"Everything Depends on Reaching the Coast": Inscriptions of Placelessness in John Hillcoat's Adaptation of The Road

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Inscriptions of Placelessness in John Hillcoat’s Adaptation of The Road” John Hillcoat’s cinematic adaptation (2009) of Cormac McCarthy’s novel The Road (2006) takes as its subject the horror of a postapocalyptic world in which all semblance of order has been reduced to an ephemeral absent presence that haunts the nameless protagonist and his young son. Ironically, their only means of survival and source of solace is a desolate road strewn with the wreckage of civilization. Central to the Hillcoat’s film is the multivalent use of this road as a simultaneous symbol of refuge and desolation. This article addresses the various ways in which notions of ecological catastrophe and biopolitics help to inform conceptions of landscape and placelessness in order to create a cinematic vision of a not-so-distant future in which the world is, perhaps, just as we have made it to be.

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