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Widescreen

Hollywood dictates that films must be tightly plotted, but after my Irish road trip I'm less sure. Cinema also has a more life-like, picaresque tradition

By Mark Cousins   August 2007

I’ve just driven 1,200 miles around the west coast of Ireland in my VW camper van. Though I didn’t see a film for the whole fortnight, the trip felt cinematic. A windscreen is exactly the same shape as a movie screen, so driving is like one long travelling shot. Hollywood calls its blockbusters “rollercoaster rides” to suggest thrilling emotional peaks and troughs, but also, in part, because to sit in a rollercoaster car is to see an oncoming vista, like watching a crane shot.

But my trip was cinematic for more than visual reasons. As I had my bed in…

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