America as Seen by a Frenchman

America as Seen by a Frenchman
This marvelous proto-documentary is a cultural travelogue, before such films became a conduit to express social outrage or moral condemnation. To the French filmmakers America in 1960 is still a land of wonders, a bigger-than-life fantasyland, where you can visit a places called Fantasyland and Frontierland and see your culture’s past play out as entertainment. It’s like Mondo Cane only in that it’s free-form, taking in whatever the director François Reichenbach encountered in 18 months spent wandering through the country with a Techniscope camera in tow. Helping in the journey are Michel Legrand and Chris Marker, with an assist from Frederic Rossif and Jean Cocteau … it’s class goods, a time machine to a lost Golden Age of consumerist, conformist harmony.

America as Seen by a Frenchman


Arrow Academy

1960 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 90 min. / L’Amérique insolite / Street Date June 2, 2020 / Available from Arrow Academy 39.95

Cinematography: Marcel Grignon, Jean-Mac Ripert,
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