O Panama

V' 18

O Panama

Burt Barr, James Benning
USA, 1985
News from the Archive, 28min, kein Dialog

Bild: Sammlung Österreichisches Filmmuseum Bild: Sammlung Österreichisches Filmmuseum

O Panama

Burt Barr, James Benning
USA, 1985
News from the Archive, 28min, kein Dialog

Cast: 
Willem Dafoe
Sebastian Moore Benefield
Joseph Gurley
Thomas Gurley
Screenplay: 
based on three short stories by Burt Barr

Production: 
Susan Dowling, New Television Workshop, WGBH
Format: 
DCP
Color

Only once did the artistic trajectories of James Benning and Burt Barr intersect, but that they did with a Bang!, as O PANAMA is a gem that makes both their oeuvres shine a bit more brightly. In someways, this visit with a deliriously ill man is closer to Barr’s work at the time, like THE WOMAN NEXT DOOR (1984) or THE DOGS (1989), both urban alienation cacophonies done in a very rigorous, reduced style (Barr is now remembered mainly for his minimalist video works showing e. g. an ice cube melting …); then again: O PANAMA shares many a concern with Benning’s early adventures in experimental narrative like HONEYLANE ROAD (1973), 8 1/2x11 (1974) or 11x14 (1977), making this into something like a coda of a development discarded. From nowadays perspective, the probably most intriguing aspect of this exercise was the choice of actor to carry this one-manshow: a young Willem Dafoe in full Wooster Group furor just at the cusp of becoming a Hollywood star with STREETS OF FIRE (1984; Walter Hill), TO LIVE AND DIE IN L.A. (1985; William Friedkin) and PLATOON (1986; Oliver Stone). Which is to say that O PANAMA contains all of mid-1980s US moving image art – nothing less. (Olaf Möller)

In the presence of James Benning.

27. 10., 18.30 h, Filmmuseum
With 11X14
28. 10., 16 h, Filmmuseum
With L. COHEN

Burt Barr: THE ELEVATOR (1985, K), SLO MO (1996, K), THE LONG DISSOLVE(1998, K), DOLLY SHOT TWICE (2000), THE GUN (2007)

James Benning: LANDSCAPE SUICIDE (1986), USED INNOCENCE (1988), NORTH ON EVERS (1991), FOUR CORNERS (1997), UTOPIA (1998), EL VALLEY CENTRO (1999), LOS (2000), SOGOBI (2002), 13 LAKES (2004), ONE WAY BOOGIE WOOGIE / 27 YEARS LATER (2005), CASTING A GLANCE(2007), RR (2007), RUHR (2009), FIRE & RAIN (2009, Viennale-Trailer ‘09), TWO CABINS (2011), TWENTY CIGARETTES (2011), NIGHTFALL (2012), ONE WAY BOOGIE WOOGIE (2012), FAROCKI (2014), AMERICAN DREAMS (2015), UNTITLED FRAGMENTS (2017), L. COHEN (2018)