One Way Boogie Woogie

Director: James Benning
Year Released: 1977
Rating: 3.0

Structuralist Benning strings together sixty one-minute shots of locations around his beloved hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with a strong emphasis on the world of industry (and largely unseen workers). Benning's films have always demanded a strong attention span (and commitment) on behalf of his audience, and this one is no exception, although he's certainly fond of visual gags (there's a clever nod to Battleship Potemkin) and scattering pop songs (including Leonard Cohen) over select moments, plus his compositions are exemplary. One can sense a kind of affection for blue collar America and its ultimate fate and during the viewing I was reminded more than once of the photographs of Robert Frank (a high compliment, indeed).