Deutsche Version

Four Corners

Director: James Benning    → show biography   
Country: USA
Year: 1997
Synopsis: In this unusual work, the renowned avant-garde filmmaker James Benning pursues an all-embracing world view. He wants to tackle the story of his country as a whole, in terms of geography as well as history. To do this, he has chosen the four-cornered meeting point between the states of New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and Utah, which has already inspired Jon Jost to make Uncommon Senses. This is a place shaped like a quadrant with four corners, which has been left to the coincidence of politics and geometry. In Four Corners, James Benning places more emphasis on historical breadth than geographical completeness. Images and text complement each other impressively, because there are surprising formal connections between his methods of constructing pictures and telling stories – for example, when he dwells on landscapes with different layers on top of each other while describing the process by which various ethnic groups have displaced each other, thus constructing stories composed of several historical layers. ''In the case of Four Corners, all sorts of interesting stories are being told - in the scrolled titles, in the offscreen narration, in the beautiful landscapes and precious glimpses of everyday life that Benning actually frames, and even in the music. But the most interesting story of all is the one each viewer winds up telling in the course of combining, juxtaposing, and synthesizing all these stories.'' (Jonathan Rosenbaum)
Language: English
Forum participation year: 1998
Forum catalogue PDF: Download

Technical Attributes

Format: 16mm
Rental status: to rent
Version: original language version
Running time (minutes): 79
Color: color
Sound: Optical track
Aspect ratio: 1:1,37
Frames per second: 24
Length in metres: 866
Weight: 3.95
Number of reels: 2