The Royal Road (2015) | DVD release

August 20th, 2016
Author: Meredith Taylor

Director: Jenni Olson | Doc | US |

Acclaimed LGBT filmmaker Jenni Olsen’s candid and deeply personal cinematic essay takes the form of a stream of consciousness monologue set against a contemplative backdrop of urban 16mm California landscapes with long static takes of buildings along the road in question. The Royal Road serves as an intimate musing on nostalgia, and the pursuit of unavailable women (she is identifies as a Lesbian), it also features a voiceover cameo by Tony Kushner.

Clearly, Olsen has researched her material thoroughly to present this engaging and often fascinating historical and exquisitely poetic reflection that explores the conquest and colonisation of Mexico and the American Southwest and the faded glory of urban old California from El Camino Real (stretching from San Diego to Sonoma) and the Boulevard of Broken Dreams and Sunset Boulevard.

Olsen reflects on the value of collective remembering and the attraction of unrequited love in this beautifully drawn trip down memory lane which sometimes moves a little too slowly and leisurely for those that may not connect so readily with her train of thought or be in the mood for such a sultry affair. For those who enjoy travel and architecture, The Royal Road is intelligent, engaging and laudable in its soul-bearing. MT






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