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Twenty Cigarettes 2011

Celebrated for his minimal, monumental landscape studies, James Benning turns to the intimacy of the portrait in his latest film, TWENTY CIGARETTES. Referencing Warhol’s screen tests, 1930s Hollywood glamour, and the disappearing cigarette break, the film captures 20 of Benning’s friends (including filmmaker Sharon Lockhart, cultural theorist Dick Hebdige, and book editor Janet Jenkins) satiating their smoke cravings. Each shot’s length is determined by the time it takes each subject to smoke a cigarette, and over the course of the film a dynamic range of personalities emerges out of an array of physical characteristics, distinctive settings, and personal relationships to the camera. (Amy Beste and Jessica Bardsley)


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