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Drive: Journeys through Film, Cities and Landscapes

Drive: Journeys through Film, Cities and Landscapes [Kindle Edition]

Iain Borden

Kindle Price: £9.27 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Product Description


'To pick up this book is to be taken on a smooth, fast drive. The journey starts in the city, moves out to the open road and then, as the pace quickens, heads up the motorway before a final high-speed dash that might attract flashing blue lights and penalty points ... a remarkable examination of "just why it is that so many people choose to drive" ... With this book Borden, like Frank Bullit, is seeking to turn the tables. Many of his readers will certainly find their preconceptions about private cars jolted by Borden's libertarian arrival in their mirror.' - Daily Telegraph 'You've seen the films, now read the book ... cruises along at an exhilarating speed over scenic routes. This is one of the few books whose chapters are organised by speed limits' - The Independent 'Every now and then a book comes along from an unexpected source that completely changes your perspective ... [Drive] launches a substantial investigation into what it is about cars that we find so appealing, and how this manifests itself in cinema ... Superb.' - Classic Cars 'What emerges from Borden's account is not a straightforward picture of driving as pleasure, but of humanity simultaneously enthralled and trapped by the car and the world we have created for it - both real and imaginary ... Drive is a robust account of the history of driving in 20th-century cinema.' - Icon 'Where would the movies go without the magic of the automobile and the open highway? From The Italian Job to Crash by way of Thelma and Louise, Borden's study makes engaging detours beyond the standard "road movie" theme.' - i (The Independent) 'This isn't a conventional car book, nor is it a history of car films. Instead the author seeks to explore the sense of liberation associated with getting behind the wheel and how we view the unfolding landscape ... it offers an interesting and thought-provoking slant on why we love driving ... Well written and a pleasure to read.' - Octane 'A tremendous amount of research has gone into the book and if nothing else, it is the best bibliography and filmography on the subject. To make sense of this vast catalgoue of information, it is organised by cruising speed. From steady urban driving, through Sunday speeds, to well past the legal limit - it's no fun unless you're doing a ton! ... Being taken on Bordens' joyride then, has been more a sublimation than an exploration - he is the best car salesman I have never met.' - Building Design 'a lavishly illustrated, well-written, and perceptive book, which should prove popular with readers interested in all aspects of automobility.' - Viewfinder

Product Description

This book explores the experience of driving cars as a way of encountering landscapes and cities around the world. A richly illustrated cultural history, drawing on social and urban history, art, literature and music, Drive explores in particular how car driving is portrayed in cinema and other moving images, from America to Europe and Asia, and from Hollywood to the avant-garde.
Drive is about dynamic journeys, experiences and speeds, rooted in specific places and roads, and expanded into the realm of cinema, art and video games. It moves from the gentle deserts of The Grapes of Wrath to the adventurous city streets of The Italian Job, from the aesthetic delights of Rain Man and Traffic to the existential musings of Two-Lane Blacktop, Thelma and Louise and Vanishing Point, from the contemplative freeway pleasures of Lift to the Scaffold, Radio On and London Orbital to the hallucinatory high-speed dangers of Crash, Bullitt, Death Proof and C’était un Rendezvous. It shows how various kinds of driving – with different speeds, cars, attitudes, roads and cities – provide experiences and values that we ignore at our peril. Written by a leading urban and cultural historian, Drive’s conclusion is a timely riposte to commonplace anti-car attitudes.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2357 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Reaktion Books (26 Feb 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BLP4D4C
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #555,101 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
4.0 out of 5 stars The Film World's Open Road 2 Jan 2013
By Robert Wisehart - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In a world where research all too often consists of a few minutes on the internet, Iain Borden's "Drive" shows how it's done, or how it should be done.

With Borden having watched an astonishing 450 movies ranging from silents to recent releases - which works out to almost two films per page - like its subject "Drive" manages to be many things at once. Overall it is a cultural examination of the automobile in film, exploring what these flickering images say about us at any given time. It also examines how the "movie and automobile industries grew together." As legendary director C. B. DeMille pointed out, and as quoted by Borden, they both reflect "the love of motion and speed, the restless urge toward improvement and expansion, the kinetic energy of a young, vigorous nation."

They're all here: road movies such as "Thelma and Louise" and "Vanishing Point;" great car chases including "Bullit," "The French Connection" and "The Italian Job;" and auto-psychological movies such as "Driving Mis Daisy," "Rebel Without a Cause," and "American Graffiti." By the way, despite what I cited above, Borden does not deal only in American films. He explores British ("Charlie Bubbles" is a favorite), European, and Asian films, too, from the well-known to the delightfully obscure.

My only complaint is that he might have tried to hard to shoehorn certain cinematic automobile experiences into specific categories. "Drive" consists of four main chapters; cities, journeys, what he calls "Motopia," and altered states. The divisions have to do with speed, terrain and form of driving. But, to adapt what Freud said about the cigar, sometimes a car chase is just a car chase. The scenes may not mean any more than the movie could afford them and the film makers thought the audience would enjoy them. I suspect that these divisions have as much do do with organizing a book as anything else, a way to bring order to a disorderly subject.

Overall, Borden's creation is thoughtful, gracefully expressed, and lavishly illustrated. So buckle your seat belt, I think you'll enjoy this "Drive."
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