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The War

A new video work by American avant-garde filmmaker James Benning explores the videos of Russian activist/activist-art group Voina (“war”).

Easy Rider (2012)

Revitalized by his recent switch to digital filmmaking, Benning, one of the greats of American experimental cinema, “remakes” Dennis Hopper’s 1969 classic by taking a road trip through the film’s locations. Featuring Benning’s extraordinary eye for composition, snatches of dialogue from the original film, and an all-female soundtrack, the result engages the viewer’s memory of Easy Rider in surprising and provocative ways, questioning the mythology of the American landscape and the 1960s counterculture. [Courtesy of the Museum of Moving Image]

Nightfall (2011)

Nightfall consists of a single 98-minute shot made at a high elevation in the woods in the west Sierras that begins in late afternoon as the sun is going down and ends in near blackness. Widely acclaimed for his great 16mm durational films about the American landscape, James Benning has been making new work in digital HD since 2009. One of the possibilities of digital filming that Benning has reveled in is the extreme duration possible, an extension of his earlier film work in which shots were one minute or ten minutes long. Now With Nightfall, he invites the audience to slow down and observe the most basic elements of nature in a way that very few of us do. [Synopsis courtesy of Los Angeles Filmforum]