Twenty Cigarettes is a game with its own rules and a game with film history: In Benning’s “Screentests” we watch twenty individuals, each of them smoking a cigarette. Some of them are familiar, like Sharon Lockhart. Others we’ve never seen before.
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Benning's most personal film? A lot simpler than Ruhr, but is able go beyond the depths of his landscapes with constantly changing expressions. The real self (or is it face?) can be revealed on camera, but sometimes it can be so fleeting. Everything has its place here, the sequencing and pace feels just right. Interesting to learn that the film came from Benning teaching a class on how to pay attention. Masterpiece.