Les Rêves Américains

Les rêves américains
Alexander Schellow / Marie Urban
Documentary Animation
DE | 90’ | B&W- Color | Stereo


Les rêves américains is a fictional story: Tracing footsteps from Model Shop, the movie Les rêves américains unrolls a narrative, loosely based on Jacques Demy’s film that was shot in Los Angeles, California in 1968.
Les rêves américains is a documentary: It looks at the current realities brooding on the streets of Los Angeles. The original shooting locations of Model Shop are used as a starting point. Each location has its own story and personality, which are woven together to generate an archive of testimonies and various materials.
Les rêves américains is an animation: Situated between the urban structures and their memory, the created drawings represent a practice of perception and remembrance, image after image, point after point, in black and white.
As an animated documentary film, Les rêves américains pays hommage to Model Shop, the only American film made by Jacques Demy. It involves a search for the places where Demy shot the film back in the sixties, the routes taken by the main protagonist, as well as the persons who took part in the film. Les rêves américains gradually spins a narrative web between animated sequences, interviews, testimonies and archives and by means of a playful reflection, takes different looks on specific contexts of the city as it is now.
By following these footsteps, we reconstitute the fictionnalisation of an urban reality (and consequently the realisation of that fiction) through the cinematographic industry and reality of “Hollywod”. This reality has pervaded collective Western unconscious through countless prefabricated images. Very few places seem to vanish behind their own image, to the extent of Los Angeles, which is the main question being asked in Les rêves américains.