40th Annual Atlanta Film Festival Official Selection
35th Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival Official Selection
33rd Torino Film Festival Official Selection
18th Wisconsin Film Festival ( Winner for best filmmaking )
Lamerica, a visual narrative, takes the viewer on a lyrical
journey across the states, through 16mm frames evocative of
postcards from the road.
Italian director Stefano Galli photographs the country as it
unfolds before his incisive, wry outsiders eye.
Presented in a series of mostly static, lengthy tableau shots--vignettes from
small town middle America--the film presents an iconic, richly
colorful picture of the USA.
With one traveling shot (from the bed of a pick-up truck, stars
and stripes fluttering in and out of frame) and one panning
shot (across a desolate cornfield landscape) the tableau
structure is violated on just these two occasions, bursts of
camera movement that draw attention to the formal
rigorousness of the film.
The composition within the frame presents chromatic, dynamic
perspectives; varying from ultra close to super wide, includes
stunning landscapes, lonely highways and 3 motel shots; at
the beginning, middle, and end; bookending the journey in
classic, lonesome roadside motels.
The characters who populate the film are real people, many of
whom address the camera directly, and stage personal, roughhewn
performances for the spectator.
The film roams from state to state - Texas to Montana - California to Minnesota - Ohio to Florida.
Jump cuts without candid geographical or narrative continuity highlight the pure audio-visual encounters, landscapes and details often shifting our perspective through the surprising juxtaposition of places, faces and landscapes.
Galli's world is a masculine world; we meet only three women in the
film and they appear shy and awkward when contrasted with
the exuberant Wyoming gun-lover, grouchy Key West retiree, tragic
Navajo Native Americans and their soulful song, and rugged Texas
Cowboy who speaks volumes with his silence.
Meticulous, dynamic frame compositions engage the viewer
with the picture postcard image in this off-beat documentary;
while the musical theme, played by a cheerful Tennessee
guitar picker in a gloomy swampy cemetery, links the
disparate times and places of the film.
In the final scene we see a tongue-in-cheek shot of a seemingly
never-ending train crossing a quintessentially American plain,
into the long and lonely distance.
Lamerica is sadness, humor, luminosity in an America distilled to the moonshine.