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. | 2004 | Unclassified (All Ages)



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COVID-19 Update

Following the latest advice from the Victorian Government, ACMI will remain temporarily closed. Unfortunately, due to unavoidable circumstances, we are no longer able to screen Ten Skies. A screening of 13 Lakes will instead accompany the book launch for Ten Skies.

Customers with tickets for these dates will be automatically refunded via the card they made the purchase with. If your card has expired, please email ticketdesk.@acmi.net.au to make alternative arrangements. Refunds may take 5-10 days to appear in your account.

We look forward to welcoming you back to ACMI soon. Stay safe.


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.

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


101 mins


Unclassified (All Ages)

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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Water spout in dam - still from Sogobi (2002)

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