Andrea Arnold hits the highway with American Honey, and we answer the question “What kind of dames thumb rides?” Plus the extraordinary career of Kirk Douglas, John Carpenter on his love of Hammer and Howard Hawks, Víctor Erice’s tantalising El sur, Ira Sachs’ Little Men and a recent quartet of limp Hollywood war satires
Rev your engine, roll the windows down and join our open-road odyssey this issue as we talk to Andrea Arnold about her latest film American Honey. Here Arnold leaves behind the British landscapes of Wasp, Red Road, Fish Tank and Wuthering Heights and takes a road trip into the poverty-stricken hinterlands of the US. The film’s American honey is Star, a tenacious 18-year-old loner who wants more from life than playing makeshift mother to two siblings and so joins a ragtag door-to-door sales crew who party and drive their way across the Midwest. In our cover feature Simran Hans explores Arnold’s ongoing exploration of class and female sexuality and talks to the director about discovering her lead and first-time actor Sasha Lane, shooting personal, intimate films in Academy ratio and why all her films have sex scenes.
Cruising alongside, Kim Morgan takes a ride through film history and finds that any assumptions that the road movie is a male genre is a dead end; the road has been a place for cinematic escape, discovery and crisis for many women on screen. “What kind of dames thumb rides?” asks Tom Neal in Edgar G. Ulmer’s Detour. It turns out all kinds, from Claudette Colbert in It Happened One Night (1934) to Quentin Tarantino’s feminist rebels in Death Proof (2007).
Elsewhere, we celebrate the extraordinary career of Kirk Douglas; discuss Little Men with Ira Sachs; explore Víctor Erice’s tantalising incomplete 1983 film El sur; talk to John Carpenter about his love of Hammer and Howard Hawks; and interrogate a recent quartet of limp Hollywood war satires. Plus all the regular reviews of latest releases and more…