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February 22, 2009


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Peter Nellhaus

The Mobius Strip or the missing twenty pages will suffice as an explanation on how Kowalksi could drive from Colorado to Nevada and skip Utah. I did think of "Vanishing Point" on my own drive the opposite direction, from San Francisco to Denver in a 1986 Volvo 240DL.


This movie was cheese. Now, it's smelly expired cheese.


Even better: Vanishing Point was cheese. Now, it's smelly expired blu-cheese.

don r. lewis

I kinda love "Vanishing Point" because it's just so odd. I'm not sure it actually works but I love it (and love re-watching it) for many for many of the same reasons I love "Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia." Those movies are just such awesome capsules of time and the type of brash, ballsy films we'll never see again. Well, never see without 80 cuts per minute and glossy photography.

And there's alot going on at once, which Sarafian touches on when he's talking about the philosophical message intertwined in this movie that's a car movie about a druggie racing across the Western states for no *real* reason. I love how the heavy, yet kind of touchy-feely ideals get smashed up against the big old block engine and cheesy acting. It all works in a weird way for me. Again, alot like "Alfredo Garcia." In fact, until I saw the movie again about 3 years ago, I had placed Warren Oates in it in my mind.

Cool interview, GK!

Adam R.

It's truly astonishing the Infante wrote this film, which, atmospherics aside, is an enjoyable-enough period piece. This sort of genre work coming from the author of Three Trapped Tigers is like Joyce doing punchups on d-grade Oaters. I'm not trying to come off pretentious, I swear, but it's a rare combination of literary genius and highly generic material. If I'm wrong with that claim, I'd love to be corrected.

Glenn, I know you reviewed Perec's A Man Asleep adaptation recently, and that Perec himself stated he preferred commercial "product" over the to-be-expected art film. I'd love if a writer of his temperament got hold of a rote screenplay and added their own signature to it - something like the murder mystery involution of his unfinished 53 Days, maybe.

Herman Scobie

Sarafian directed one of the best TV episodes I've ever seen: "Home to Judgment," on disc three of I Spy season 3. Written by Robert Culp, the episode, perhaps influenced by Bonnie and Clyde, strives for an existential statement about the relationship between violence and identity. Sarafian always seems to have the camera in the right place as Culp and Cosby defend themselves from a mostly faceless horde of gunmen while holed up at the farm of Culp's aunt and uncle (Una Merkel and Will Geer.) In addition to being unusually violent for 1968 pre-assassination TV, the episode is notable for beginning in the middle of the action without providing any setup.


"Vanishing Point" is one of those lost gems I love introducing people to. Thanks for the interview!


a quick note to point out that G. Cabrera Infante's proper first name is Guillermo and not Garcia.


Vanishing Point, among the few truly great road movies. An outstanding reflection of its time and location. I see something new to enjoy at each viewing. Thanks for the article. I have been trying for years to net some background on this movie and its fine director.


Just one of the great 70's existentialist road movies.
And there were quite a few!

Bill Bailey

I first saw Vanishing Point as a double header with Bullitt, VP always stuck with me (I think I was 15 at the time) and I don't know why, I was not into cars (that came later) but the movie as a whole stayed with me. Years later, a neighbor had a copy of VP on VHS, loaned it to me and I wound up buying it from him. I know this movie pretty much frame by frame now, and have since purchased a new copy.
The bottom line here is that the car is the star in this movie, the foley nailed ALL of the soundtrack, too many movies 'dub' in goofy mis-matched sound tracks of car motors/sounds etc.

Additionally, like 'Easy Rider' this movie is a window back into time when America was a different place, be it the landscape or people's attitudes. I really like this movie and will continue to watch it for a long time to come, my hat is off to you Mr. Sarafian.

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