HWY: An American Pastoral

Culture

In our constant trawl of the archives to find fresh and interesting material on the mythology of the road trip, we recently came up with this obscure but spookily resonant flick. HWY: An American Pastoral is a 50 minute experimental piece led by and featuring Jim Morrison – the much-vaunted lizard king of West Coast American pysychedelia and frontman of The Doors. Morrison was in film school in Los Angeles as a student and was always interested in the creative and transcendent possibilities of 24 frames per second.

When collaborating on the film with photographer Paul Ferrara in the Mojave desert, he drew on his extensive hitching experience as a kid – and in the process weaved together many of the threads that were lifelong obsessions: among them the road, the desert and the blues. It’s all weaved together with that particularly dark brand of Americana that could only emanate from California in 1969. Some nice motors in there too.

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