A TENuous Convergence at ACMI

May 21, 2021
Ten Skies, Ten Years, Ten Films, Ten Books

Those with a taste for avant-garde cinema from the 2000s are in for a rare treat, as ACMI will be hosting a unique retrospective of films by acclaimed American filmmaker James Benning.

Consisting of the groundbreaking California Trilogy, 13 Lakes and the headline feature Ten Skies, the five-film program has been designed to accompany the launch of the latest entry in the Decadent Edition series of books, aptly titled “Ten Skies”, which delivers a deep dive exploration of Benning’s masterful work by critic and author Erika Balsom.

Balsom herself, a regular contributor to Cinema Scope and author of 2018’s An Oceanic Feeling: Cinema and the Sea, is set to beam in post-screening via zoom to offer a more personal insight into her writing process and her approach in dissecting and decoding Benning’s work.

For those unfamiliar with Decadent Edition books, Ten Skies marks the second entry in the series, which will ultimately be compromised of ten books; one for each year of the 2000s, with specific volumes focusing on a particular milestone of modern cinema for that year.

Balsom’s Ten Skies follows Nick Pinkerton’s study on Goodbye, Dragon Inn (2003) and will be proceeded by essays examining such progressive films as Tales of Cinema (Hong Sangsoo – 2005), The Headless Woman (Lucrecia Martel – 2008) and Inland Empire (David Lynch – 2006).

Billed by publishers Firefly Press as idiosyncratic studies, by some of today’s most compelling cultural critics, [Decadent Editions] are ambitious and insightful, yet playful and inviting.”

Hosted by ACMI and launching Friday, June 4 with Erika Balsom’s special Q&A appearance, Benning’s five-film retrospective will run until June 13, offering a rare and unique masterclass in non-conventional narrative and filmmaking from one of America’s more noteworthy artists.

Pricing and tickets are currently on sale from the AMCI website



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