Monte Hellman is one of the true mavericks of independent film in the United States. His varied, idiosyncratic career began at Roger Corman's movie factory in the late 1950s. In the 1970s, Hellman defined himself with Two-Lane Blacktop, Cockfighter, and China 9, Liberty 37 — all of which costarred Hellman's friend, Warren Oates.
Since then, Hellman's filmography has been sparse but memorable, particularly the unusual shipwreck adventure-drama Iguana. Now, after 21 years, Hellman comes roaring back to the big screen with Road to Nowhere, a supreme noir drama. Road to Nowhere is beautifully shot, skillfully acted (the lead performance by Shannyn Sossamon is riveting), and it achieves a high degree of polish on a low budget.
Monte Hellman spoke with us in advance of retrospectives of his work (including Road to Nowhere) that begin Friday.