The United States of America

Written by Michael Clawson


American landscapes, cityscapes, and stretches of highway as seen through a stationary camera sitting upright in the middle backseat of a car, as Bette Gordon and James Benning take turns at the wheel on a drive across the country in 1975. No conversation between them, at least that we can hear; just the sounds of music and news on the radio, and the steady hum of the car itself. Gorgeous dissolves mark the transition from one shot to the next, and the colors striking the lens can be stunning, especially the blazing oranges and yellows of eye-level sunlight at dusk. A road movie of the purest kind.

Michael Clawson originally published this review on Letterboxd 06/18/20

View it on the Criterion Channel

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