The mid-1970s saw James Benning's first feature films attract the attention of critics, establishing him as a representative of the »New Narrative Movement.« In films like 11╳14 and One Way Boogie Woogie, he combines the structural analysis of image, sound and narrative with auto-biographical traces, as well as with an almost »classical« interest in composition, color, light and landscape. This 2-disc set features 11╳14 (1977), one of the central U.S. avant-garde films of the 1970s, in a restored version. Also included is Benning's recurring view of his hometown Milwaukee at three different points in time: One Way Boogie Woogie (1978), 27 Years Later (2005) and One Way Boogie Woogie 2012. Documents of change and transience.
About One Way Boogie Woogie
One Way Boogie Woogie: 60 static 60-second shots, 60 tableaux of places of work and industry: factories, auto repair shops, smokestacks, streets, traffic and, time and time again, street signs. In 1977, James Benning documented the vernacular urban landscape of his birthplace Milwaukee on 16mm film stock in a series of precisely framed, color-saturated and aesthetically impressive shots. In 2004, Benning returned to record the changes of the last 27 years in a remake of his own film. He filmed at the same locations, restaging every single shot sometimes identically, sometimes with slight variations. Some buildings have disappeared, others are new. His actors have grown older, some had passed away in the meantime. The American flag still waves in the wind, this time faded and worn out. One Way Boogie Woogie became the double-length feature One Way Boogie Woogie / 27 Years Later the older film is followed by the new. A further 8 years later, Benning went back to make One Way Boogie Woogie 2012. The typical composition and aesthetic criteria of the previous films remain unchanged in the film's 18 shots. However, what increases is the duration: each shot is 5 minutes long, as the spectator is more intensely urged to take notice of both image and sound, to complement them with memories and prior knowledge and read them as a commentary onthe organization of urban space and developments in contemporary America.
11x14 - USA 1977 - Directed, written, photographed, edited and produced by: James Benning - With: Serafina Bathrick, Paddy Whannel, Barbara Frankel, Bette Gordon, Harvey Taylor, Rick Goodwin, Tim Welsh, Ted Brady, Michael O'Brien - Premiere: March 14, 1977 (Film International, Rotterdam)
One Way Boogie Woogie / 27 Year Later - USA 1978/2005 - Directed, written, photographed, edited and produced by: James Benning - With: Sadie Benning, Anita Benning, Bette Gordon, Howard Monath, Tim Taylor, Fred Krause, Susan Krause, Jake Fuller, Don Skoller, Jeffrey Skoller, Julia Fuller, James Benning, Bob Danner, Heather Sampon, Sharon Sampon, Sammy Sampon - Premiere One Way Boogie Woogie: November 1, 1978 (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York), Premiere One Way Boogie Woogie / 27 Years Later: January 24, 2005 (Redcat Theatre, Los Angeles)
One Way Boogie Woogie 2012 - USA 2012 - Directed, written, photographed, edited and produced by: James Benning - Premiere: October 31, 2012 (Viennale)
DVD features (2-disc DVD)
- 11x14 1977, 77'
- One Way Boogie 2012 2012, 90'
- One Way Boogie / 27 Years Later 1978/2005, 116'
- 20 page bilingual booklet
Edited by: Österreichisches Filmmuseum Vienna
DVD authoring: Gunther Bittmann, Tobias Dressel
DVD supervision: Eszter Kondor
First Edition January 2018