Casting a Glance

  • 80'
  • USA
  • 2007
Although often characterised as minimalistic, James Benning’s intensive ‘landscape films’ deal with social and historical issues in a variety of ways: they entice concealed or displaced strata of American life from the landscape. His latest film, Casting a Glance, had its world premiere at the Documenta in September, and is dedicated to Robert Smithson’s famous landscape artwork Spiral Jetty.
James Benning: ‘Between May 15, 2005 and January 14, 2007 I made 16 trips to the Spiral Jetty. Created in 1970, the Jetty is a 1,500-foot long spiral-shaped jetty extending into the Great Salt Lake in Utah constructed from rocks, earth, salt and red algae. The resulting film maps the Jetty back onto its own 37 year history - looking at and listening to its reoccurring changes. I found the Jetty a barometer for a variety of cycles. From morning to night its allusive, shifting appearance may be the result of a passing weather system or simply the changing angle of the sun. Seasonal shifts and water level changes alter salt crystal growth, the amount of algae in the water, and the presence of wildlife. The water may appear blue, red, purple, brown, or gold. Sounds may come from a navy jet, wildlife, lapping or splashing water, a visitor's car radio, converging thunderstorms, or be a silence so still you can hear the blood moving through the veins in your ears.’

Director
James Benning
Country of production
USA
Production Year
2007
Festival Edition
IFFR 2008
Length
80'
Medium
16mm
Language
English
Producer
James Benning
Sales
James Benning
Screenplay
James Benning
Cinematography
James Benning
Editor
James Benning