Sometimes you come across a movie and wow…I mean…wow.
The Road Movie is hard thing to judge because while its lack (or very thin storytelling thread) is beyond obvious making this nothing more than really an exercise in editing, it is white knuckled gripping experience that speaks to human nature itself and why we love reality TV so damn much.
Quite simply a mosaic of chaos, this epic tour of asphalt adventures, landscape photography and just some truly crazy s*** is Dmitri Kalashnikov’s The Road Movie. Capturing a wide range of spectacles through the windshield of any given car including a comet crashing down to Earth, an epic forest fire, car accidents that defy imagination and a myriad of angry motorists taking road rage to new and unexpected levels, all accompanied by commentary from unseen and often stoic drivers and passengers who simply don’t know how to react to what they’ve just seen.
In a movie that is basically YouTube clips of traffic incidents of varying degrees, you’d actually be kind of stunned how smart this is actually is. Kalashnikov keeps it all to a lean and mean 70 min run time, barely qualifying as a feature length film, but really that’s the only way it would have worked because more just runs the risk of being a punishing experience and this truly wasn’t. Finding a balance between the scary, the sublime and the downright silly is no simply task as creating a movie that you find while combing through countless hours of dashboard cam footage that was ultimately uploaded to YouTube HAS to be a thankless task. But he found what worked, and bouncing between rapid fire sections of clips that feel like they could be backed by Benny Hill music with painfully long takes that range to feel like something out a Tartovsky movie is an awkward balance to find.
Obviously there’s no pretence of narrative in this film, but it also manages to run the gamut of human emotion at the same time. It’s easily the simplest reality show experience in the entire world, as it is only a corny soundtrack with shitty graphics away from being an episode of Cops or TMZ yet it allows for a sense of tragic artistry as we feel totally safe, yet totally on edge while on the other side of this dashboard camera.
It’s truly a hard movie to judge by any traditional standards, but when you are locked into The Road Movie for a grinding 70 minutes up on the big screen, it’s an experience you won’t soon forget.
- Release Date: 1/18/2018
- Directed by: Dmitri Kalashnikov