photo: Michael Ackerman
Since the early 1980s, New York-based media artist Jem Cohen has made impressionistic films and videos inspired by the cities in which he lives or the places he visits. His short-form work, largely supported through grants, led him to recognition on the art-film circuit and the opportunity to work with R.E.M. on its video projects. Filmmaker Peter Sillen's work includes the place-based documentary Grand Lunch, about New York's Grand Luncheonette on 42nd Street, and a film biography of legendary musician Vic Chesnutt. Despite their common inspirations, the two filmmakers had never collaborated until Benjamin Smoke--their feature-length documentary that premieres at the Walker this month. In conjunction with the debut screening, this series revisits each artist's earlier exploratory solo work. Unless otherwise noted, screenings take place in the Lecture Room.