News from the Archive


James Benning
USA 1976
82 min

James Benning has become famous for making movies which are at once exhibitions of landscapes or simply spaces and exhibitions of the guiding principles he entertained to structure his gaze – and accordingly the acousmatic space opened by this gaze. His method peaked with films like 13 LAKES or 10 SKIES. 11x14 is a reminder that the structural practice of Benning has a prehistory in his own work: The title refers to an American picture frame format, and therefore to the essential excerptedness of every image. But while Benning later on liked to highlight the frame by working with a fixed camera (and containing all the action within the potentially narrational space opened up in the image), in 11x14 he points towards the spaces between images – and even to the fantasies those images might trigger. Apparently random and meaningless scenes from the American midwest become parts of a possible story, which never actually comes around. The result is, as Benning claimed, practical theory, and at its best: 11x14 creates awareness of the ways movies are built, and it does so in brillantly intelligent and consequently often very funny way. (Bert Rebhandl)

In the presence of James Benning.
Last minute format change: DCP instead of 35mm

  • Serafina Bathrick - Woman
  • Ted Brady - Son
  • Barbara Frankel - Friend
  • Rick Goodwin - Boy
  • Bette Gordon - Friend
  • Michael S. O’Brien - Sick man
  • Harvey Taylor - Young man
  • James Benning
  • James Benning
James Benning, First Run Features
James Benning
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