Described by filmmaker and artist James Benning as "a farm field in Oregon on a very special day," L. COHEN is the latest masterwork by this grand figure of the American avant-garde.
"The light came through the window straight from the sun above. And so inside my little room there plunged the rays of love."– Leonard Cohen
Legendary avant-garde filmmaker and visual artist James Benning returns to the Festival with L. COHEN, one of the year's most awe-inspiring and transcendent experiences. Benning has described the landscape as "a function of time" and this fi lm elegantly invites us to savour the relationship. Shot in a barren Oregon field, the film's fixed camera presents us with the deceptively simple: canary-coloured jerry can, twin tires, some rusty barrels, abandoned agricultural machinery, a plain of green grass and overgrown hay, and faint, portentous details in the distance.
Winner of the Grand Prize at this year's Cinéma du Réel festival, L. COHEN is essential at a time when time itself (and time with oneself) seems to elude under a constant barrage of distractions. Regenerative, contemplative, profoundly moving, and as challenging as it is soothing, Benning's minimalist tour de force should be compulsory viewing for fidgety, restless minds. A long-time proponent of "looking and listening," Benning captures the ordinary in nature and reveals the extraordinary within, while paying homage to one of Canada's most beloved artists. L. COHEN is a search for totality, as much as it is a meditation on the beauty and brevity of existence.