Ben Rivers shorts

Ben Rivers is one of Cinema Scope’s 50 Under 50. I watched his Two Years at Sea, hated it, but then couldn’t stop thinking about it so decided that maybe Cinema Scope had a point.

I Know Where I’m Going (2009)

Single-person episodes separated by driving scenes and barren landscapes with wrecked cars:
– Lumberjack at work, creatively (mysteriously) filmed
– Beekeeper/Geologist discusses man’s overall impact on the planet 100 million years from now (answer: none, but for a very few well-buried relics)
– Red-bearded Jake in his quirky house full of repurposed junk
– Grey-bearded Jake (Williams from Two Years at Sea) in snowy house

Rivers: “A fragmented road trip through Britain on the peripheries. Down empty roads, off in the wilderness, a few lone stragglers.”

From an interview: “If I hadn’t seen [George] Kuchar I may have made the mistake of going to film school.”

This Is My Land (2006)

Primitive looking and sounding, with some Begotten film processing.
Scraps of dialogue, jarring scraps of music.
Halfway through the 15-minute movie, an intermission, then it’s winter.
Ben’s first visit to Jake Williams is also the one where you hear Jake’s voice the most.

Origin of the Species (2008)

“I can’t see the world surviving.”
Darwinist whose face is never seen lives out in the woods (of course he does) discussing (again, in brief snatches) evolution and philosophy.

We The People (2004)

The soundtrack has a lively crowd scene, but we are only shown empty streets, corners and buildings from where these sounds might have sprung.

House (2007)

A cinematography experiment inside a decaying house, with evidence of phantoms – a candle travels by itself, a cellar door opens, a piece of cloth is suspended. Something about the way he shot this and We The People make them look like model miniatures. No sound.