Lost Highways, Embodied Travels: The Road Movie in American Experimental Film and Video


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Often identified as one of the most genuine and enduring American film genres, the road movie has never been explored in the context of experimental filmmaking. To fill this gap, Lost Highways, Embodied Travels provides the first book-length study of over eighty unique and often obscure films and videos and situates them within the corporeal turn in American avant-garde cinema, so far mostly associated with body genres and sexually explicit films. Drawing on unpublished archival materials, the book offers a fresh take on both past and current practices of the experimental film community for scholars, students, makers and film buffs.

Table of contents

List of Illustrations
1 Lost Highways, Embodied Travels: The Structure of This Book

Chapter 1 The Road Movie and the Corporeal Turn in Experimental Film
1 The Road Movie as a Mainstream Film Genre
2 The Road Movie as an Experimental Film Genre
3 The Corporeal Turn in Experimental Film
4 The Road Movie and the Corporeal Turn in Experimental Film

Chapter 2 Embodied Travels
1 Cars and the Body
1.1 "I Like to Remember Things My Own Way": Saul Levine's Mortgage on My Body
1.2 Life Shooting and a Road Movie-Therapy-Performance: Anne Charlotte Robertson's Niagara Falls
1.3 Intuitive Travels: Gary Adlestein's S-8 Diary: Wildwood 2/88
1.4 Unmediated Encounters with the World: Dana Play's Kongostraat
2 Motorcycles and the Body
2.1 Fading Memories of a Honeymoon Trip: Brian Patrick's Honey/Moon
2.2 "Gotta Get Outta Here": Charlemagne Palestine's Island Song
3 Cars and Relationships
3.1 Intimacy That Never Is: Sophie Calle's No Sex Last Night
3.2 Depopulated Highways, Empty Hotel Rooms, and Unfulfilled Intimacy: Donald Winkler's Travel Log
3.3 Female Bodies, Automobiles, and a Failed Lesbian Relationship: Su Friedrich's Rules of the Road
3.4 Two Female Hitchhikers, an Escapist Driver and a Sexual Awakening: Siouxzi Mernagh's Exit
3.5 Break Ups, Reminiscences, and Ghosts of the Past: Walter Ungerer's Down the Road
3.6 The Ups and Downs of Female Solitary Travel: Jessica Bardsley's Goodbye Thelma
3.7 Romance in the Digital Age: Michael Robinson's Onward Lossless Follows
4 Conclusion

Chapter 3 Americana, Canadiana, Native Americans, and Eco-Road Movies
1 Americana
1.1 A Testimony to Chance Encounters: Chris Mullington's Americans (Mer-Kins)
1.2 The End of the American Dream: Chip Lord's Motorist
1.3 A Country of Contradictions: Lluis Escartin's 75 Drive-a-Way
1.4 A Disturbing Portrait of America: James Benning's North on Evers
1.5 In Search of American Counterculture: James Benning's Easy Rider
1.6 A Nostalgic Evocation of the Frontier: Bill Brown's XCTRY
2 Canadiana
2.1 A Dead-End Trip: Philip Hoffman's The Road Ended at the Beach
2.2 Roads Where Nothing Ever Happens: Clive Holden's Bus North to Thompson with Les at the Wheel
2.3 The History of Canadian Roads Told ... Backwards: Michael Snow's Seated Figures
3 Native Americans
3.1 "The Dream of America That Never Came True": Bruce Baillie's Mass for the Dakota Sioux and Quixote
3.2 A Poignant Ode to the Ho-Chunk People and Their Language: Sky Hopinka's Jaaji Approx.
4 Eco-Road Movies
4.1 An Ascetic Roughness of Land and Nature: Nancy Holt and Robert Smithson's Mono Lake
4.2 A Nervous Pean to the New Zealand landscape: Lissa Mitchell's Bowl Me Over
4.3 A "Trans-Corporeal" Experience of Rural Ireland: Julie Murray's Orchard
4.4 An Ominous Terror of Ecocide, Or the Doomsday that Never Was: Fern Silva's Tender Feet
5 Conclusion

Chapter 4 Lost Highways
1 Interstate Highways
1.2 The Thrill of the Open Road: Hilary Harris' Highway
1.2 The Magic of Road Building: Anna Geyer's Dozer
1.3 American Freeway, Private Prisons, and the Dark Side of Automobility: James Schneider's Median Strip
1.4 The Crisis of Automobility: Emma Piper-Burket's Driving Dinosaurs
2 Highway Landscapes and Local Roads
2.1 A Silent Spectacle of Death: J. J. Murphy's Highway Landscape
2.2 Countryside Highways and the Suspension of Movement: James Benning's Small Roads
2.3 An Australian Rural Dirt Road in 360: Blake Williams' Coorow-Latham Road
3 Conclusion

Chapter 5 Through the Windshield
1 Framed Views
1.1 The Paradoxes of Movement: Gary Beydler's Pasadena Freeway Stills
1.2 Multiple Views of a Seashore Landscape: Ken Kobland's Frame
1.3 Across America in Suspended Motion: Ken Kobland's Landscape and Desire
1.4 Driving Meditation: Al Wong's Twin Peaks
2 Windshield Views
1.1 The Icelandic Highway and the Sensation of Velocity: THor Fridriksson's Hringurinn
1.2 A Roller-Coaster Ride Down the Trans-Canada Highway: Stephen Arthur's Tran Scan
1.3 A Full-Body Immersion in the Western Canadian Landscape: Stephen Arthur's Vision Point
3 Driving on a Rainy Day
3.1 Driving in a Thunderstorm and Female Mobility: Faith Arazi and Madeleine Mori's Through a Field
3.2 A Mesmerizing Movement of Raindrops on the Car Windows: Ann Deborah Levy's Rain Painting
3.3 The Wiper's Swing and an Erratic Ride on a Vancouver City Bus: Chris Gallagher's Seeing in the Rain
3.4 Squirming Raindrops and a Bleak View of the Frontier: Bruce and Lorie Baillie's Commute
4 Car Crashes
4.1 From Violent Death to Creative Transformation: Robert Nelson's Hot Leatherette
4.2 A Crash into the Driver-Car's Mind: Eric Patrick's Stark Film
4.3 A Near Deadly Crash and the Afro-American Experience: Paige Taul's The Promise
5 The Tourist Gaze
5.1 A Flashy World of Cliches and Hasty Sight-Seeing: Barbara Hammer's Tourist
5.2 The Hustle and Bustle of Being on the Move and Haptic Aurality: Christina Battle's traveling thru with eyes closed tight (map #2-january 03 thru january 06)
6 Conclusion

Chapter 6 Through the Side Window
1 Fleeting Impressions of Canada: Joyce Wieland's Reason Over Passion
2 Culture Clash and Embodied Memories of Vietnam: Lynne Sachs' Which Way Is East: Notebooks from Vietnam
3 Scattered Recollections of a Family Vacation: Michael Stickrod's Vacation Tapes
4 Driving and Landscape Painting
4.1 Impressionist Views of the Country Barn: Larry Gottheim's Barn Rushes
4.2 The Color Field Painting on Interstate 5: Martha Rosler's Flower Fields
4.3 Still Lifes of the Swedish Rural Countryside: Gunvor Nelson's Light Years
4.4 A Cathartic Road Trip and Impossible Panoramic Vistas of the American Southwest: Peter Rose's The Geosophist's Tears
5 Driving in the Desert
5.1 Seeing with a Filmmaker's Eyes: Stan Brakhage's Visions in Meditation #2: Mesa Verde
5.2 A Spiritual Encounter with the Divine: Jon Behrens' Desert Abstractions
5.3 The Uncanny Desert Glare: Cathy Lee Crane's On the Line
5.4 An Apocalyptic Mediation on the American Wilderness: Kate McCabe's You and I Remain
5.5 "The Intense Reality of Desert" and the Juju Charms: Apostoly Peter Kouroumalis's Desert Road
6 City Driving
6.1 Flows, Rhythms and Textures of New York City: Marie Menken's Go! Go! Go!
6.2 The Whirling Streets of New York City: Bill Morrison's City Walk
6.3 Glimpses into the Streets of San Francisco's Latino Mission: Martha Rosler's Secrets from the Street: No Disclosure
6.4 Inside the Driver-Car's Mind: Steven Woloshen's Shimmer Box Drive and Zero Visibility
6.5 An Exquisite Road Trip Across Four Continents: EXcinema's The Spaces Between Cities
7 Driving at Night
7.1 A Vibrant Light Show of Chicago's Nightlife: Mort and Millie Goldsholl's Night Driving
7.2 A Hypnotizing Collage of Seattle's Nocturnal Lighting: Jon Behrens' The Movement of Light at Night
7.3 A Head-On Confrontation with the Speeding Highway: Bill Morrison's Night Highway
7.4 A Sinister Night Drive and a Mysterious Owl: Michaela Grill's Carte Noire
8 Conclusion

Chapter 7 Inside Cars
1. Mirrors, Windows, and (Movie) Screens
1.1 A Haunting Ride to a New Orleans Cemetery and Back: Bill Morrison's Ghost Trip
7.2 An Eerie Venture into the Cockpit and the Driver's Mind: Jon Behrens' The Colors of Boulder in the Summer
2 By the Side Window
2.1 A Cinematic Gaze, Automotive Visuality, and Blues Improvisation: Larry Gottheim's Harmonica
2.2 A Claustrophobic Car Interior ... After Dark: Saul Levine's Driven
3 From the Back Seat
3.1 An Eventless Drive Around Downtown Manhattan ... Over and Over Again: Alfred Leslie and the Frank O'Hara's The Last Clean Shirt
3.2 An Aimless Journey across the Country: James Benning's The United States of America
3.3 A Perception-Altering Tour of Canada and the United States: Chris Gallagher's Undivided Attention
4 Backseat Passengering
4.1 A Bumpy Ride and the Impossible Sublime: Lluis Escartin's Mohave Cruising
4.2 Cross-Eyed Viewing of the Bay Bridge: Ken Jacobs' Berkeley to San Francisco
5 Conclusion


The book has been funded by the National Science Centre, Poland, under the project "Lost highways, forgotten travels: The road movie in the post-war American avant-garde and experimental film through the lens of women and men filmmakers" (grant no. UMO-2018/31/D/HS2/01553); Terra Foundation for American Art Research Travel Grant to the United States (grant no. 0614-4-3b); ESSE Type B Bursary (2018).

About the author
Kornelia Boczkowska, Ph.D. (2015), is Assistant Professor at the Faculty of English at Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan. She has received several research grants and is the author of two books and over forty other publications on independent, experimental and avant-doc film.
ORCID iD: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0875-9209

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Kornelia Boczkowska


Hardcover - 148 EUR
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Fecha de publicación: 

Jueves, Febrero 9, 2023