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la Biennale di Venezia
Main Visual Sezione Cinema EN (new)


69th Venice International Film Festival

Director: Alberto Barbera

29th August > 8th September 2012

Venice Classics

All sections »
A complex and challenging film in every sense, American Dreams recounts the history of the USA from 1954 to 1976. It represents an iridescent blend of three elements, weaving them into a multifaceted narrative. The dominant visual element of the film are baseball cards relating to the legendary Milwaukee homerun champion Hank Aaron. The soundtrack consists of music (pop songs which Benning considers emblematic for each of the years in question) and radio broadcasts (advertisements, political speeches, an interview with Elvis Presley talking about the supposed dangers of Rock ’n’ Roll, etc.). The third element is a handwritten text, scrolling by on the bottom of the image— these are excerpts from the diary of Arthur Bremer, the man who tried to assassinate US presidential candidate George Wallace in 1972.
4 September 19:30 - Sala Volpi 5 September 17:30 - Sala Pasinetti VENICE CLASSICS American Dreams (1984) by James Benning - USA, 58'
language: English - s/t Italian
Director's Statement
When Arthur Bremer [in his diary] talks about how the danger of driving over 80 miles per hour with a bad tire gave him an erection, the speech on the soundtrack is Lyndon B. Johnson talking about escalating the Vietnam War. The main point of the film is that this kind of maleness is causing problems...