American Tan

ASC Studios, 47c Streatham Hill, London SW2

17–26 September 2015

Private View 16 September 6–9pm / Artist's Talk 23 September 7pm

Dream America

Dream America is a series of eight films from the last eight decades, curated to accompany American Tan at Dolph Projects. A different film will be shown at the gallery on each day of the show.

‘While not necessarily my favourite films – some are very flawed – they do encompass something of the essence of America’s seductiveness.’

Wednesday 16 September 2015
Tiny Furniture (Dunham, 2010)
The new, New York with successful artists and young people striving to find what they really want to do. Lena Dunham, pre Girls is Aura rather than Hannah
– but she is pretty much the same girl. The whole film has an authentic claustrophobic New York atmosphere, probably because it was shot on a very low budget.


Thursday 17 September 2015
Buffalo ‘66 (Gallo, 1998)
Gallo’s beautifully strange version of his hometown with touches of magic realism. It’s hard to stop looking at Christina Ricci who is at the height of her child/woman allure, plump and blonde in her baby blue, baby doll. Gallo is pretty horrible for most of the film but redeems himself at the end with the help
of a hot chocolate.

Friday 18 September 2015
Wild at Heart (Lynch, 1990)
The 1980s do the 1950s in this interpretation of Barry Gifford’s Deep South, pulp fiction. Nicholas Cage is Sailor Ripley, a misunderstood man who is intent on expressing his individuality. His snakeskin jacket refers to Marlon Brando in Tennessee Williams’ The Fugitive Kind (Lumet, 1959). His Elvis impression is near faultless. ‘Treat me like a fool, treat me mean and cruel, but love me…’

Saturday 19 September 2015
Nashville (Altman, 1975)
Country music, politics and breakdowns with lots and lots of stars and stripes. The down and dirty side of Americana, Philip French in The Observer described
it as a ‘barbed-wire-edged birthday card to the United States as it approached its bicentennial year.’

Wednesday 23 September 2015
Roustabout (Rich, 1964)
Elvis’ film contract stipulated that he, rather than a stunt double, must be allowed to ride motorbikes and drive cars in his films. In Roustabout he goes down the Wild One (Benedek, 1953), motorbike route. Misunderstood and disaffected he runs into Barabara Stanwyck and ends up working at her carnival and romancing her stepdaughter.

Thursday 24 September 2015
Some Came Running (Minnelli, 1958)
Minnelli was part of the MGM musical intelligentsia and was greatly influenced by fine art. Some Came Running, despite starring Frank Sinatra, initially lost money; the contemporary audience did not appreciate the impressionistic palette of this dark, small town melodrama. It was resurrected by the French New Wave cineastes who loved what the 50s audience thought was trite.

Friday 25 September 2015
A Place in the Sun (Stevens, 1951)
The American Dream gone wrong. This film marked the meeting of lifelong friends Montgomery Clift and Liz Taylor (who he nicknamed Bessie Mae). Liz is rich and ravishing and Monty is at his tortured, method best. Shelley Winters is the unfortunate victim.

Saturday 26 September 2015
Cover Girl (Vidor, 1944)
Technicolor at its most beautiful and unreal. Rita Hayworth and Gene Kelly made up for their lack of chemistry by looking gorgeous and consequently they became superstars. In the film they are a mostly unhappy couple, he resents her becoming a cover girl, she pines for him but resents him for trying to thwart her career. Lots of glamorous, musical, fashion magazine sequences.



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