AAA Town: Tucson, USA is a 31-minute pseudo-documentary completed in 2007.

The Filmmakers’ Statement

Martin Scorsese has described “the director as smuggler” as one strategy by which Hollywood auteurs, working under the studio system, could covertly inject their own personal visions into their work. While the studio system is dead, its ghost remains in the classical storytelling norms it established. Thus narrative conventions and genre formulations continue to be subverted with subtle attacks which are often overlooked.

In our film, Triple A Town: Tucson, USA, we have attempted to combine the smuggler’s instinct with an examination of Tucson as both metaphorical and literal place. It serves as a microcosm by which trends in the larger society can be examined. Using footage from television news combined with our own, we are attempting to reach a truth that transcends mere facts. The film is a time capsule of an era which has yet to end.

The deeper reality we try to get at is also glimpsed, in different ways, in the films of Terrence Malick, which offer a new model of film narrative — as well as the uses of allusion in Taxi Driver and 2001: A Space Odyssey, and the use of color in Punch-Drunk Love. Our view of the non-opposition of truth and fiction is one also rooted in the pseudo-documentary films of Peter Watkins, Orson Welles’ F for Fake, Werner Herzog’s Lessons of Darkness, and the formalist “realism” of the Dardenne brothers. In our critical writings, these buried treasures which have been the sole preserve of individual filmmakers with idiosyncratic styles are exposed as facets of the same jewel.

Our filmmaking and critical project is one and the same. In this time when many make pronouncements on “the death of film”, it is time to rally the forces of vitality.


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