For the second year now The Viennale has proven itself to be one of the most progressive film festivals in the world, commissioning trailers from some of World Cinema’s greatest filmmakers. Last year I directed readers to the trailer Jean-Luc Godard made for their program, a trailer that was much raved about the world over and has since become a staple of many shorts programs on this years festival circuit.

For the 2009 edition, Vienna recruited structuralist filmmaker James Benning (see above), who’s recent shift from 16mm to video film has been discussion amongst many in the experimental film world, including Benning himself who chronicles his transition in this month’s Cinema Scope (print version only). A man who has always been fascinated, and has certainly shown his dexterity with the materiality of art, one could consider this amazing record of the steel rolling process, shot in the Ruhr area, a kind of homage to material itself.

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