Outlaws On the Lam (that perennial fave with filmgoers everywhere, closet criminals of every age and gender). . . . Cars, guns, blood, and explosions. Let the camera weave its charm.
The freeway was my show, my arena. It's always been home to me . . . I was born and bred for it. I'm an American. I love the freeway.
In twentieth-century American popular culture, there are really only two reasons to go on the road: to become famous or to hide. Born too late for the pioneer projects of blazing trails, extending natural frontiers, or just lighting out for the territory, modern Americans hit a road not only already taken, but paved, ramped, mapped, and marked by the commercial sites of mobile mass culture: the motel, the roadside diner, the filling station, and the drive-in movie theater. For those traversing this ground for purposes other than leisurely sight-seeing, the road points towards a promising future or leads away from a dead-end past: the slightest redefinition of perspective shifts the purpose of a road trip from seeking a desired goal into flight from a desperate origin. In fact, despite the strong emphasis given to departures and arrivals, the road trip is largely defined by its extended middle; as Jack Kerouac's terse title affirms, being “on the road, ” rather than starting or stopping, defines the postwar American experience. As the narrator of Bayard Johnson's road novel Damned Right insists: “That's why they're called freeways. It's on stretches like that you can be free in America . . . After all, it's a free country” (9). No matter how many actual lanes a modern superhighway expands into laterally, the American road is always metaphorically a two-way street generating either exploration (the panoramic view ahead through the windshield) or escape (the furtive backward glance in the rear-view mirror),