Onion City Experimental Film and Video Festival
Thursday 5 – Sunday 8 September 2013
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. Aside from the competition programs, there are occasional special presentations of new or old films of note or guest presentations. Screenings take place at Chicago Filmmakers and other venues around mid-June.
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.
The screenings at the Music Box will include two matinee programs (Scott Stark’s mannequin-starring The Realist showing with Phil Solomon’s Grand Theft Auto-derived Empire; and James Benning’s Nightfall) and the Closing Night film: a Special Sneak Preview Screening of Gabe Klinger’s Double Play: James Benning and Richard Linklater (2013, 70 min, DCP), fresh off its World Premiere at the Venice Film Festival. Gabe Klinger will be in person to present this 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. Onion City is a production of Chicago Filmmakers. See the complete schedule at www.chicagofilmmakers.org/onion_fest.
Sunday, September 8th, 2013
- 7:30pm: Double Play: James Benning and Richard Linklater
Sunday, September 8: Music Box Theatre (3733 N. Southport Ave.)
Tickets: $10.00 per show for the 2pm and 4pm shows; $12 for the 7pm Closing Night program
Advance tickets for the Sunday shows at the Music Box Theatre will be available online through Chicago Filmmakers’ ticketing. Details available on the Onion City website.
- Sun 8 Sep 2013, 7:30pm
Special Sneak Preview Screening of Double Play: James Benning and Richard Linklater
Double Play: James Benning and Richard Linklater
directed by Gabe Klinger
Fresh off its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival, Gabe Klinger will be in person to present this 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.