James Benning

Film: The Front Line – 1983 by Jonathan Rosenbaum

An informal and prosaic, yet informed and balanced presentation of critical arguments and conversations on the state of experimental and avant-garde film during the early half of the 1980s, Film: The Front Line – 1983 provides an engaging and accessible introduction to several noteworthy, underrepresented personal filmmakers. Rosenbaum makes a conscious decision to omit key,… read more »

Ten Skies, 2004

While James Benning’s 13 Lakes captures the materiality, self-equilibration, and memory of water, the film’s equally rigorous and abstractly hypnotic companion piece, Ten Skies illustrates the mutability, ephermerality, and transience of nature. Shot in Val Verde, California, the film consists of ten minute, stationary shots of ten isolated skyscapes set against the ambient sounds of… read more »

13 Lakes, 2004

Composed of a series of episodic, stationary long takes, each recording an uninterrupted, ten minute shot length and punctuated by an extended, interstitial black screen, James Benning’s structuralist film, 13 Lakes is a rigorous and demanding, yet hypnotic and transfixing meditation on diurnal rhythms, climatic changes, and the implications of (irreversible) man-made transformation. The opening… read more »

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