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Road to Nowhere (2010)
One of the major films of the decade
There is a strange phenomenon with Monte Hellman, as well as for example Jean-Luc Godard: each of their films are immediately classics of cinema. "Road to Nowhere", as well as "Film Socialism" the same year, are films far in advance of their times, that everyone knows, more or less consciously, are as necessary as a play by Shakespeare or Beckett, or a composition by Bach or Schoenberg. The desynchronizing between the release and the public recognition wouldn't be so important, if the author, in the meantime, were allowed to make his work and offer us many other cinematic diamonds. But the result is the rarity of Monte Hellman's films, and it's like humanity is depriving itself from emotional and artistic resources it needs so much. "Road to Nowhere" is one of the major films of the decade, related to works by Pierre Corneille ("Illusion"), Luigi Pirandello ("Six Characters in Search of an Author"), Vincente Minnelli ("The Bad and the Beautiful") or Federico Fellini ("8½").
Origin of he film
Here is what the author wrote : "I met Masao Adachi in Tokyo during a retrospective of my films organized by the French Embassy and the Uplink Factory. There, Adachi saw La Vie Nouvelle. He then participated by my side in the post-screening discussion with the audience. I felt that we shared the same taste for things of great radicalism. It is this collusion that fuels my desire to engage with him and his work. Such elective affinities must decide the particular nature of each of the films in "It May Be That Beauty has Strengthened Our Resolve." P.G."
A deep poetic experiment
This film opens with a beautiful scene: a speedboat, steered by a woman, races at high speed over the water. Behind it a water-skier, who suddenly crashes. The man wakes from a coma to discover that genealogists are looking for an individual whose identity matches his.
The fable: a young man - poet, scriptwriter and warrior - dies. How do you reconstruct the images in his brain? What do we see in our moment of death? Can the spirit understand the causes of death and clear a path for itself to another life? In what kind of form manifest these final images? Will they dazzle? A feast of lights? An invasion? As memories, hypotheses, assumptions? The magisterial expressiveness of Dharma Guns allows you to experience the impulses of optical nerves and synapses. F.J. Ossang has grafted the film onto the central nervous system, the very place where mental images are born. 'My eyes have drunk,' one hears in this worthy treatment of Antonin Artaud's expectations of cinema. Dharma Guns is constantly airborne, buzzing, pushing its way towards the isle of the dead. A masterpiece that slowly moves before our eyes, in the staggering slow-motion of certainty, into the company of Murnau's Nosferatu and Dreyer's Vampyr.