Some of the most influential and incisive observations about the United States have been made by those born beyond its shores—Alexis de Tocqueville, Oscar Wilde, Theodor Adorno—and to their ranks one could add a considerable number of filmmakers. Continuing the story of how exiled European directors transformed Hollywood in the 1930s and ’40s, this series considers the many ways that foreign and immigrant auteurs of the modern era have depicted and otherwise apprehended America, from period adaptations to diary films to action blockbusters. Such works include the imagined geographies of the spaghetti western, where Italian landscapes might stand in for 19th-century Utah, but we also see the U.S. shot on location, like the Los Angeles of Jacques Demy and Haile Gerima, or the New York of Chantal Akerman and Sylvia Chang. In these films one encounters many Americas, perspectives on a nation that reveal the peculiarities of its customs, the drama of its natural splendor, and the lacerating contradictions of its political mythologies.
Organized by Thomas Beard, Shanay Jhaveri, and Dan Sullivan. Copies of the new anthology America: Films from Elsewhere, on which this program is based, will be available at FLC.
Anthology Film Archives and Filmmuseum München
Introduction by Tobi Haslett and Post-Screening Reception on August 2Varda’s casual, open-air portrait of the Black Panthers during her 1968 L.A. journey is made with delicacy, grace, and political urgency. This double bill moves eastward with a contemporaneous work by Varda’s comrade Chris Marker: his evocative essay on the October 1967 Mobilization to End the War demonstrations.
Introduction by Ed Halter on August 10Nick Broomfield and co-director Sandi Sissel capture the everyday activities of the eponymous Nevada brothel and the people employed there in the first of several documentaries Broomfield has made about sex work in America.
Pre-Screening Reception on August 2Shot amidst the snowy expanses of the Dolomites, Sergio Corbucci’s spaghetti western is a genre outing like few others, a grim, grand, anti-capitalist allegory influenced by the deaths of Malcolm X and Che Guevara, and starring Jean-Louis Trintignant and Klaus Kinski.
Introduction by Corina CoppA trio of distinctive works made by young expats in ’70s New York: Chantal Akerman's plangent News from Home, wherein precisely composed street scenes are paired with recited letters from the filmmaker's mother in Belgium; Manuel DeLanda’s Ism Ism, in which he elaborately defaces subway advertisements, grafting bits of one model's face onto another to yield charmingly grotesque collages; and Guerillère Talks by Super-8 luminary Vivienne Dick, assembled as a suite of portraits featuring different women from Dick's downtown demimonde.
Introduction by Leo Goldsmith on August 9Shot in a documentary style, with non-actors cast partly according to their political sympathies, Watkins’s dystopian fantasy imagines a near-future where due process in America has been suspended as a response to increasing civil unrest, and the fates of political dissidents are instead determined by tribunal.
Free Screenings & Events
Free and open to the public!An-My Lê’s installation 29 Palms, part of a larger project about a California military base where service members train for combat in Afghanistan and Iraq, is as an elegant black-and-white diptych, a portrait of troops rehearsing America's imperial project abroad.
Free and open to the public!The Otolith Group’s Medium Earth takes the shape of an audiovisual essay on the anthropocene, specifically the parched terrain of California, the human interventions which engineer its environment, and the awesome forces at play beneath its surface.
Free and open to the public! · Presented by HBO®Join Another Country co-organizers Thomas Beard and Shanay Jhaveri (editor of America: Films from Elsewhere) for a wide-ranging discussion of the series, the representation of America by foreign and immigrant auteurs, and more.
3+ Film Package – Tickets just $9 Members / $10 Students, Seniors, and Persons with Disabilities / $13 General Public.
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