Madrid, November, 2011

 

 

Dear Monte,

 

I’ve been asked to write you a postcard. I agree with great pleasure, under the protection, as you can see, of our old mutual friend Boris Karloff, the best possible go-in-between.

 

A few weeks ago I could finally see for the first time “Road to Nowhere”, in a DVD copy. I enjoyed it very much, and felt very grateful for your quoting “The Spirit of the Beehive” in its images.

 

I could sense in Road to Nowhere the spirit of a young filmmaker: needless to say, young in spirit, mature in experience, and in full possession of his means. It’s the kind of movie I prefer -a modest production, but ambitious in what is essential: the radical commitment between author and subject. In “Road to Nowhere” the subject is none other than that eternal song, the relationship between film and life.

 

Eternal song in which the cinema presents itself as the funerary art par excellence, able to make the dead return from the afterlife. Just like in the legend, according to which the Book of Thot was deposited thousands of years in a grave, next to Imhotep, High Priest buried alive for a love crime.

 

In a redemption act, also by love, movies bring back to us those who passed away. Apart from Sir Alfred Hitchock there was another master of this mistery: Ardath Bey-Imhotep, one of the most sublime reincarnations of Boris Karloff. Just take a look to the picture I’m sending, where he stares at us intensely, while his oil lamp illuminates the most ancestral darkness. Once his love endeavour failed (for he not only wanted to rescue his lover’s body, but also her soul) he was forever reduced to ashes, along with the Book of Thot. It reminds me of your movie Two-Lane Blacktop, in whose last reel the frames were given to the fire.

 

Maybe that’s why Ardath Bey-Imhotep’s image has appeared to me like a watchword, claiming to reign over this postcard I’m writing, from a place erased off the maps. A place called Cinema, well known by you, beyond all the roads that lead to nowhere.

 

May you have health and many more movies to come.

 

Un abrazo:

 

Víctor Erice