Introducing FilmStruck By Peter Becker
John Cassavetes’ almost unbearably intimate Faces is getting even more close-up and personal: experimental filmmaker James Benning has constructed a “remake” of the film, set to premiere at the Austrian Film Museum in Vienna on November 19 as part of the series James Benning: New Work. The artist has explained that this is a reconstruction of the 1968 film that, in a literal interpretation of the title, uses exclusively shots of single faces. Benning’s other strategies: each actor appears for the same amount of screen time he or she did in Cassavetes’ film, and each scene is the same length as it was there. The Milwaukee native is known for such durational works as RR and 13 Lakes, which are composed entirely of shots of trains and lakes, respectively; this foray into the use of found footage is unusual for him.