Groundbreaking films from noted auteurs and unique cinematic voices that challenge our notions of mainstream cinema.

Two-Lane Blacktop
USA, 1971, 102 min., Color, 35mm
James Taylor and Dennis Wilson are hot rodders drag racing their way across America who challenge braggart wanderer Warren Oates to a cross-country race. With its gorgeous widescreen compositions and sophisticated look at alienation, fantasy and obsession, this stripped-down narrative from maverick director Monte Hellman is one of the artistic high points of 1970s cinema, and possibly the greatest road movie ever made.
— Keith Arnold
Monte Hellman
Rudy Wurlitzer, Will Corry
Michael Laughlin
Jack Deerson
Monte Hellman
James Taylor, Warren Oates, Laurie Bird, Dennis Wilson, Harry Dean Stanton

Director Bio

Our inaugural honoree, director, editor and producer Monte Hellman, has a career that spans six decades. He has exemplified cutting-edge filmmaking across multiple genres, working with budgets, from high-to-low, and with casts featuring stars to complete unknowns. Two films in particular, THE SHOOTING (1966) and TWO-LANE BLACKTOP (1971), are examples of Hellman’s rare ability to take two vastly different genres—the Western and the road movie—and deconstruct them, stripping them down, and making them singular entries in what is a remarkably diverse filmography.

Hellman got his start working with legendary producer Roger Corman, making his debut with BEAST FROM HAUNTED CAVE (1959). He later delivered another of his more notable films for Corman, RIDE THE WHIRLWIND (1966), and further cemented his reputation as a director with a singular and influential style with both image and performance. After a 20-year hiatus, Hellman came back to the big screen with a vengeance with the visionary neo-noir, ROAD TO NOWHERE (2010).

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