By Travis Johnson

20 Australian premieres and a host of classic cuts come together for the 2017 iteration of American Essentials. Curated by Revelation Film Festival founder Richard Sowada, this festival specialises in showcasing the best American indie features and documentaries, in addition to celebrating the rich history of US cinema with special screenings of restored classics.

Highlights this year include the opening night film 20th Century Women, starring Annette Bening and Greta Gerwig; and the literary adaptation, American Pastoral, which marks Ewan McGregor’s feature directing debut. Documentaries include Becoming Bond, a look at Australian George Lazenby’s brief 007 tenure; The Bomb, a look a the early development of nuclear weapons; and the self-explanatory David Lynch: The Art Life.

Classics getting a fresh airing include Annie Hall, Eraserhead, Andy Warhol’s Bad, and, marking the passing of the great Carrie Fisher, Postcards from the Edge. However, perhaps the most enticing item on the menu is the new documentary, You Never Had It: An Evening With Bukowksi, shown as a double feature with Barbet Schreoder’s 1987 mythograph, Barfly, which sees a rarely better Mickey Rourke as the renowned poet’s onscreen alter ego.

American Essentials runs in Sydney from May 9 to May 24 at Palace Verona and Palace Norton Street; Melbourne from May 11 to May 24 at Palace Cinema Como, Palace Westgarth and The Astor Theatre; Canberra from May 16 May 28 at Palace Electric Cinema; Brisbane from May 17 to May 28 at Palace Centro; and Adelaide from May 18 to May 28 at Palace Nova Eastend.

For more info, head over to the official site. Tickets go on sale this Thursday, April 13.





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