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Monte Hellman Says 'Road To Nowhere' Was A "Group Subconscious Experience"

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • June 11, 2011 5:00 AM
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This weekend, Monte Hellman‘s “Road To Nowhere” opens. Somehow, no one has acknowledged that this is an event; Hellman, the vaunted director of “Two Lane Blacktop” and “The Shooting,” hasn’t made a movie since 1989. Things are a bit different this time around, as Hellman is working with much more unconventional material, with “Road To Nowhere” focusing on a murder-mystery happening in a movie-within-a-movie, with actors playing multiple roles within two separate storylines that keep dovetailing into each other. If you ask Hellman, who still believes, “No explanations, no apologies, and above all, no refunds,” this elaborate structure was more of an experiment of the subconscious, an attempt at trial-and-error than a purposeful artistic decision.

Review: Dense And Oblique, Monte Hellman's 'Road To Nowhere' A Welcome Return

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • June 10, 2011 8:53 AM
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The reemergence of a well-respected filmmaker will always draw the eyes of cinephiles everywhere; these once-master auteurs come out of hiding, hoping to recapture the energy and attention they once had. "The Godfather" auteur Francis Ford Coppola is currently enjoying a second career in film, and though he isn't making serious bank ("Youth Without Youth" couldn't even muster up $250,000 domestically), his latest output is some of his best work since the early 1980s. Few are as successful critically as that, and though we all have our dream lists (this writer can't be the only one hoping for a new Nagisa Oshima), some filmmakers can't restart the fire they once had -- often it feels like they're trying too hard to either keep up with current stylistic trends or forcing out a passion that they no longer have. Either way, these artistic resuscitations are often only ever seen as complete travesty or modern masterpiece, regardless of how detrimental those extremist labels truly are. Which brings us to this unfortunate question: which camp does "Road to Nowhere" by Monte Hellman (director of the great "Two-Lane Blacktop," absent from features since 1989) fall into? Depending on your affinity for David Lynch/Claire Denis-type narrative puzzles, it could go either way.

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