A man and a woman stand before an embankment. She’s crying, he’s smoking. A train crosses from left to right in the top third of the image; in the bottom third, a VW enters the frame from the right and comes to a halt. A man gets out of the car with a child in his arms and walks forward to the left until he’s no longer in frame. The woman and the man embrace and leave in opposite directions. The shot is over. More of them follow: the VW reappears, the people too. Two women lying on a bed move in slow motion, music can be heard; it will later return later as smoke rises from a chimney. On the wall, there hangs the photograph of a house that will later become another frame in the film.
11 x 14, the first feature-length film by James Benning, is film theory in images. It is composed of single shots, each of which individually narrate something and hold the film together via recurring elements. What is narrated is pure form.
11 x 14 was shown at the Forum in 1977. It has now been restored by the Austrian Film Museum in collaboration with Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art and returns to the Forum once again. As the smallest unit of a festival, a film can become its narrative.
by James Benning
with Serafina Bathrick, Paddy Whannel, Harvey Taylor, Barbara Frankel, Bette Gordon, Tim Welsh, Rick Goodwin, Ted Brady, Michael O'Brien
USA 1977 Without dialogue 82’ Colour

With

  • Serafina Bathrick (the woman)
  • Paddy Whannel (the man)
  • Harvey Taylor (the young man)
  • Barbara Frankel (the woman's friend 1)
  • Bette Gordon (the woman's friend 2)
  • Tim Welsh (the boy 1)
  • Rick Goodwin (the boy 2)
  • Ted Brady (The man's son)
  • Michael O'Brien

Crew

Director James Benning

Produced by

James Benning

James Benning

Born in 1942 in Milwaukee, USA. He completed a degree in film studies and has been making films and created numerous installations since 1972. James Benning has been a frequent guest at the Forum and Forum Expanded since 1977, such as with 11 x 14 (1977).

Filmography (selection)

1972 Time & A Half; 17 min. 1975 The United States of America; 25 min. 1977 11 x 14; 83 min., Forum 1977, Forum 2018 · One Way Boogie Woogie; 60 min. 1979 Grand Opera. An Historical Romance; 90 min., Forum 1980 1985 O Panama; 28 min., Forum 1987 1986 Landscape Suicide; 95 min., Forum 1987 1997 Four Corners; 80 min., Forum 1998 1999 El Valley Centro; 90 min., Forum 2002 2000 Los; 90 min., Forum 2002 2002 Sogobi; 90 min., Forum 2002 2004 13 Lakes; 133 min., Forum 2005 · Ten Skies; 101 min., Forum 2005 2005 One Way Boogie Woogie/27 Years Later; 120 min., Forum 2006 2007 RR; 110 min., Forum 2008 2009 Ruhr; 121 min. 2010 John Krieg Exiting the Falk Corporation in 1971; 71 min. 2011 Faces; 135 min. · Milwaukee/Duisburg; Installation, Forum Expanded 2011 · Twenty Cigarettes; 99 min., Forum 2011 · Small Roads; 103 min. 2012 Nightfall; 98 min. · Stemple Pass; 121 min., Forum 2013 · Easy Rider; 95 min. · One Way Boogie Woogie 2012; 90 min. · BNSF; 194 min. 2014 Natural History; 77 min. · Farocki; 77 min. · Concord Woods; 121 min. 2015 American Dreams; 85 min. 2017 Untitled Fragments; 75 min. 2018 L. Cohen; 45 min., video installation, Forum Expanded 2018 2019 Maggie’s Farm; 84 min., Forum 2020 2022 United States of America

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2022