Monday, April 10, 2006

FAMILIA RODANTE - Are we there yet?

FAMILIA RODANTE tells the tale of an eccentric old granny who takes her extended family 1500km across country in a decrepit camper van to attend a family wedding. I know I was meant to find this bunch of eccentrics charming and their little family arguments and flirtations endearing but I just found it dull, and vaguely depressing. When I was a kid my family would take long trips to visit relations in London. This was back before the M25 or climate control existed, and we'd spending hours crawling along the M1 in an over-heated Vauxhall. You know how it is. The slightest comment on dad's map-reading abilities flares into an irritable argument. You crawl through channels on the radio but only find crappy country music. Half the passengers are asleep, their sweaty foreheads stuck to the hot polyester seat covers. Perhaps the only chance of excitement is when your idiot kid-brother sticks his head out of the window as a lorry passes. Other than that it's just monotonous countryside and the odd petrol station. Well, having suffered enough of these journeys as a kid, I feel no need to suffer through anyone else's, even if they are from Argentina.

FAMILIA RODANTE premiered at Venice 2004 and went on limited release in the UK in November 2005. It goes on limited release in the US in August 2006 but is already available on Region 2 DVD.


  1. Amen. I second every word of yours (not even having seen the movie).

    It makes you wonder:

    a) Why do people take such road trips? Why?

    b) Why do moviemakers think that movies like this are 'profound' or something?

  2. Don't get me wrong - some road movies are great - not least True Romance, Paris Texas, Bonnie & Clyde, The Blues Brothers....But sometimes, as with any genre movie, road movies can feel a little bit cliched. Moviemakers use the genre because a) it tends to be cheap and b) the road trip is a long metaphor for the journey of life. But this is a weighty metaphor to live up to and very few film-makers succed IMHO.