Easy Rider

James Benning

A contemplative excursion through Monument Valley in the year 2012. Lens-based landscape artist Benning went to the locations of the famous road movie from 1969. His static takes are animated only by a few concrete sounds, or fragments of recent indie music.

Filmmaker James Benning visited the locations for the classic road movie Easy Rider (1969). In his characteristic long takes, he for instance shows a lit-up vacancy sign while the soundtrack treats us to a line from Easy Rider: 'You've got a room?' Sometimes the images are more abstract, like the 10-minute shot of a flowing brook.
But there is always a connection with Easy Rider. For example, Benning 'copies' its association between a real horse and a gleaming motorcycle: both have their strength expressed in horse power. An image Benning returns to five times is that of a camp fire so that viewers can think back to the scene in which Jack Nicholson expresses one of the film's themes to Billy (Dennis Hopper) saying: 'What you represent to them is freedom.'
With songs by Sadie Benning, Chan Marshall, Suzy Soundz and The Sibleys - the music Benning listened to on the road.

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