Presented By:Livia Ungur, Sherng-Lee Huang
In the twilight of communist Romania, Dallas was the only American series allowed on TV. Its cultural impact is the jumping-off point for this fantastical, genre-bending examination of the power of art. Patrick Duffy, famous for his role as Bobby Ewing in the series, co-stars here as a soap-opera star who dies on screen and wakes up in the real-life, Romanian replica of his fictional family home.
After the Romanian Revolution, Ilie, a small-time criminal turned capitalist tycoon, built a replica of Dallas’ Southfork Ranch in Slobozia, now transformed into a hotel. His daughter Livia (co-director Livia Ungur) is inspired by the show to immigrate to America, but first she leads Duffy, the man at the center of her obsession, on a cross-country exploration of Romania and its shared cultural memory. They are catapulted on their journey by Brancusi’s Endless Column, and meet personalities along the way who measure the effects of Dallas and meditate on the failed utopias of communism and capitalism.
Hotel Dallas takes an exhilarating approach to historical documentary, at once recalling the politicized humor of Lucian Pintilie’s Reenactment and the surreal genre-play of Guy Maddin’s My Winnipeg. With their debut feature, artist duo Ungur & Huang have skirted the boundaries of fact and fiction to craft a wonderfully impressionistic and uniquely mesmerizing film. (Mitchell Goodrich)
Screening with the short film The Mink Catcher (Samantha Buck): Dallas, Texas, 1980. At a high society party, a gossip columnist hunts down Dallas' new First Lady to unearth the truths underneath her legendary mink coat.Director Bio
Livia Ungur and Sherng-Lee Huang are a wife-and-husband duo based in NYC who have shown their films, sculptures, and installations around the world, including at the National Gallery of Art, the Stavros Niarchos Center in Greece, and SXSW. Hotel Dallas is their first feature.