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