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Postcards from America

3.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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(Apr 10, 2001)
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Editorial Reviews

This avant garde film is based on two angry autobiographical books by David Wojnarowicz: Close to the Knives and Memories That Smell Like Gasoline. Wojnarowicz, a noted performance artist, died of AIDS . The film examines three sides of his life. The first looks at his suburban childhood and the abuse he suffered at his alcoholic father's violent hand. The second chronicles his experiences as an teen-age street hustler and criminal in New York, and the third section, which is highly abstract, follows the adult Dave as he wanders through a dangerous desert. Once these identities are established, chronology is scattered to the winds, and the three ages of David play up to and comment on each other. The work of Wojnarowicz is also represented in Knud Vesterkov's film, By The Dawn's Early Light. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: James Lyons, Michael Tighe, Olmo Tighe, Michael Imperioli, Michael Ringer
  • Directors: Steve McLean
  • Writers: Steve McLean, David Wojnarowicz
  • Producers: Christine Vachon, Craig Paull, Joel Hinman, Mark Nash, Olivier Renaud-Clément
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Strand Releasing
  • DVD Release Date: April 10, 2001
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005ASPF
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #150,930 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Postcards from America" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Gary F. Taylor HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 15, 2003
Format: DVD
The artist David Wojnarowicz (1954-1992 was not exactly the sort of person you'd like to have drop in to meet mom: the product of an abusive home, he spent his teenage years working as a Time Square prostitute and much of his later life on the road, trading sex for a ride, for a meal, for nothing at all. Over time, he would begin to turn his extreme experiences into art: a series of writings, paintings, and sculptures that would eventually gain him a small but influential following. He came to national conciousness when the National Endowment for the Arts, under pressure from Senator Jessie Helms and Rev. Donald Wildemon, withdrew funding for an exhibition of his work--and instead of going quietly into night Wojnarowicz responded by suing Wildemon for copyright infringement and misrepresentation.
POSTCARDS FROM AMERICA is based on both Wojnarowicz's life and two autobiographical books he wrote: CLOSE TO THE KNIVES and MEMORIES THAT SMELL LIKE GASOLINE, both of which might best be described as a series of essays that sketch the horrors of his childhood, his sexual experiences as a prostitute and on the road, and his battle with AIDS. And like many art films, it has many good ideas; unfortunately, and also like many art films, it doesn't always know what to do with them.
The style of the film, directed and scripted by Steve McLean, tears a page from D.W. Griffith's silent masterpiece INTOLERANCE: instead of presenting us with a sequential biography, the film slips through time, mixing scenes of Wojnarowicz's childhood, his teenage years, and his later years on the road. In each case Wojnarowicz is played by a different actor at each stage of his life, and overall the effect is quite interesting and the performances are quite a bit better than you might expect.
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The film is not a bad piece of work, but don't expect a David Wojnarowicz portrayal (the artist who's writings and life were used herein). Considering the intensity and fury of Wojnarowicz's art, the film falls short. Instead it reads as another gay identity film, fine in its own right, but not compelling enough to be at the level it deserves. James Lyons as the adult David almost captures the necessary attitude. It seems like what's being represented here isn't a personal artistic statement but rather an archetype of estranged 1990s gay men in general. As such, the voice-overs (which quote Wojnarowicz's writings) are not convincing and pretty lifeless. An ok film overall with nice camera work and good performances, but it shouldn't be connected to David Wojnarowicz except in the loosest sense. Not as generous as some reviewers. 3 stars.
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Yes I did enjoy the movie. Wish it may of been longer and a little more in details. But still good movie
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Well-meant portrayal of the life of David Wojnarowicz who died of AIDS as told through slow, poetic ruminations about his abusive father and early life as a street hustler. While sometimes very effective (and beautiful), the somber, disjointed style becomes a little too self-absorbed and overwhelms the brief, lighter moments of comedy and sex.
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