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UK PREMIERE American Journal (Journal d’Amérique) + Q&A
Institute of Contemporary Arts
American Journal (Journal d’Amérique), dir. Arnaud des Pallières, France 2022, 112 min., English intertitles

Arnaud des Pallières’s new work unfolds as the four-month diary of an anonymous narrator in an unspecified year, weaving together images and narratives from the USA in the 20th century. More than a decade after American Dust (Poussières d’Amérique) (2011), the French filmmaker embraces a similarly essayistic form, alternating archive material with reflective intertitles and subjective text. Des Pallières’ distinctive cinematic language continues his exploration of a partly fantasised USA, portrayed as both a physical place defined by personal stories and a universal space marked by global events. 

Des Pallières returns to the extensive collection of the San Francisco-based Prelinger Archives as a major source for American Journal – the title nodding to Bertolt Brecht’s eponymous autobiographical book describing his impressions after arriving in California. The combination of found footage and personal words suggest a distinct sentiment towards the USA, yet American Journal equally unfolds as a relatable space into which the viewer can actively project their own thoughts and sensibilities.

This UK premiere is followed by an online Q&A with director Arnaud des Pallières, hosted by film academic Raquel Morais.

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All films are ad-free and 18+ unless otherwise stated, and start with a 10 min. curated selection of trailers.

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