James Benning

James Benning: The Second Cabin
Stemple Pass 

“Rigorously structured yet wonderfully graceful films...extended meditations on the American landscape and its social and environmental histories.” —Harvard Film Archive

World premiere
Jack H. Skirball Series

(USA, 121 mins, video)

USA, 2012, 121 mins., video. Composed of four static shots of the same landscape, each taken from the same angle but during different seasons, Stemple Pass is the last installment in a series of films by James Benning—following Two Cabins (2011) and Nightfall (2011)—made in relation to cabins he built in the Sierra Nevada. His two cabins are replicas: one of the retreat described by Henry David Thoreau in walden and the other of the hideout of Ted Kaczynski, the notorious Unabomber, where he fabricated explosive devices from the early 1970s to 1995. The Kaczynski cabin is seen at a distance, with smoke from the chimney indicating an unseen human presence; on the soundtrack, in between moments of pregnant silence (inhabited by natural sounds), Benning’s voice can be heard struggling with Kaczynski’s texts— including a very disturbing diary.

In person: James Benning

Curated by Steve Anker and Bérénice Reynaud.

Funded in part with generous support from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences


Associated Images: 

MON 10/1
8:30 pm

G - General Audience

M - REDCAT Members

ST - Students

CA - CalArts Students/Faculty/Staff