In the final frames of Monte Hellman's 1971 film Two Lane Blacktop, the film appears to catch and then Sticks in its projector. The celluloid itself, jammed between two frames, is momentarily revealed before it disintegrates, leaving the screen blank and the audience confused. This temporary disorientation is relieved by the appearance of the credits: our suspension of disbelief has been suspended not by accident, but by design. This is a film, we are reminded; films can break. Whilst Hellman's particular device here is distinctive, self-reflexivity in the cinema is a well-trodden path. In the past, it has characteristically been used with comic intent.


How to Cite: Marriott, D. (1985) “Moviegoing”, Pynchon Notes.(16). doi: