120 minutes

For his first proper feature in slightly over twenty years, cult American auteur Monte Hellman certainly doesn't make it easy on himself. Written by long-time collaborator (and Variety editor) Steven Gaydos, Road to Nowhere starts out as a more or less traditional film noir, set in the world of contemporary independent cinema, as a director (Tygh Runyan) becomes obsessed with the actress (Shannyn Sossamon) he has hired for the lead in his film version of a real-life murder case. But that's before mr. Hellman moves the film, first, into a moody, oblique spin on Alfred Hitchcock's immortal Vertigo, and then into a Russian-doll structure played out in fragmented time signatures, until fact and fiction, dream and reality become indistinguishable.
Shot in digital with the Canon 5D camera on a shoestring budget, Road to Nowhere can be intriguing and preposterous, ingenious and derivative, but its flaws are part of its triumph: the clumsy performances from a third-tier cast and occasional bum notes in its all-digital look become part of its quest for emotion and spontaneity within a time-honored genre framework, and add grace touches to a story that shifts smoothly between a whole lot of levels to become a comment on, and a stunning love letter to, the power and possibilities of film. It's one of those films whose spirit, drive, sincerity and desire transcend what is on the screen to become an insight into the nature of cinema itself - and the best comeback we could wish for its long-absent director.

Starring Cliff de Young, Waylon Payne, Tygh Runyan, Shannyn Sossamon, Dominique Swain; also starring John Diehl, Robert Kolar, Nic Paul, Fabio Testi.
Directed by Monte Hellman; produced by Mr. Hellman, Steven Gaydos, Melissa Hellman; written by mr. Gaydos; music by Tom Russell; director of photography (colour), Josep M. Civit; production designer, Laurie Post; costume designer, Chelsea Staebell; film editor, Celine Ameslon.
An E1 Entertainment presentation of a Road To Nowhere production. (World sales, E1 Entertainment.)
Screened: Venice Film Festival advance screening, Palazzo del Cinema - Sala Darsena (Venice), September 9th 2010.


Anonymous said…
if you would like to discuss with MOnte Hellman, please join us on Facebook ! We are trying to develop a page/forum to talk more extensively with Monte about filmmaking... thanks!
(FB official fan page for "Road to Nowhere")

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