Road Scholar

Director: Roger Weisberg
Screenwriters: Andrei Codrescu

Institute History

  • 1993 Sundance Film Festival


Andrei Codrescu, award winning writer, poet and commentator on National Public Radio's "All Things Considered," takes to the highway in search of his cultural Identity and the spiritual vortex that is America in the 1990s. What better way to experience the sacred American ritual of a road trip than in your dream car, an eye-popping, red Cadillac convertible? The only problem is that Andrei must first learn to drive

Calling on the metric musings of Whitman, Sandburg, Wilde and Kerouac, Codrescu wanders like a stranger in a strange land, meeting strange people, thinking strange thoughts, and doing strange things. Driving is close to dreaming, and as Andrei says, as he is about to tour Kowalski's sausage plant in Detroit, "there is only one way to subdue your nightmares: face them." Or as Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald's, says on tape at Hamburger University, "transfer your fears Into faith."

Codrescu is wry and ironic without being sneering or condescending. He meets people with a benevolence and charm that are winning and illuminating. Road Scholar surpasses other road-trip documentaries because the poet Codrescu can articulate the paradoxes of modern life in refreshingly literate ways. Who else would describe the value of artificially inseminated cows as "their McDonaldability"? Or call Biosphere II in Oracle, Arizona, 'a Disneyland for the millennially distressed"?

But Codrescu also takes us on a remarkable inner journey, aided by the wise direction of Roger Weisberg, the angulated, ironic camerawork of Jean de Segonzac, and a bouncing sound track of songs of the open road. In Road Scholar, when the rubber meets the road, the sublime and ridiculous crash head-on Buckle your seatbelts and enjoy the ride

Friday Jan 22 10:00 pm
Egyptian Theatre

Sunday Jan 24 10:00 am
Holiday Village Cinema I

Monday Jan 25 8:00 pm
Sundance Screening Room

Thursday Jan 28 10:30 pm
Holiday Village Cinema III

Friday Jan 29 7:00 pm
Holiday Village Cinema I


— Lawrence Smith

Screening Details


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