Two Bens, Ben Rivers from the UK and US-based Ben Russell, converge on the South Pacific to present a programme combining their experimental work making for a vivid varied film experience.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2008
Two Bens, Ben Rivers from the UK and US-based Ben Russell, converge on Wellington to present this programme which combines experimental work from each of them, making for a lively dialectic – and a vivid film experience. Of the many programmes proposed to us by total strangers this year, this seemed especially intriguing. The work turned out to be just as lively as it sounded in its expressive rewiring of familiar tropes and old technologies – 16mm film – for new worlds. This programme is hosted in association with FPS curators Sam Hamilton and Eve Gordon. — BG
“By way of introduction, I am an American experimental filmmaker and curator whose work has screened in places as far afield as the Museum of Modern Art (solo), the Sundance Film Festival, the London Film Festival, and a punk warehouse in Latvia. I have been on three film tours in the last two years, but in spite of all of this, I am sad to report that my eyes/ears have yet to find their way to your country’s shores... As for Ben Rivers, he is a rather remarkable British artist whose recent film Ah! Liberty was awarded the Tiger Prize at Rotterdam this year; he founded the Brighton Cinematheque in 1996, and his films have been seen in galleries and theatres across the globe.
Taken together, our films operate in the blurry spaces between documentary, ethnography, portraiture, and experimental cinema. Featuring Scottish hermits, ghost cities, Dubai sci-fi, hand-processed kids in masks, and a flicker film featuring Richard Pryor, we've put [together] this program of ten 16mm films to pose the broader question of what it means to live with hope in an increasingly alienated world.” — Ben Russell, email to Sam Hamilton and Michael McDonnell