Two Moons

James Benning
United States 2018

For a long time now, James Benning has been collecting phenomena in numbers: FOUR CORNERS, 13 LAKES, TEN SKIES, TWENTY CIGARETTES, TWO CABINS. In RR, it was up to the audience to count the trains. In TWO MOONS, the title is once again an exact description of the film’s content – and of its governing principle, its structure, its concept. TWO MOONS are rising, one gibbous, one full. Both take up more or less half of the screen time, which is roughly one hour in total. The first moon arrives at dusk, the sky is still blueish, the path runs from the lower left to upper right (of the frame). The full moon arrives with more confidence, as it should, from the line at the bottom center, to follow a trajectory to the upper right margin of the frame. And there it goes. The sounds are from the outside environment, from two Californian nights in November 2018: distant traffic, distant music. Ambient noisebleed. In one of his later works, legendary experimental filmmaker Ernie Gehr once observed Waterfront Follies, a series of sunsets that for the eye of the camera added up to a brand of particularly cinematic impressionism. TWO MOONS might look like a subtle, nocturnal response to Gehr’s poignant piece, were it not for the mighty trajectory of Benning’s own oeuvre – to which this is a substantial addition. (Bert Rebhandl)

In the presence of James Benning.
In cooperation with the Natural History Museum Vienna.


  • James Benning
  • James Benning
  • James Benning
James Benning

James Benning

Österreichisches Filmmuseum
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