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Prominent filmmakers to meet students, screen films

By Tim O'Keeffe on March 22, 2010
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Two highly regarded filmmakers will visit campus this week, presenting four films over four nights and meeting with students in several classes.

James Benning and Sharon Lockhart, who both just returned from the Berlin Film Festival, will personally present each of their films at the 7 p.m. screenings at Golden Auditorium, Little Hall. The films are free and open to the public.

Lockhart’s practice encompasses both photography and filmmaking. Her films borrow the traditional fixed point of view of still photography, recording a finely tuned, deliberate, subtly crafted choreography as it unfolds before the camera.

Benning’s work has been shown at festivals, museums and galleries around the world, including a retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art. He is also the recipient of numerous grants, including a Guggenheim Fellowship.

The visit by the distinguished filmmakers in residence is supported by the Film and Media Studies Program and the Institute for the Creative and Performing Arts.

Lockhart and Benning will work with students in a video art course and seminars in avante garde film and photo history.

Here is the schedule for the 7 p.m. public screenings:

March 23 Ruhr, (2009, 120 minutes, HD video by Benning)
Ruhr was the opening film at the Duisburg Film Festival in November 2009. The film was commissioned by German television and is Benning’s first digital film after a long career as an artist who worked exclusively in 16mm.

March 24
Lunch Break (2008, 83 minutes, 35 mm transfer to HD video by Lockhart)
Exit (2008, 40 min., 35 mm transfer to HD video by Lockhart)
According to Senses of Cinema, “Lunch Break uses the cinematic apparatus to ‘track down,’ literally, the precious, minute, humble signs of specific human existences, captured at such a quotidian level that we can’t help being moved to the core.”

March 25
Double Tide (2009, 80 minutes, 35mm transfer to HD video by Lockhart)
This film studies a singular form of labor in a subtly changing landscape — a female clam digger in the midflats of South Bristol, Maine, on a day when low tide occurs twice — at dawn and at dusk.

March 26

casting a glance (2007, 80 minutes, 16mm by Benning)
In casting a glance, Benning studies Robert Smithson’s pioneering earthwork, Spiral Jetty (1970), one of the icons of modern art.

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