dimanche 26 août 2012
And there grows the mushroom of fire, not as big as the one a few decades earlier, and a truck falls off a bridge, following the narrative arc of the counterculture movies of the 70s, a nihilistic fraternal spirit dipping into a destructive nihilistic end, not sought only feebly inevitable, the american crash - was it even perceived by the american generation of the 70s as a failure of society or was it part of a fascination for the pastoral cycle of life and death?
In any case, Sam Peckinpah’s Convoy does not end in mute disbelief for its spectator. The vehicle for freedom, in this case Duck’s truck, is brought down by authority but in the end the good guys win, and authority is mocked, to the point of laughing at itself.
In the film Kris Kristofferson plays the cool Rubber Duck, a trucker with a few trucker friends on their way to somewhere, it’s doesn’t matter where really. They drive through deserted landscapes, race each other, joke, and have their fun spoiled by the police. It’s a bit of a laugh at the beginning but once Duck and his friends punch a few cops in a diner in a slow-motion spaghetti type fight, it all becomes a matter of pride and the game turns nasty. They gain followers, the chase becomes a party of dozens of trucks and merry-pranksters, politicians get involved but their knack for appropriation is exposed and turned into buffoonery.
There is the usual pretty girl as a witness to the strong man’s heroic self-destruction but it cannot be thought in the same terms we envisage parity nowadays. Not because of political correctness or a lack of understanding of women’s concerns, and not even because I am making excuses for past mentalities but because the story happens in a different set for society’s structure it would be somewhat biased to read into the film our current understanding of those relationships, thus placing women as the constant victims, only adding insult to injury. But I don’t know really, it never was my present, not even my past, and to me it should be left at that, I can have my own judgement but it is innately wrong - not sure why I am being defensive, I feel like I've been attacked.
Anyway, is the film about all this? Could be, it is bare enough to leave space for your own interpretations. Or it could just be good old entertainment. For me yesterday it was more than a gazillion-horse powered procession for an empty coffin.