No More Road Trips? showed for the first time as a work in progress at South by Southwest on March 10, 2013, at San Francisco International Film Festival on May 5, 2013, and as part of the Convergence event at the New York Film Festival on September 28, 2013. It's going to screen at International Film Festival Rotterdam on January 26 and 27, 2014, and at Concordia University in Montréal on February 14, 2014. Write me (see bottom) if you'd like to book a screening.
No More Road Trips? isn't a conventional documentary. It's made completely from home movies that were shot by hundreds of people, starting in the mid-1920s. Its narrative traces a composite automobile journey from the Atlantic to the Pacific, beginning with the shoreline and historical monuments of New England and ending on a beach in southern California.
Other than a faint ambient soundtrack, the film is silent. I've written no narration, nor have I commissioned music. The primary soundtrack for this fully participatory film will be made fresh daily by audiences at each screening. Perhaps they'll identify some of the places that come and go in the 600-plus shots that currently populate the cut. Perhaps they'll ask me questions, or answer those posed by others. Or perhaps they'll react tendentiously, in the manner of Question Time in the British House of Commons, or riff rowdily in the style of the Elizabethan theater. Once the movie starts, it belongs to the audience. I don't want to limit how people will respond to the film. But I hope they will act on their permission to speak and create a commentary, not just on the scenes that pass by as our trip speeds west, but on what automobility, speed and travel mean to them. And I hope they'll be moved to think about whether we've reached the end of the open road.