"In 1977 Benning shot "One Way Boogie Woogie", a onehour film composed of 60 minute-long shots of industrial urban landscapes in his native Milwaukee. For "27 Years Later", he returned to the same locales with the same people in them to record the changes. The individuals, of course, have changed – and a few had died. But except for the occasional new structure and several having been razed, the images are pretty much the same. The most revealing difference between the two films is the difference between the two film stocks: The earlier film has rich hues, whereas the new one has coolly clear realistic coloring, lending it a strongly contemporary feel. Once Benning has set up his camera he never moves it, but his images never seem static. He invites us to appreciate the geometric forms of industrial buildings and other structures. His sense of composition is so acute, it's as if one could feel the tension between forms of the structures framed or bisected by the strong verticals of telephone poles and smokestacks and the horizontal plinths of sidewalks and streets. The presence of human beings also allows him some droll humor. It has been observed that Benning recalls Mondrian's geometric paintings in form, and the urban landscapes of Edward Hopper in tone and content. Sure enough, in the original film, two men amusingly walk by carrying a Mondrian-like painting; in the sequel, a single man carries a Bill Traylor painting of a steer." Kevin Thomas
Format: 16mm, Color
Running time: 121 minuten, 24 frames/sec.