Archive of films Stemple Pass / Stemple Pass
2012, 121 min
A garden shed, standing alone. Four static shots, each taken from the same angle and lasting thirty minutes: spring, autumn, winter and summer. Birdsong, flies buzzing, a hill swathed in mist and haze, rain, snow and the rising sun. This contemplative film places great demands on the viewer and, at the request of the director, is screened in its original language without Czech subtitles.
A garden shed stands alone in the vicinity of a group of trees; beyond it extends a forest so dense that it almost veils the peak of the nearby mountain. Four static shots, each taken from the same angle and lasting thirty minutes: spring, autumn, winter and summer. Birdsong, flies buzzing, a hill swathed in mist, rain, snow, and then the dawn. The viewer’s meditative and contemplative experience is periodically interrupted by a monotone voice reading extracts from the diaries of the notorious Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, a terrorist who campaigned against modern technology. This two-hour film places great demands on viewers, yet if they surrender to it and allow themselves to be swept along by the current of associations and contrasts that evolve into feelings of outrage, anger and disgust – but also connection and compassion – they will be rewarded with a pure experience of the integrity of nature and of the unchanging yet always remarkable cycle of life. At the request of the director, this film, shown at this year’s Berlin IFF, will be screened without Czech subtitles.
About the director
James Benning (b. 1942, Milwaukee, Wisconsin) is one of the most original directors of experimental film. He studied mathematics while on a baseball scholarship. He taught the children of migrant workers in Colorado to read and write. He later helped start a commodities food programme that fed the poor in the Missouri Ozarks. He taught film at university for four years and, in 1980, he moved to Lower Manhattan and began making films with financial aid from German television. After eight years in New York he moved to Val Verde in California, where he currently teaches film and video at California Institute of the Arts. His films are regularly screened in Berlin’s Forum section: 13 Lakes (2004), Twenty Cigarettes (2011) and also his latest film Stemple Pass.
Val Verde, CA, , Los Angeles
United States of America
Fax: +1 661 253 7824
About the film
Color, HD CAM
|Dir. of Photography:||James Benning|