Tag Archives: Road Movie

Road Movies and Feel Good Journeys

As you may have read, our film Xenia was released on Monday and we thought it would be a good idea to explore the Road Movie genre and dust off some great iconic films that have paved the way for upcoming features.

The Road Movie genre came about at the birth of American cinema with a reflection on American youth culture. Notable films such as EASY RIDER and THELMA & LOUSIE have become the ultimate road movie films, which can be said to have inspired other filmmakers in different countries to use this genre and juxtapose it with other important issues of the time.

The films usually consist of one or more characters leaving their mundane day-to-day lives and journeying into uncharted territories, usually for self-discovery purposes, escaping something, or setting up a new life. There is a sense of freedom in the act, enveloping the human spirit into a state of self-reflection and embracing their own identities.

Although faced with hardships and often unfamiliarity, the films poise moments of feel-good that derive from the freedom the characters experience once they have left everything behind and fear is just a dark cloud in their rearview mirror.

XENIA is a modern day Odyssey, bringing the lost Greek traditions of ‘hospitality’ back to the forefront of Greek culture. The two boys journey through a hyper-real Greece in search for their father who abandoned them 13 years ago. Interwoven with surreal sequences, entering the sub-cultural movement called Greek Weird Wave.

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We look back at some of our releases around the road movie genre and some of our favourite classics.

Yossi – Directed by Eytan Fox. A film that perhaps shows you that the longest trip might just be within yourself.

Yossi

 

Give Me Your Hand – Directed by Pascal-Alex Vincent. If you thought twins didn’t have any secrets, get comfortable on your backseat because these two 18 year old brothers on their way to their mother’s funeral in Spain, will go on a journey that will change their lives forever.

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The Adventures of Priscilla – Directed by Stephen Elliot. The film that drew attention to Australian cinema and the Aussie LGBT community. If that wasn’t a long shot for the early 90’s, then getting on the Priscilla tour bus with two drag queens and a transgender woman definitely was.

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The Golden Dream – Directed by Diego Quemada-Diez, brings a different kind of journey. This time, the road it’s about a group of Mexican teenage boys trying to make it through the U.S. border and the challenges they face.

 

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Transamerica – Directed by Duncan Tucker. Felicity Huffman is brilliant at playing a transgender woman who reconnects with her son and promises to take him to L.A. As her son discovers that she’s actually his father, she will find in him the strength to overcome her fears and finally be completely free in her own skin.

transamerica

 

Drôle de Félix – Directed by Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau. This was Peccadillo Pictures’ first release and it is possibly the most similar film to Xenia – story wise. If you enjoyed Felix’s journey to find his father, you will definitely appreciate the journey of two brothers looking for their father as their relive old forgotten memories of their childhood.

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and you all know how we like to save the best for last…

Thelma & Louise – Directed by Ridley Scott. Do we really need to say anything? Outstanding performances from Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis in a film about self-discovery and women empowerment in a highway filled with phallic symbols.

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So… if you didn’t know about this sub-genre, we do invite you to check it out. Road movies will most likely end up making your weekends better with their Feel Good vibe and the strong characters behind the steering wheel.

Following The Golden Dream

The talented young cast from The Golden Dream

The talented young cast from The Golden Dream

A note from Saffron Hill Films Chairman, Tom Abell, on The Golden Dream.

“Every so often a film comes along that we know we just have to bring it to your attention.

We saw THE GOLDEN DREAM by first time director Diego Quemada-Díez during the Cannes film festival last year and were profoundly moved by this exquisite, masterful piece of filmmaking. It immediately became a “must have” and securing it for UK and Irish distribution was one of our highlights of the festival.

The film follows four Guatemalan teenagers as they attempt to escape from the slums of Guatemala City to the bright lights of Los Angeles, a dangerous journey undertaken by thousands every year. Six hundred of these actual migrants became extras in THE GOLDEN DREAM as they undertook this almost impossible journey and each of them receive a named credit in the closing titles of the film. No one knows how many of them managed to cross that final border into California.

Many of the non-LGBT films that Peccadillo distributes deal with basic human rights, very often championing those who are normally classified as “outsiders”. Each year the desire to find a “better life” drives hundreds of thousands of would be immigrants across the world to leave their homes and take perilous journeys to find their own golden dream, but more often than not the “dream” bears no resemblance to the brutal truth. Immigration is a subject so often abused by politicians as they use it for political points scoring where “being tough” is incorrectly seen as a solution to a problem that no one really wants to address.

THE GOLDEN DREAM tackles this in a non-sensational, compassionate way that never once becomes sentimental, yet never flinches from honestly showing the plight of those who strive to achieve more than they have. The film challenges the world to face up to that terrible reality and that is why we have to bring you the film”

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Diego with Ken Loach at the London Film Festival

Alfonso & Diego

Diego with Alfonso Cuarón for opening night of THE GOLDEN DREAM at London’s Curzon Soho