Conceptually, the term “America” — its rhetorical validity, its walls, its many distinct interpretations and experiences, etc. etc. — has always come with baggage. And as anyone who’s endured a revelatory therapy session can tell you, it’s often outside observers, folks who don’t always have to carry that same baggage, who do the most clear-eyed job of identifying it, for better or worse. That appears to be the logic behind Film at Lincoln Center’s upcoming film series, Another Country: Outsider Visions of America, a run of films that, according to its press materials, “explores the many ways foreign and immigrant auteurs of the modern era have depicted and otherwise apprehended the United States onscreen.”
Within that frame, organizers Thomas Beard, Shanay Jhaveri, and Dan Sullivan have developed a lineup of diverse movies — from weird ’90s action flicks like John Woo’s Face/Off (the classic, batshit film, starring Nicolage Cage and John Travolta as face-swapping mortal enemies) to Agnès Varda’s half-hour documentary Black Panthers (made in 1968 and featuring the likes of Huey P. Newton and Stokely Carmichael). Other directors on the lineup include Yolande du Luart, Haile Gerima, Lars von Trier, Sergio Corbucci, Terence Davies, Werner Herzog, Jane Campion, Wim Wenders, and many more, with a full schedule available at the official announcement page. “Collectively,” it states, “these films continue the historical legacy of influential and incisive observations about the United States made by those born beyond its shores.”
The series was inspired by the essay collection America: Films from Elsewhere, edited by Jhaveri, who will also give a talk with Beard about the series on Thursday, August 8 — well before the run of films wraps up.
Tickets are on sale now, and at $15 a screening ($12 for students, seniors, and persons with disabilities; $10 for Film at Lincoln Center members), one costs about as much as seeing Disney’s money-printing remake of The Lion King.
When: August 2-14
Where: Film at Lincoln Center (70 Lincoln Center Plaza, Upper West Side, Manhattan)