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MoMA

FILM SCREENINGS

<i>American Dreams (Lost and Found)</i>. 1984. USA. Directed by James Benning. Image courtesy of the Austrian Filmmuseum and James Benning
  • American Dreams (Lost and Found)

    1984. USA. James Benning. 55 min.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012, 4:30 p.m.

Theater 3 (The Celeste Bartos Theater), mezzanine, The Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Education and Research Building



  • American Dreams (Lost and Found)

    1984. USA. Directed by James Benning. A key work in Benning’s oeuvre, as well as a personal favorite of the filmmaker, American Dreams has been painstakingly restored by the Austrian Film Museum in Vienna. Bérénice Reynaud writes in Film Comment, “As the soundtrack unfolds a collage of popular songs (Peggy Lee, Charlie Rich, Bob Dylan…) and public speeches recorded from 1954 to 1976 (McCarthy hearings, radio announcement of the Kennedy assassination, an address by Malcolm X…), the screen is filled with images of baseball cards spanning the career of Hank Aaron, while at the bottom Benning has optically printed handwritten excerpts of the diary of Arthur Bremer, who shot Governor Wallace in 1972, faithfully reproducing its idiosyncrasies and misspellings. Each of these elements defines its own imaginary landscape. The soundtrack suggests an ideological ‘map’ of America at the time. The visuals imply a gap between a successful home run champion and a (failed) white drifter-turned-assassin, one hitting the American dream and the other missing it.” Restored by the Austrian Film Museum, Vienna. 55 min.