AMERICAN DREAMS (LOST & FOUND) / LANDSCAPE SUICIDE

This publication by Edition Filmmuseum presents two major works by James Benning: each recently restored by the Austrian Film Museum in Vienna, and; inaugurating an extensive publication effort by the institution, on DVD and in print, to celebrate an artist whose unique personal vision of America has established him as one of the most significant figures of American independent cinema.

From 1971 to 2008, James Benning worked exclusively with small gauge film - first 8mm, then 16mm - before taking up a digital camera. The 16mm film format, cherished by independent filmmakers for decades, is represented on this DVD with high-quality digital transcriptions of fully analog works. These publications are landmark in nature, as Benning's films that he shot on celluloid have never previously been available in either analog video or digital form. Launching this DVD series are two key works from the 1980s, which mark Benning's crossover from autobiographical text/image collages to his preoccupation with landscape: AMERICAN DREAMS (LOST AND FOUND) & LANDSCAPE SUICIDE.

 
AMERICAN DREAMS (LOST AND FOUND) (1984) — James Benning

AMERICAN DREAMS (LOST AND FOUND) (1984) — James Benning

AMERICAN DREAMS (lost and found) is the filmmaker's personal take on the history of the USA from 1954 to 1976, told through a complex and thought provoking amalgamation of image, text and sound. James Benning describes this film as an "homage to my own coming of age": it combines his love of this film as an "homage to my own coming of age": it combines his love of baseball with his interest in American history, politics and popular culture to achieve a formally complex and challenging take on the American Dream.

In LANDSCAPE SUICIDE, Benning effortlessly straddles the boundaries of narrative and documentary forms as he recounts two infamous murder cases that took place almost 30 years apart. The film circles around the relationship between landscapes, both physical and mental, and the violence that takes place in their midst: "the idea wasn't to dwell on violent acts, but to focus on how people look at themselves when they commit violent acts, and how they perceive what happened later", says Benning.

 
Two scenes from James Benning's LANDSCAPE SUICIDE (1986).

Two scenes from James Benning's LANDSCAPE SUICIDE (1986).

  • Contains a 20-page, bilingual booklet with contributions by Barbara Pichler, James Benning, Alexander Horwath & Michael Loebenstein. In German and English.
 
 
 

  Contents

Format: DVD-PAL / Region 0
(No Regional Code)

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AMERICAN DREAMS (LOST AND FOUND)
(US, 1984)

Director: James Benning
Producer, writer, cinematographer, editor: James Benning

• 53 minutes
• 16mm
• Color
• Sound

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LANDSCAPE SUICIDE
(US, 1986)

Director: James Benning
Producer, writer, cinematographer, editor: James Benning
Cast: Rhonda Bell, Elion Sacker, Eve E. Ellis, Lisbeth Jetton, Pegge Winslow, John Benning, Rusty Johnson 

• 92 minutes
• 16mm
• Color
• Sound

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Total Running Time: 02:25:00 (2 Discs)

Language: English. German subtitles.

Booklet Text: Barbara Pichler, James Benning, Alexander Howarth & Michael Loebenstein (Bilingual German & English) 

Published By: Edition Filmmuseum

Institutional Price: $300 (plus shipping).

To order call: 212.280.8654 or click here for information on ordering by fax, e-mail or post.