Dark clouds in a blue sky. Still from 'Ten Skies' (2004)
Dark clouds in a blue sky. Still from 'Ten Skies' (2004)
Ten Skies (2004)

ACMI & Fireflies Press present

Ten Skies – Book Launch & Screening

James Benning | U.S.A. | | Unclassified (All Ages)

Join us as we launch Erika Balsom's new book on Ten Skies, the second title in the Decadent Editions.

A mesmerizing study in time, light, movement, and moisture.

Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader

In 2021, independent publishing house Fireflies Press launched a new series, the Decadent Editions: 10 books about 10 films, one for every year of the 2000s. Written by some of today’s most compelling cultural critics, each book is a deep dive into a single film. These idiosyncratic studies are ambitious and insightful, yet playful and inviting.

ACMI is proud to be a publishing partner on the Decadent Editions and will continue the series with Erika Balsom's book on Ten Skies (James Benning, 2004) with a screening of the film, accompanying talks program and book launch in the ACMI Shop. Erika Balsom's book on Ten Skies will be available to purchase on the night from the ACMI Shop.

Please note that your ticket to the Fri 4 Jun event screening includes a drink on arrival in the ACMI Shop plus admission to the screening.

About Ten Skies (2004)

Ten shots of the sky, each ten minutes long. That’s all it takes to describe James Benning’s film from 2004. And yet, this simplicity conceals a rich and suggestive masterpiece, one of the great works of American experimental cinema.

Format: 16mm
Source: Arsenal
Courtesy: Arsenal
Duration: 101 min

Learn more

READ: Testing Your Patience: An Interview with James Benning
Scott MacDonald, Artforum, Sep 2007

READ: The Sight & Sound interview: James Benning
Nick Bradshaw, BFI, Jun 2018

READ: Talking About Seeing: A Conversation with James Benning
Danni Zuvela, Senses of Cinema, Oct 2004


Fri 4 Jun 2021


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101 mins


Unclassified (All Ages)


6pm: Book launch (ACMI Shop, Ground Floor)
7pm: Screening (Cinema 2, Level 2)


Cinema 2, Level 2
ACMI, Fed Square

How to get there


Get discounted tickets, invitations to exclusive previews, discounts in our shop and special food and beverage offers.

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About the book

Ten Skies (softcover) by Erika Balsom – $21

"James Benning’s movies show me how to look, and confirm the way I want to see. To regard a sky after seeing Ten Skies is to be versed in the absorbing drama of subtle events. Erika Balsom, clearly a kindred spirit in her regard for these movies, has not just studied Ten Skies, unfolding hidden intricacies of meaning, but apprehends it on instinct, too. The results are precise and also wise." – Rachel Kushner

About the author

Erika Balsom is a scholar and critic based in London. She is Reader in Film Studies at King’s College London, a frequent contributor to Artforum, 4Columns and Cinema Scope, and the author of four books, including An Oceanic Feeling: Cinema and the Sea (2018) and After Uniqueness: A History of Film and Video Art in Circulation (2017).

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Five films by James Benning

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Multi-session passes

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Full $45
Concession $39
ACMI Member $33

5-session passes
Full $70
Concession $60
ACMI Member $55

Water spout in dam - still from Sogobi (2002)

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