High Museum of Art: Films

Road Movies: The Rorschach Genre by Linda Dubler
April 20, 2010, 2:30 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

In case you’ve been blissfully secluded on a tropical isle, submerged in viewing movies at the Atlanta Film Festival, or otherwise out of touch, the High has opened a fantastic exhibition called “The Allure of the Automobile.” The  gorgeous cars on view have had me thinking of all things automotive, and naturally that led to my contemplating road movies, a protean genre that seems to bring out both hopeless self-indulgence and/or exquisite observation in directors of all stripes. So while I’ve been going around in circles trying to decide how to pin down this elusive genre, my friend and colleague Johan Harper of the High’s security department, has as usual recognized the essential truth — which in this case is that road movies are like Rorschach’s ink blot test — you can find anything in them that you’re looking for.

Per Johan Harper:

There are as many different kinds of road movies as there are grains of sand on the seashore:

Tragi-Comic Road Movies:Little Miss Sunshine (2006)


Action adventure Road Movies: Duel (1971) (TV) 

Counter Cultural Road Movies: Easy Rider (1969)  

Classic Empowerment Road Movies: Thelma & Louise (1991) 

Thelma and Louise

Horror Road Movies: The Hitcher (1986)  

Rude Comedy Road Movies: Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006) 

Political Road Movies:The Motorcycle Diaries (2004)

Hideously Depressing Road Movies:The Road (2009) 

Alternative Lifestyle Road Movies: The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994) 

And on, and on, and on…Car Culture is nearly universal now, so everybody can have a road movie to suit them!  

Tell us about your favorite road movies and share your drive in movie memories.

Linda Dubler

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