James Benning has been for more than forty years observing and capturing time and space. In long only minimally edited shots he reveals his visions and astonishment by phenomena, landscapes and people particularly in the USA. In 2009 he first exchanged his 16mm camera for a digital camera and went to German Ruhr where his parents come from. He created a study of a landscape and its interconnection with people and their endeavours. The images seemingly come from different worlds and yet they are anchored in “everyday reality.” The images are unsettling and calming as well.

  • Germany
  • 2009, 120MIN, Doc.
  • DIRECTOR: James Benning
  • CAMERA: James Benning
  • EDITOR: James Benning
  • SCRIPT: James Benning
  • SOUND: James Benning

18.09. - 18:30 Svetozor - Small Hall

James Benning

James Benning

James Benning (1942) has since the 1970’s when he started to explore and document the American landscape, industry and city panoramas with his 16mm camera been one of the most fascinating personalities of American independent and experimental cinema. He captures space and its transformation in time. He has mathematic education, passion for structuralism and minimalism and his films are based on thorough and accurate composition logic. Long documentary static shots, big entireties, sound atmosphere, anti-narratives. James Benning always takes care of camera, sound as well as editing of his films. The transition to digital media enables him to reconstruct and transform his earlier work or one-shot sequences without editing. Benning lectures at the California Institue of the Arts, one of his seminars is called “Watch and listen.” His most significant works include One Way Boogie Woogie (1977), California Trilogy (1999-2001), 13 Lakes (2001) and Ten Skies (2004).


James Benning