|Shannyn Sossamon in Monte Hellman's "Road to Nowhere."|
By Lars Trodson
Here's a fantasy: Monte Hellman's latest movie, "Road To Nowhere", gets submitted to film festivals. Juries hail the new direction this audacious talent has taken. Major studios bid for its distribution. It's released nationally. The performers in "Road To Nowhere" go off to busy Oscar-nominated careers and everyone would be asking: what will Hellman do next? Best of all, the meanings and merits of "Road To Nowhere" would be debated in the newspapers and the coffeehouses around the country.
But back to the reality: We don't live in the 1970s and these aren't terribly curious cinematic times.
And so Hellman's movie, finished in 2010, has not found a mass audience. It is the latest, but no means last, effort by the justifiably revered Hellman.
With "Road To Nowhere" Hellman adds a new color to his canvas. There is no stamp of the director's earlier, earthier works (seminal westerns with Jack Nicholson in the 1960s; "Two Lane Blacktop" in 1971) and little to connect it to the paint-by-numbers product Hollywood is happily and profitably offering up these days. It is its own animal. Hellman allows his movie to continue down its tunnels of dark possibilities.