Full speed ahead: the enduring appeal of the road movie

From the Oscar-winning Drive My Car to festival favourite Hit the Road, audiences and critics are relishing the recent wave of road movies.

Here, Geoff Dyer delves into the roots of the genreFour directors discuss breathing new life into the road movieWherever there is an actual physical journey there is inherent narrative interest.

It doesn’t matter whether the journey is on foot through the Australian outback (Walkabout) or in the Antarctic (Scott of the…), on horseback (Lonesome Dove) or covered wagon, by boat, train (Von Ryan’s Express), aircraft or spaceship (take your pick), car, or some permutation of any of the above: Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

With jour, journey and journal(ism) sharing the same root, we’re linguistically programmed to follow day-by-day accounts of journeys.

Writing in 1849, Thomas De Quincey celebrated the unprecedented “velocity” of English mail coaches that revealed to him, first “the glory of motion: suggesting,

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