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Sunday January 9\, 2011\, 7:30pm

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Los Angeles Filmforum presents

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RR by J ames Benning

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Los Angeles Premiere!  James Benning in person!

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At the Spielberg Theater at the Egyptian

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671 2 Hollywood Blvd. (at Las Palmas)\, Los Angeles CA 90028

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Advance ti cket purchase available through Brown Paper Tickets.

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http://www.brownpa pertickets.com/event/142723

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Chosen as one of the best movies of its year\, and its decade\, RR\, b y James Benning finally screens in Los Angeles.  Filmforum begins its 2011 programming with this brilliant film\, merging observation and motion\, pre sent-day commerce and the historical growth of America\, in Benning’s inimi table style. James Benning will join us in person\, and we hope you will as well for the start of Filmforum’s 36th year.

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“Avant-garde? Documentary? Landscape study? At this point\, i t's better simply to call him one of America's greatest contemporary filmma kers\, hands-down. RR\, Benning's 2007 feature-length study of Ameri can railroads\, is one of his finest achievements to date.” – Michael Sicin ski

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“Benning is easily one of the ten best visual thinkers working today\, period. There's not a single redundant fram e in the entire film: every shot finds a different angle/distance/compositi on. Sometimes scale is majestic\; sometimes the train rushes up close in an epileptic blur of flashing colors\; sometimes two trains overlap with such interlocking precision that\, as ludicrous as it sounds\, it's a Mamet-lev el shock.” – Vadim Rizov\, Slant Magazine

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# 66 in Film Comment’s Best Films of 2000-2009

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RR (2007\, 16mm\, co lor\, 115 min.\, sound)

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Benni ng’s last 16mm film\, consisting of 43 static shots of trains crossing thro ugh the frame\, in locations throughout the United States.  The shot durati on is determined by the time it takes the train to pass through the frame.< /b>

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“Looping\, chugging and barreling by\, the trains in Benning's latest monumental film map a stunning topography an d a history of American development. RR comes three decades after Benning a nd Bette Gordon made The United States of America (1975)\, a cinemat ic journey along the country’s interstates that is keenly aware “of superhi ghways and railroad tracks as American public symbols.” A political essay r esponding to the economic histories of trains as instruments in a culture o f hyper-consumption\, RR articulates its concern most explicitly when Eisen hower's military-industrial complex speech is heard as a mile long coal tra in passes through eastern Wyoming. Benning spent two and a half years colle cting two hundred and sixteen shots of trains\, forty-three of which appear in RR. The locomotives' varying colors\, speeds\, vectors\, and reverberat ions are charged with visual thrills\, romance and a nostalgia heightened b y Benning's declaration that this will be his last work in 16mm film.” – Ha rvard Film Archive

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“A mere description of B enning's process\, however\, utterly fails to convey the sensuousness and e ndless variety of his film.  In the first shot in Utah\, we see a train cle ar the screen to make way for cars and pedestrians. In shot 4\, we see blac k tankers bisect a small-town street\; shot 15 is a kind of prolonged\, rea l-life magic trick I won't spoil. The landscapes\, the colors\, the distanc es\, the close-up-blurs-to-extreme-long-shots that intentionally recall the Lionel HO-scale train sets of the 1950s and '60s — Benning's film invites us to spend time looking at a fundamental feature of our world\, one from w hich car culture\, Internet life\, and our general discomfort with the smel l\, sound and perceived danger of the rails keeps us separate.

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“That "danger\," of course\, used to be the romance of the rails\, the urge to hop a boxcar and see where it took you. Today\, tra in enthusiasts set up folding chairs and "trainspot\," identifying what's l eft of North America's rolling stock as a hobby. These rail fans were part of Benning's interest in making RR. But one of the reasons this film\, and Benning's work more generally\, commands interest beyond the avant-ghetto i s the fact that what he is showing us — these trains — are objects function ing at the junction of film form and political economy….We're seeing capita l in motion\, and\, just as often\, stopping dead in its tracks.

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“RR is a film that requires a degree of patience and an adjustment of customary viewing strategies. But its rewards for that adj ustment — and its implications as both an aesthetic experience and social d ocument — are staggering.” – Michael Sicinski\, h ttp://www.nashvillescene.com/nashville/james-benning-one-of-americas-finest -filmmakers-trains-his-attention-on-the-railroad-in-rr/Content?oid=1492701< /a>

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On James Benning:

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Over the past thirty-five years James Benning (b. 1942) h as played a central role in the history of American independent cinema by o ffering his rigorously structured yet wonderfully graceful films as extende d meditations on the American landscape and its social and environmental hi stories. Benning’s life and work have been shaped by his passionate wanderl ust—born in Milwaukee\, he lived for intervals in Colorado\, the Missouri O zarks\, Illinois and Oklahoma before settling in Val Verde\, California in 1987\, with car and motorcycle journeys around the country generating such films as I-94 (1975) and Four Corners (1997). His career has been equally r estless\, ranging from his early experimentation with an avant-garde aesthe tic to his embrace\, during the 1980s and 90s\, of explicitly autobiographi cal elements and increased human content. With his “California Trilogy” (20 00-2001) Benning entered a new phase\, refining his formalist style and pol itical concerns while distilling his abiding interest in place and exacting organizational structures. The different phases of Benning’s career inform his more recent work\, presented in this program\, which looks at and list ens to the world with an acuity grounded in Benning’s firm convictions that duration and a rigorous formal aesthetic can give way to films that allow us to see differently and to read the inscription of the political into the places that surround us. – Harvard Film Archive

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Benning interview with Mark Peranson on RR:

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http://www.cinema-scope.com/cs34/int_peranson_benning.html< /a>

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Gina Telaroll on RR:

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http://www.takepart.com/news/20 08/09/15/james-bennings-rr-takepart-at-the-nyff/

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Vadim Rizov in Slant Magazine on RR:

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http://www.slantmagazine.com/house/2008/09/nyff-46-2008-rr-happy-go-luc ky/

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RR location list:

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http://newfilmkritik.de/archiv/2008-02/rr-location-list/< /a>

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For the screenings at the Egyptian Theater:

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Parking is now easiest at the Hollywood &\; Highland complex. Bring your ticket for validation. Parking is $2 for 4 hours with validation. Enter that complex on Highland or Hollywood. The theater is 1.5 blocks east.

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This scre ening series is supported\, in part\, by the Los Angeles County Board of Su pervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission\; the Department o f Cultural Affairs\, City of Los Angeles\; and the Andy Warhol Foundation f or the Visual Arts. Additional support generously provided by American Cine matheque.

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Los Angeles Filmforum is the city' s longest-running organization screening experimental and avant-garde film and video art\, documentaries\, and experimental animation.  2010 is our 34 th year.

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Memberships available\, $60 single or $95 dual

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Con tact us at lafilmforum@yahoo.com.  www.lafilmforum.org

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Become a fan on Faceboo k and Follow us on Twitter!

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DTEND:20110109T220000 DTSTAMP:20141222T034838 DTSTART:20110109T193000 GEO:34.101418;-118.336595 LOCATION:Egyptian Theatre\,6712 Hollywood Blvd. \nLos Angeles\, CA 90028 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:Los Angeles Filmforum presents RR by James Benning\, James Benning UID:142245 END:VEVENT END:VCALENDAR