sxswf: On the Road Again

Monte Hellman's Road to Nowhere

sxswf: On the Road Again

Forget Two-Lane Blacktop for a moment.

Monte Hellman returns to the directorial driver’s seat after a 21-year detour with this noirish, serpentine, meta-movie.

What is “real,” what is art, and what is artifice in this multi-layered narrative can be difficult to parse, at first, but ease back and enjoy the ride: It’s a metaphorical trip on all sorts of levels. Tygh Runyan plays Mitch Haven (note the initials), a director making a film about a North Carolinian politician (Cliff de Young) and his lover (Shannyn Sossamon) who may have faked their own deaths to escape dodgy dealings. But Haven, an auteur prone to referencing John Ford and screening Spirit of the Beehive, is more interested in “printing the legend” and stoking an unhealthy obsession with his leading lady.

Beautifully shot and edited and as cinematic as anything Hellman’s ever done, Road to Nowhere is, as Tom Russell sings, “a love song to the movies in our hearts.”

Road to Nowhere screens today, March 16, 5pm, Alamo Lamar C

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SXSW Film, Monte Hellman, Road to Nowhere, Shannyn Sossamon, Two-Lane Blacktop, Tygh Runyan

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