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James Benning

Last Name: 
Benning
First Name: 
James

James Benning has been one of the outstanding exponents of the structural film since the mid-1970s. His artistic position has been strongly influenced by mathematics and by the creativity of mathematical thinking. Village Voice film critic J. Hoberman selected Benning's 11 X 14, as one of the top ten films of the 1970s, stating that it "points toward the creation of a new, nonliterary but populist cinema." In his previous work AMERICAN DREAMS Benning places his collection of Hank Aaron memorabilia alongside the disturbed writings of Arthur Bremer, the man who shot George Wallace. LANDSCAPE SUICIDE investigates two famous murders by looking to the landscapes in which they occurred. Upon moving to California in the 1990s, the relationship between landscape and people became his central theme—beginning with EL VALLEY CENTRO, a look at the agricultural heartland of California, followed by LOS, examining the mostly manmade landscape of the city of Los Angeles. The final film in his "California Trilogy" is SOGOBI, a passionate and beautiful look at California's wilderness. Benning currently teaches filmmaking at the California Institute for the Arts.