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. Eventually incorporating as a nonprofit, the newly branded Austin Film Society raised enough money to fly in their first out-of-town filmmaker invitee: James Benning, 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 16 mm 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. This is a documentary portrait of the friendship between both filmmakers, that combines filmed conversations and extensive archival material to explore connections and divergences in their respective approaches to life and cinema. *Catalan première
Gabe Klinger (1982, Brazil) is a Chicago-based writer, film critic, programmer and teacher. He teaches courses in cinema theory at Columbia College and is a visiting lecturer at the University of Illinois in Chicago. Over the years, he has written about cinema for numerous journals such as de Filmkrant, indieWIRE and Undercurrent. He has also worked as a programmer and consulted for various museums and festivals such as IFFR. The documentary Double Play was his directorial debut, Porto (2016) is his first feature-length fiction film.
Filmography: Porto (2016), Double Play: James Benning and Richard Linklater (documental, 2013)