NEWS ALERT: VENICE FILM FESTIVAL AWARD WINNER DOUBLE PLAY: JAMES BENNING AND RICHARD LINKLATER WILL SCREEN AS PART OF THE ONION CITY FILM FESTIVAL Tonight, Sunday, September 8, 2013 7:30pm

by Dave Jennings Sunday, September 8th, 2013 2:07pm

The 70th Venice Film Festival announced Saturday, September 7th that DOUBLE PLAY: JAMES BENNING AND RICHARD LINKLATER a film by Gabe Klinger was awarded the VENEZIA CLASSICI AWARD FOR BEST DOCUMENTARY ON CINEMA. The film will screen Sunday, September 8th at 7:30pm at Chicago’s Music Box Theatre as part of the 25th annual Onion City Film Festival. Local Chicago writer, critic, and now filmmaker Gabe Klinger will be in attendance for the screening.

Tickets are still available and can be purchased at the Music Box Theatre for $12 each. The screening will begin at 7:30 with an introduction and discussion by Gabe Klinger.

Double Play is a lively and fascinating portrait of two unlikely long-time friends, independent maverick Linklater and experimental film legend Benning, filtered through their mutual love of film and sports.

In 1985, former oil rig worker Richard Linklater began a film screening society in Austin, Texas, that aimed to show classic art-house and experimental films to a budding community of cinephiles and filmmakers. Eventually incorporating as a nonprofit, the newly branded Austin Film Society raised enough money to fly in their first out-of-town invitee: Milwaukee native James Benning, visionary filmmaker, who was then based in New York.

Accepting the invitation, Benning met Linklater and immediately the two began to develop a personal and intellectual bond, leading to future screenings and encounters. Starting in the late ’60s, Benning had been creating structural non-narrative films largely on his own, while Linklater had just begun to craft his first 8 and 16mm shorts. The filmmakers have remained close even as their careers have wildly diverged. After the cult success of Slacker (1991), Linklater went on to make big budget narrative films with Hollywood support. Benning, meanwhile, has stayed close to his modest roots and is mainly an unknown figure in mainstream film culture.

Working with legendary producer André S. Labarthe — who co-created the long-running French television series Cinéma, de notre temps (“Cinema of Our Time”) — the critic, teacher, and curator Gabe Klinger set out to document the unique friendship of Benning and Linklater over the course of a few days in Austin and Bastrop, Texas, while the two filmmakers presented Benning’s films at the Austin Film Society, played baseball at Linklater’s home, visited old shooting locations, and talked about their respective filmmaking trajectories over long meals and hikes.

Technical Information:
Production Year: 2013
Countries of Production: USA, France, Portugal
Running Time: 70 mins

*ABOUT ONION CITY: The Music Box Theatre is pleased to host the closing day of the 25th Onion City Experimental Film and Video Festival. One of the premier festivals in the world devoted exclusively to experimental film and video, Onion City will present a rich selection of new work from September 5-8.
Onion City was founded in the 1980’s by the Experimental Film Coalition and run by them for many years. Chicago Filmmakers assumed responsibility for the festival in 2001, and expanded the size and opened it up to video work as well as film. It is generally 8-10 programs over four days and features roughly 60-70 works from around the world. *

The mission of Onion City is to provide local and regional audiences with an opportunity to view a wide variety of contemporary experimental works, focused on artistic excellence but also with an eye towards representing differing styles, forms, and nationalities.

More information can be found here:
Venice Film Festival: http://www.labiennale.org/en/cinema/news/07-09.html
Onion City Film Festival: http://www.chicagofilmmakers.org/onion_fest/onion3_schedule.html

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