May 14, 2021

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Death of Monte Hellman, icon of American independent cinema

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[De nos archives, 14 avril 2011] If he is an incarnation of the independent filmmaker, it is he: Monte Hellman, maverick hermetic to fashions, impervious to the system. Long disappeared from radar, it resurfaces today with “Road to Nowhere”, his first feature film in twenty years! Two decades during which this Hollywood Sisyphus has not stopped developing scenarios … in vain. ” One day, he says, my daughter, Melissa, said to me: “Stop depending on others, turn!” She was the one who financed the film. We started shooting without having the entire budget. But this time, we went all the way! “

As if to alleviate the frustration of not being able to direct for so long, Hellman made a film about cinema. “Road to Nowhere” explores the twists and turns of low-budget filming and the director’s cloudy fascination with his actress and the famous dead woman she plays. It is a mise en abyme and an admission of wounded love to this art which has taken his life without really fulfilling it. A dreamlike puzzle on the illusion of reality and an ironic diatribe against Hollywood. A film that is by turns hypnotic and awkward, elegant and scholarly, cheeky and old-fashioned. Sufficiently poisonous to haunt long after the screening. “’Road to Nowhere’ is about a shoot. It is also a testimony to the film being shot ”, Hellman remarks.

We think a lot of “Cold Sweats”, by Hitchcock, “Mulholland Drive”, by D

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