James Benning

James Benning (born 1942 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin) is an American filmmaker. He is the son of German immigrants and studied film at the University of Wisconsin–Madison (1975) under the tutelage of David Bordwell. Working as an independent filmmaker, Benning's films focus on a sense of place, and are often built from long, unedited takes. He used to work in Chicago but in recent years has been based on the West Coast. In 2003, Reinhard Wulf made a 90 minute documentary about Benning and his films called James Benning: Circling the Image. In 2007, the Austrian Film Museum published a book of texts on his work. In addition to his film work, Benning has held professorships at Bard College and Northwestern University, and since 1987, he has taught film-making and experimental sound at the California Institute of the Arts. His daughter is experimental filmmaker and musician Sadie Benning.


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