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May 14, 2009


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Murray Browne

As mentioned in the post, Benning is also a filmmaker, which includes a 1983 work entitled AMERICAN DREAMS that centered around Atlanta/Milwaukee Brave Henry Aaron. Here's a description from a web site (http://www.canyoncinema.com/B/Benning.html)that sells his work:

American Dreams

"... A description of the form of AMERICAN DREAMS is deceptively simple: along a narrow border at the bottom of the screen a handwritten transcription of Arthur Bremer's diary crawls from right to left; a series of chronological baseball cards from the career of Hank Aaron are shown in a steady cadence, first the front (usually a photo), then the reverse side (batting statistics, etc.). Finally, overtitles indicate by year the sources of the soundtrack's fragmentary speeches and songs. ... AMERICAN DREAMS is far from unrestricted in its horizons. A clear 'sense of the ending' is limited by two inevitable acts: Bremer will shoot Wallace; Aaron will break Babe Ruth's record. As a work energized by an autobiographical impulse, Benning nonetheless hides himself in the shadows of time. It isn't necessary to know that Bremer was Benning's neighbor in Milwaukee or that the filmmaker counts among his greatest achievements pitching batting practice to the Milwaukee Braves in 1962. As externally shaped and motivated as it appears to be, AMERICAN DREAMS is marked by a dark and self-conscious meeting of personal and public desires ...." - Paul Arthur, The Appearance of History in Recent Avant-Garde Film

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