This debut feature by American avant-garde filmmaker James Benning is a hypnotic and fragmented picture of twentieth–century America, with spectacular imagery that is figurative and abstract at the same time.
After getting his degree in Wisconsin in 1976, American independent filmmaker James Benning went on a journey of the Midwest to capture the invisible America that never makes it to the news, tour guides or blockbusters. Shot on a handheld camera over one year, 11 x 14 is a non-linear and non-narrative contemplation of the world. Overseen episodes make up an alternative kind of story with randomly connecting spaces and characters. Highways, lawns, facades, and banners that bring to mind Edward Hopper and William Eggleston seem to have been filmed without any premeditation, capturing the reality of advertising, garages, human relationships, lonely highways, and traces of nature in cities as it is. The debut feature by the avant-garde filmmaker already has all the signature features of his style: a great sense of rhythm, attention to colors and textures, deconstructed narrative, and experiment.
11 x 14
Director James Benning
USA, Canada, 1977, 81 minutes.