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The Sublimity of DocumentCinema as Diorama$
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Scott MacDonald

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190052126

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190052126.001.0001

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James Benning Goes Digital

James Benning Goes Digital

(p.401) James Benning Goes Digital
The Sublimity of Document

Scott MacDonald

Oxford University Press

James Benning’s turn from 16mm filmmaking to digital filmmaking after his RR (2007) released the already prolific Benning from his struggles with 16mm film projection and print damage and unleashed a new wave of digital productivity. This interview explores Benning’s many digital films, including the several films that are part of his Two Cabins project (focusing on the cabins, lives, and writings of Henry David Thoreau and Ted Kaczynski), his Warhol-inspired portrait films—After Warhol (2011), Twenty Cigarettes (2011)—his three-hour-plus “single-shot” film, BNSF (2012), his cine-exploration of Vienna’s Naturhistorischesmuseum, and his personal epic, 52 Films (2015), an adventure into modifying a broad range of online postings from the internet—originally designed to be presented on fifty-two computers, but so far, shown mostly as interactive screenings with Benning present.

Keywords:   James Benning, 16mm vs. digital, Ruhr, Andy Warhol, Henry David Thoreau, Ted Kaczynski, 52 Films, After Warhol, Twenty Cigarettes, BNSF, natural history, Peter Hutton

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