5.8/10
176
3 user 9 critic

Postcards from America (1994)

Post Cards from America (original title)
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

2 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Sweet Nothing (1995)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Angel celebrates the birth of his daughter by taking his first hit of crack cocaine. With the hesitant support of his wife, Monika, he joins a friend of his to deal drugs for a short time--... See full summary »

Director: Gary Winick
Stars: Michael Imperioli, Mira Sorvino, Joyce Phillips
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Allen, a struggling young artist who once survived by working in the streets, is now involved with Eva, a wealthy Los Angeles gallery owner. Quite by surprise Allen receives a visit from an... See full summary »

Director: James Merendino
Stars: Richard Chamberlain, Michael Imperioli, Ute Lemper
Delivered (1999)
Comedy | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

College droupout Will Sherman works as a pizza delivery boy. One night he delivers a pizza at the house where the guy who ordered pizza was just killed. The murderer, Reed, soon realizes ... See full summary »

Director: Guy Ferland
Stars: Ron Eldard, David Strickland, Leslie Stefanson
On the Run (1999)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Albert is an introverted travel agent living a lonely life in New York. When Louie, his best friend from childhood, appears having just escaped from prison, Albert's quiet existence is ... See full summary »

Director: Bruno de Almeida
Stars: Michael Imperioli, John Ventimiglia, Drena De Niro
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Keith is a Japanese twenty-something who is followed by Death in various disguises. When he finally faces her, Death tells him that he has only 12 hours to live and he needs to make the ... See full summary »

Director: Wonsuk Chin
Stars: Takeshi Kaneshiro, Mira Sorvino, Jeffrey Wright
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Based on the true story of the rise and fall of poker legend Stu "The Kid" Ungar.

Director: A.W. Vidmer
Stars: Al Bernstein, Andrew N.S. Glazer, Michael Imperioli
Suddenly Susan (1996–2000)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Jack owns a magazine and is the former brother-in-law of Susan. After she runs out on her fiancé on their wedding day, Jack agrees to take her back at the magazine.

Stars: Brooke Shields, Judd Nelson, Kathy Griffin
Clockers (1995)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Young drug pushers in the projects of Brooklyn live hard dangerous lives, trapped between their drug bosses and the detectives out to stop them.

Director: Spike Lee
Stars: Harvey Keitel, John Turturro, Delroy Lindo
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A soon-to-be-married man encounters an exciting stranger after his plane suffers an accident on takeoff.

Director: Bronwen Hughes
Stars: Sandra Bullock, Ben Affleck, Maura Tierney
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A Vietnam vet adjusts to life after the war while trying to support his family, but the chance of a better life may involve crime and bloodshed.

Directors: Albert Hughes, Allen Hughes
Stars: Larenz Tate, Keith David, Chris Tucker
Scream 3 (2000)
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

While Sidney and her friends visit the Hollywood set of Stab 3, the third film based on the Woodsboro murders, a new Ghostface begins to terrorize them once again.

Director: Wes Craven
Stars: David Arquette, Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Directors: Gordon Eriksen, Heather Johnston
Stars: David Chan, Grant Chang, Christine Clementson
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Lyons ...
Adult David
Michael Tighe ...
Teenage David
Olmo Tighe ...
Young David
...
The Hustler
Michael Ringer ...
Father
...
Mother
...
Driver
...
Driver
...
Driver
Jason Emard ...
Driver
Joe Marshall ...
Driver
Jeffrey Steele ...
Driver
Paul Germaine-Brown ...
John
Dick Callahan ...
John
Dennis Carrig ...
John
Edit

Storyline

Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

21 July 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Postcards from America  »

Box Office

Gross:

$83,587 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

, ,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Singer Connie Francis sued Universal Music for releasing rights for her music to be used in this movie. Though she is a strong gay rights advocate, she considered this film to be overly pornographic and morbid. See more »

Connections

References Sebastiane (1976) See more »

Soundtracks

Jimmy Carter
Vocals by Blue Mountain
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A Fascinating Failure
4 April 2005 | by (Biloxi, Mississippi) – See all my reviews

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 consciousness 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. The cinematography by Ellen Kuras is also quite fine.

Where the film falls down is in the script, most of which is lifted word-for-word from Wojnarowicz's writing--which at its best explodes memorably in the ear. But director/writer McLean scripts the piece as a series of monologues, some done as voice-overs, some delivered directly to the camera. It would take a truly extraordinary ensemble to pull it off, but for all the directorial and acting gifts involved the overall feel that emerges is a mix of the static and the stagey. But the real failure of the film is its inability to convey the absolute fury that Wojnarowicz's writings possess and the sense of exploding anger that the best of his art conveys. Ultimately, Wojnarowicz emerges as a guy who had bad luck instead of a person who deliberately chose the adult life he led.

All of that said, it's rather difficult to know to whom this film is supposed to appeal. Obviously, the film has a strong gay element--and it is rife with same sex scenes, casual encounters in bathrooms, truck stops, a truly vicious rape that occurs when Wojnarowicz accepts a ride from a man in a van, all of which the character actually seems to take in stride as the "givens" of life. But individuals who live this particular lifestyle are unlikely to sit down and watch an art film about it, and for the rest of us--be we heterosexual or homosexual--it is off-putting to say the least.

That off-putting element might have been overcome by bringing us more deeply into Wojnarowicz as a person, but the film never really does this, and when it ends we are really left no wiser than we were before. I am tempted to give POSTCARDS FROM America three stars--but for all its failings it is in many respects a haunting film, filled with unexpected moments of visual beauty and a host of remarkable performances (especially from James Lyons, Michael Tighe, and Olmo Tighe, who play Wojnarowicz at the different stages of his life.) And so I'll be generous and give it four. But don't say I didn't warn you.

Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer


11 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Read the book civildiscussion7
Discuss Postcards from America (1994) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?