The Travelogues is a collection of short films that document the life of an unseen wanderer. Each travelogue creates an abstract, experiential understanding of his world. Through The Travelogues, he invites the viewer to explore his wanderlust, his encounters with tourism, and his transient relationships.

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Dustin Thompson is a filmmaker/photographer who graduated from Cal Arts with his MFA in filmmaking and integrated media. A fascination with counter-cultures, his own Appalachian upbringing, and folk literature influence his work. Dustin has two features in development: The Abandoned, an Appalachian folk odyssey based on the resilient tenacity of a single-mother family, and The Leatherman, a narrative exploring the late-1800s vagabonding woodsman who traversed northern Appalachia. Dustin also developed a web-based companion project to The Travelogues called The TravelBlogues. He has worked and studied with James Benning, Betzy Bromberg, Kevin Everson, Rodrigo Garcia & Julie Lynn, and Lewis Klahr. Currently, Dustin interns for Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life, produced by Sarah Green.


Wanderlust inspired me to make The Travelogues. In keeping with the playful nature of exploration and the child-like wonderment I associate with cinema, I blended many cinematic textures, narratives, and documentary styles to explore intentional aimless wandering. I played with each travelogue differently to explore the boundaries of traditional travel writing, diary, and portrait forms. The beauty of this process was the organic realization of a film without a tour guide; an exploration formally mirrored for the film viewer’s experience.

A romantic figure from my childhood was the vagabond. This is a character easily spotted on the Appalachian Trail or on the side of VA-Route 29 trying to hitch a ride. The Travelogues is my cinematic exploration of a similar drifting lifestyle on a global scale. My work continues to engage with places that are used, re-appropriated, traversed, or left behind because of my fascination for those people who had once been there.

PRISM Index: Dustin Thompson


One response to “ABOUT THE FILM”

  1. […] 2. One of the films being screened is Dustin Thompson’s (Film/Video MFA 09) experimental film The Travelogues (2009, 49 mins.). It’s a series of short films that allows viewers to experience the […]

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