Promised land (first feature)

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Promised land

Promised land

Promised land

original title:

Promised land

directed by:


Chad Smith, Giuseppe Cederna, Susan Johnston, Lalaine Vergara-Paras, Ruth Gerson, Patrick Bauchau, William Sanderson, Deborah Strang, Sonya Eddy, James Otis, Connie Sawyer, Melinda Page Hamilton, David Ripley, Pamela Gordon, Ernie Banks, John Maynard


set design:

costume design:

Francine LeCoultre





film run:



35mm - colour

release date:


festivals & awards:

«Put me in the movie where I belong»: the film’s leitmotif is written on the old car belonging to the main character, a poor, unknown and failed actor who thinks he’s James Dean. For Ethan Wildwood was a child star as Billy Boy, hero of a hit western, for which he received an Oscar nomination; but is now totally forgotten. Having had no other roles since, Ethan has never really grown up; he clings to the memory of his fleeting celebrity. He feels he was born to be a film star. Daydreaming about his future, the has-been actor paradoxically finds himself caught up in an imaginary world which prevents him from living a real life. One day, a producer friend offers him a job on a quality project: but this time as director. He accepts and sets off to film stories from everyday American life. But when he meets Vicky and Norma things take an unexpected turn... Cactus, motel, cowboy hat and boots, harmonica, acoustic guitar, the Nevada desert, along with the pretty country singer with her flowing mane of hair; all juxtaposed in a film with an apparently classical narrative format, but in which all the road movie clichés are used for subversive purposes. These stereotypes sustain a narrative that in fact condemns the mythologies of Hollywood cinema. The plot is of secondary importance, what really matters is the exposing of a false and noxious world, a product of cinema, in which the protagonist would like to live but which has no place for him. The sets, the legendary locations, as well as the light, the soundtrack and the framing are well used by Michael Beltrami to achieve his purpose. In other words, the best of Hollywood is employed to attack the inexhaustible dream factory.