This one is close to my heart; in 2008, at the age of 32, I quit my job and travelled across the length and breadth of America for 3 months. My tip for this is that if you are inspired to visit a particular location or have a particular type of holiday or travelling experience, then films that represent them will inspire you more than anything else. American road movies exist in abundance, Vanishing Point and Two Lane Blacktop are two of my favourites, but the one that I feel captures the freedom felt on the open road is probably the most obvious one too: Easy Rider. It is the quintessential road movie and is also a movie about spiritual and physical freedom. The crux of the movie is summed up in a campfire exchange about freedom:
Billy: What the hell is wrong with freedom? That’s what it’s all about.
George: Oh, yeah, that’s right. That’s what’s it’s all about, all right. But talkin’ about it and bein’ it, that’s two different things. I mean, it’s real hard to be free when you are bought and sold in the marketplace. Of course, don’t ever tell anybody that they’re not free, ’cause then they’re gonna get real busy killin’ and maimin’ to prove to you that they are. Oh, yeah, they’re gonna talk to you, and talk to you, and talk to you about individual freedom. But they see a free individual, it’s gonna scare ’em.
Billy: Well, it don’t make ’em runnin’ scared.
George: No, it makes ’em dangerous.
One to watch: Easy Rider
Further viewing: Two Lane Blacktop; Vanishing Point; The Motorcycle Diaries; The Beach; Y Tu mama Tambien; Sideways; Rain Man; Thelma & Louise;
Avoid: The Hitcher