Saturday, February 27, 2010

Darkest Americana & Elsewhere III

James Benning: Ruhr

Presentation Theater at USF

James Benning in-person
presented in association with the USF Film Studies Program
[members: $5 / non-members: $10]

After nearly three decades of creating films in U.S. locations, James Benning’s feature-length Ruhr is his first work shot entirely outside of North America (and his first work on digital video). Commissioned for German television, the film is an outsider’s portrait of Germany’s Ruhr District. An industrial and working class environment—recalling Benning’s hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin—the Ruhr is the center of Germany’s coal and steel-making industries and the site of massive Allied attacks during World War II. Consisting of only six shots, the feature-length video provides lingering insight into the filmmaker’s exploration of an uncannily familiar foreign landscape. Ruhr screens with the single-shot short Fire & Rain, an impressionistic meditation on the four elements, created in the heart of a steel mill. (STEVE POLTA)

James Benning: Ruhr (2009), 120 min.; Fire & Rain (2009), 1.5 min.

For series overview see Program One.

Download program notes