it is my favorite; it does mean that it is the closest to my home. The Cantera 30 multiplex in Warrenville changed ownership from AMC to Regal in July. I didn’t know how to classify tv-on-dvd, so I have omitted these viewings, although this year only MI-5, Season 7 fell into this category; although, I did also omit Lonesome Dove, since it was a tv-miniseries, albeit a damn good one. Below does include short films, but indiscriminately. For example I include Heart of the World but not the Night and Day short that preceded Toy Story 3. Anthology discs are also represented inconsistently. For example Ménilmontant is listed separately even though it was viewed from Kino’s Avant-Garde Volume 1, disc 1 but later I count viewing the entire Avant-Garde Volume 3, disc 2 as one entry. Anyway, a complete list in non-spreadsheet form can be found here.