tirsdag 16. august 2011

"Two-Lane Backdrop"


Title: Two-Lane Blacktop
Year: 1971
Country: United States
Language: English
Number: 541
Director: Monte Hellman
Starring: James Taylor, Warren Oates, Laurie Bird, Dennis Wilson

Two-Lane Blacktop is what you can call the motorsports answer on Antonioni's Blowup, in that way that the movie is focusing more on the sport itself than character, plot and dialogue, In this case Two-Lane Blacktop beats Blowup.

This is the story about two boys (we don't get any of the characters names) who driving across the country in a '55 Chevy, looking for new challenges in the street racing culture. On their journey they pic up a girl who need a hike. They also meats a retired test pilot who's now uses his time cruising across the country in a yellow Pontiac GTO (Warren Oates) who challenging them to a race all the way to Washington, D.C. which they never get to, thanks to some "creative" screenwriters. 

There's no goal with this film, the character are nearly mute, and we don't get to know them at all. The two boys for example isn't even talking about cars, their knowledge and passion for cars are so complex that they can communicate without using words, which is interesting ofcorse, but is not suited for the movie language. I really hoped that the girl would stand for much of the talking. But just comes now and then with one-line sentences, She's a girl for god's sake! But I want to give some credits to Warren Oates' performance, he actually played a lonesome rider who's loves to pick up hitchhikers and enjoying having conversations with them, something neither of the other main-character does.

My conclusion of Two-Lane Blacktop is that it's more machine than man. So if you are a motor sport fan I think this is the movie for you. This movie must not for any price be compared to Easy Rider, it's not a spiritual journey, it's simply people who loves cars, it has nothing to do with hippies, love and peace or any of that kind, it's just plain and simple about car people. They are not poets, they just want one things, and that is to go as fast as possible. The only reason I'm not giving this movie a F, is because of Warren Oates performance, he actually had other things on his mind than automobiles.

Grade: D+

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