New Scenes from America

Direction
Year
2002
Country
  • Denmark
Duration
35min
Audio Tracks
Subtitles

Once more, the director arranged visually refined images, which represent America as seen through the eyes of a European caught in a tangled web of mainly cultural references. The minimalist images are iconographic fragments based on static templates inspired by the photographs of Robert Frank and paintings of Edward Hopper. Legacies of the two artists create a peaceful foundation for shots of New York skyscrapers, a gas station, highways, motel rooms, diners seen through a window, or a table with a bottle of ketchup and a cake.

The game of references multiplies in the framework of the method of choice: when, in the previous film, they showed Andy Warhol eating a hamburger, they amplified the role of the character, its position and cultural context; they destroyed and at the same time participated in the game of symbols. Similarly, the new characters find themselves in a motionless frame, they talk, but their words and movements work for the prepared structure of the film that strives to be above all a visual memory of typical details. At the same time, the film is a journey across the country in time: New York, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona and California in September 2001. The terrorist attack is evoked by an empty spot in a short panoramic shot. Only the memories of clouds reflected in the twin towers' windows remain, the ancient light of the towers at night; it is as if the model of the film was confirmed: the silence of symbols through which America speaks.

The film consists of strictly separated scenes, individual characters are depicted in telling environments, they introduce themselves at the end of the live sequence. Besides several unknown characters, the film features the poet John Ashbery, the actor Dennis Hopper, the photographer Robert Frank and the composer John Cale. Cale is also the author if the film's original soundtrack that complements the unique soft style of the picture.

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Details

  • Original title
    Nye scener fra Amerika
  • Direction
  • Screenplay
    Jørgen Leth
  • Dir. of Photo.
    Dan Holmberg
  • Editing
    Camilla Skousen
  • Music
    John Cale
  • Sound
    Niels Arnt Torp
  • Duration
    35 min (31-45 min.)
  • Year
    2002
  • Country
    • Denmark
  • Production
      • Sunset Production Inc.
      • 726 North Washington Street
      • VA 22314 Alexandria
      • United States
      • tel: 703-549-5276
      • e-mail: marianne@ludvigsminde.com
  • Distribution
      • Marianne Christensen
      • Theodor Christensens Plads 1
      • DK-1437 Kobenhavn K
      • Denmark
      • cell: +45 401 317 03
      • e-mail: mctk@mail.dk

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