Cinema: Tattered Flag

FOUR FRIENDS Directed by Arthur Penn Written by Steven Tesich

Steve Tesich's love for America is an intoxicating passion. In his plays (Division Street) and screenplays (Breaking Away), this Yugoslav immigrant envisions an America that is a goad to greatness, an impossible ideal, a reconciler of a thousand contradictions, a Swiftian kick in the pants. Director Arthur Penn is fascinated with America too, but critically. He has upended myths of the Old West (The Left-Handed Gun, Little Big Man) and found desperate excitement on the fringes of 20th century Americana (Bonnie and Clyde, Alice's Restaurant). As collaborators, these two artists...

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