James Benning U.S. 2011 99m
color sound HD

Filmmaker in person!

Twenty Cigarettes is a game with its own rules and a game with film history In Benning s Screentests we watch 20 individuals, each of them smoking a cigarette. Some of them are familiar, like Sharon Lockhart. Others we ve never seen before. But they all give us time to read their body language. We embark on a journey across foreign facial landscapes, through long inhalations into the inside of their bodies, and into the invisible world of their thoughts as we imagine them to be. James Benning is well known as the structuralist and documentarist who introduced the dimension of cinematic time into the landscape. One take lasts exactly three minutes, or the time it takes for a train to pass through a Californian landscape. This time round it s people who determine the length of the takes by smoking a cigarette. They stand among walls and shelves and only their movements, which they try to control, and the movement of the smoke, which they can t control, stipulate the coordinates of the filmic space. Benning makes a screenplay out of this and surprises us by once again creating something entirely new out of little more than smoke. Stefanie Schulte Strathaus

Venue New York Film Festival

Commodity money – wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Commodity money is to be distinguished from representative money which is a certificate or token which can be exchanged for the underlying commodity, but only as the trade is good for that source and the product. A key feature of commodity money is that the value is directly perceived by the users of this money, who recognize the utility or beauty of the tokens as they would recognize the goods themselves. That is, the effect of holding a token for a barrel of oil must be the same economically as actually having the barrel at hand. This thinking guides the modern commodity markets, although they use a sophisticated range of financial instruments that are more than one to one representations of units of a given type of commodity.

Since payment by commodity generally provides a useful good, commodity money is similar to barter, but is distinguishable from it in having a single recognized unit of exchange. (Radford 1945) described the establishment of commodity money in P.O.W camps.

People left their surplus clothing, toilet requisites and food there until they were sold at a fixed price in cigarettes. Only sales in cigarettes were accepted there was no barter … Of food, the shop carried small stocks for convenience the capital was provided by a loan from the bulk store of Red Cross cigarettes and repaid by a small commission taken on the first transactions. Thus the cigarette attained its fullest currency status, and the market was almost completely unified. 2

Radford documented the way that this ‘cigarette currency’ was subject to Gresham’s law, inflation, and especially deflation.

In another example, in U.S. prisons, after smoking was banned in about 2003, commodity money has switched in many places to cans or foil pouches of mackerel fish fillets, which have a fairly standard cost and are easy to store. These may be exchanged for many services in prisons where personal possession of currency is prohibited. 3

Metals edit