(selection) Did You Ever Hear That Cricket Sound? (1971, short), Ode to Muzak (1972, short), Art Hist. 101 (1972, short), Time & A Half (1972, short), Michigan Avenue (1973, short), Honeyland Road (1973, short), 57 (1973, short), I-94 (1974, short), 8 1/2 x 11 (1974, short), The United States of America (1975, short), Saturday Night (1975, short), An Erotic Film (1975, short), 3 Minutes on the Dangers of Film Recording (1975, short), Chicago Loop (1976, short), A to B (1976, short), 11 x 14 (1976), One Way Boogie Woogie (1977), Grand Opera (1979), Four Oil Wells (1978), Oklahoma (1979), Double Yodel (1980), Last Dance (1981), Him & Me (1981), American Dreams (1983, short), O Panama (1985, short), Landscape Suicide (1986), Used Innocence (1988, doc), North on Evers (1991), Deseret (1995, doc), Four Corners (1996, doc), Utopia (1998, doc), El valley centro (2000, doc), Sogobi (2001, doc), Los (2002, doc), California Trilogy (2003), 13 Lakes (2004, doc), Ten Skies (2005, doc), One Way Boogie Woogie/27 Years Later (2006, doc), Casting a Glance (2007, doc), RR (2007, doc), Ruhr (2009), Fire & Rain (2009, short), Reforming the Past (2010), Pascal's Lemma (short), Pig Iron (2010, short), John Krieg Exiting the Falk Corporation in 1971 (2010), Nightfall (2011), After Warhol (2011), Faces (2011), Twenty Cigarettes (2011, doc), Small Roads (2011, doc), Easy Rider (2012, doc), Stemple Pass (2012, doc) One Way Boogie Woogie 2012 (2012, doc), Bnsf (2012, doc), natural history (2014, doc), Spring Equinox (2016, doc), Measuring Change (2016, doc), Fall Equinox (2016, doc), Readers (2017, doc) Telemundo (2018), Two Moons (2018, doc)
More info: Wikipedia, James Benning
James Benning at IFFR
Intriguing juxtaposition of pictures and sound provides impressions of the State of Utah.
A combination of images of the desert landscape of Death Valley and the Mexican birder with the complete soundtrack of Richard Dindo's Swiss documentary Ernesto Che Guevara, the Bolivian Journal from 1994.
The best American landscape film maker records thirteen lakes in masterful shots. Or how exciting a sudden change in sunlight can be.
One Way Boogie Woogie / 27 years later
Two structuralist masterpieces for the price of one. 27 years ago, the filmmaker recorded changes in his birthplace Milwaukee in 60 taut shots each lasting a minute. Last year he did the same again. Together in one screening, a journey through time.
Anyone who hasn’t enjoyed lying on their back on the grass staring at clouds floating by maybe doesn’t need to see this film. For the rest of humanity, this contemplative film has a world of dramatic clouds on offer. Ten moving cloud paintings. Structuralist masterpiece.
Casting a Glance
The master of the American landscape film focuses his unique cinematographic eye on the famous landscape work of art Spiral Jetty (1970) by Robert Smithson by the Great Salt Lake in Utah. 16 visits record fascinating differences in light, time and season.
Fire & Rain
Trailer for the Viennale in 2009. James Benning, the master of the long scene, can also do it in one minute. Outtake from the longer furnace scene from Ruhr (2009).
James Benning's worrying and also reassuring vision of the Ruhr Valley, shot in six fascinating takes of a tunnel, a forest, a factory, a mosque, graffiti and a chimney.
All That She Surveys
When I say that I’m not at all sure what All That She Surveys means, I’m not being disingenuous: the film remains fundamentally mysterious to me. (GM)
Benning’s latest work fits in perfectly with his extensive oeuvre of landscape films. In small roads, Benning films 47 roads in the USA. Not only expansive landscapes crossed by trains, but also narrow lanes where only an occasional animal or vehicle passes.
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.
A Cassavetes remake that pushes the original title to its ultimate consequence: strictly faces, each shot lasting as long as in the 1968 film. What's more, Benning concentrates entirely on static close-ups of the actors, caught in uncomfortable silences.
Coming to Terms
Meditation on death and its psychological impact on a broken family - a subject that has kept Jost (1943) very busy recently and which in this case he has moulded into a special narrative structure. The equally experienced filmmaker James Benning plays the father of the family.
In 54 static shots, Benning provides a picture of the Natural History Museum in Vienna. With the exception of the first three shots, he chooses areas that are normally closed to the public: offices, store rooms and empty corridors. A characteristically meditative Benning, even though this time he chooses to stay indoors.
As usual with James Benning, the proposition is extremely simple. Here, he points his camera at four people (three women, one man) who spend just under half an hour reading. Then we see a quote from the book. That’s it. The result, as we call it, is vintage Benning.
Typical for Benning, in Two Moons the title is an exact description of the film's content – and its governing principle, structure and concept.