This chapter examines three recent travel films that in their cinematic journeys and quest narratives mobilise in typically modern ways the full emotive potential of the activity(Left right arrow)passivity and certainty(Left right arrow)uncertainty axes: Walter Salles's The Motorcycle Diaries (2004), Boris Khlebnikov and Aleksei Popogrebsky's Koktebel (2003), and Carlos Reygadas's Japón (2002). In their distinctive and varied textual practices, these films combine visual explorations of travelled space with investigations of psychological processes of change and transformation. Their narrative trajectories place the heroes in situations which test and challenge their certainties, preconceived ideas and beliefs, by setting them in motion through journeys of exploration, discovery and revelation — not only of the world, the land and its inhabitants but also, and fundamentally, of the self. With markedly different aesthetics and production backgrounds, they articulate the relationship between travelled space and self-transformation in distinctive ways which traverse the spectrum of modern sensibility around mobile vision.
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