American Dreams, James Benning

American Dreams (lost and found) (1984)

A Film by James Benning. Colour, 55 min

A key work by American filmmaker James Benning and both a complex and challenging film in every sense. Through an iridescent blend of image, text and sound, Benning recounts the history of the USA from 1954 to 1976.

The images: memorabilia relating to baseball legend Hank Aaron. The scrolling, handwritten text: excerpts from the diary of Arthur Bremer, the man who tried to assassinate US presidential candidate George Wallace in 1972 (and the inspiration for the character of Travis Bickle in Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver). The sounds: chart toppers, radio broadcasts and political speeches from the Fifties to the Seventies.

The restoration coincided with the Film Museum's first DVD release of the films of James Benning. In November 2011, the Film Museum presented the completed restoration for the first time at a special screening in the presence of James Benning. The international premiere took place at the 69th Venice Film Festival on September 4, 2012.

Restored in 3K from the original 16mm camera reversal print. Sound restored by La Camera Ottica (Gorizia) and Amann Studios (Vienna) from the 16mm magnetic track.

< Back