The American Dream has long held significance for filmmakers around the world. The notion that any citizen can work their way to affluence or success is an intoxicating one, and, some might say, addictive. It's the framework behind seven of the films we're showing over the next two months.
Lee Isaac Chung's Minari follows a Korean family in search of personal security; Chloé Zhao's Nomadland sees a widow finding roots on the road; Kelly Reichardt's First Cow explores the beginnings of US capitalism; and in a quadruplet of American classics Paul Newman fights for freedom at every turn in Stuart Rosenberg's Cool Hand Luke; Robert Altman's Nashville celebrates a new 4K reissue; and the American Dream is blown wide open in our double feature with Paul Schrader's Blue Collar and Michael Mann's Thief.
The American Dream is as complex as the storied and - so far - brief history of the United States. The country's long march to its specific brand of democratic capitalism has seen many lives lost and an equal number of stories told.
Authors James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, John Steinbeck and Harper Lee are just four of the nation's most insightful storytellers to have traversed the rocky themes and ideas of American ideals in literature. It seems an endless reservoir for writers for the page, stage and screen and we're proud to present such a varied collection of old and new films in our season.