11 x 14
A man and a woman stand before an embankment. She’s crying, he’s smoking. A train crosses from left to right in the top third of the image; in the bottom third, a VW enters the frame from the right and comes to a halt. A man gets out of the car with a child in his arms and walks forward to the left until he’s no longer in frame. The woman and the man embrace and leave in opposite directions. The shot is over. More of them follow: the VW reappears, the people too. Two women lying on a bed move in slow motion, music can be heard; it will later return later as smoke rises from a chimney. On the wall, there hangs the photograph of a house that will later become another frame in the film.
11 x 14, the first feature-length film by James Benning, is film theory in images. It is composed of single shots, each of which individually narrate something and hold the film together via recurring elements. What is narrated is pure form. (Stefanie Schulte Strathaus)
11 X 14 was digitally restored in 2017 by the Austrian Film Museum in partnership with Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art.