TEXAS TRIP

TEXAS TRIP tells the story of the carnivalesque drive-in universe from the 70’s and 80’s moving towards an outsider world, a music scene in the freakshow spirit that appropriates the medium to uncover America’s demons and its disenchanted beauty.

Often associated with the worst American stereotypes, the “Lone Star State” is not just the caricature of a territory belonging to armed cowboys practicing rodeo. When you scratch the surface, numerous creative, unusual and fascinating initiatives emerge. It is while following the tracks of the spirit of drive-in theaters and what is left of them that an entire parallel world has opened to us, made of clandestine screenings, secret meetings, social rituals filled with strange pagan reminiscences.

By blending together scenes of everyday life with the stage setting of their monstrous alter egos, we will follow characters such as Tina, mystical singer with hallucinatory make-ups, Giless, fakir who impersonates his monster by becoming a human cello, bowing his own flesh, Grady, and the masked and creepy characters he creates, or Ak’Chamel, a group of ivy-creatures seemingly pulled out of the marshiest of bayous.

With them, we will embark on a backward journey, going back to the origins. These “mutants of the drive-in” come out of the screens and rejuvenate the true essence of carnival tradition, where the sacred and profane mingle.

The narration progresses through the words of writer Joe Lansdale, who creates a gateway linking the imaginary and drive-ins he frequented with the creativity of the Texan underground artists. The South-Western landscape reflect their mental space, questioning a worrisome reality.

Artists living isolated in the middle of nowhere on one side, the opulence of big cities on the other, with their endless flow of cars and billboards. In between them, there seems to form a ghostly and unfathomable middle-ground. The intimate theater settings that drive-ins have become are used to stop time and question those two sides of America.

About the Directors

Maxime Lachaud is a French journalist and writer, particularly interested in the South of the United States, grotesque aesthetics and marginal artistic movements. He has written HARRY CREWS, UN MAÎTRE DU GROTESQUE (K-inite, 2007), co-directed the sound anthology AUX LIMITES DU SON (La Volte, 2006) and co-written the Mondo movie reference book REFLETS DANS UN ŒIL MORT (Bazaar & co, 2010) and several other volumes about music, movies and literature. His last book Redneck Movies: ruralité and dégénérescence dans le cinéma américain (Rouge Profond) deals with the hicksploitation genre, that was very popular in the 1960’s and 70’s drive-in theaters and portrays the redneck culture in the South of the United States. He is also a film programmer in Toulouse.

Steve Balestreri is a French documentary director. When he doesn’t direct his own projects he is a cinematographer on other documentaries. He has a strong experience in cinematography with a  special focus on natural light. He tries to create films with a specific atmosphere finding inspiration in the themes they deal with. He has a special interest in human adaptation to society mutations and brutal changes. He likes to question modernity and a certain commercial, disconnected relationship to the world.

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