Jon Jost, Independent Film-maker – Introduction

Jon Jost, director of ‘Sure Fire’ (2002) and ‘All the Vermeers in New York’ (2002), began making films in the early 1960s. His films, which he made independently and on low budgets, demonstrate a creative imagination and seriousness of purpose which have earned him an important place in the history of American independent cinema. This series of articles explores the films he made in his first 20 years of film-making.

Jon Jost, Independent Film-maker – 1, 2, 3, Four

Jon Jost’s ‘1, 2, 3, Four’ (1969-70) is another early short from which elements, both thematic and formal, can be traced into the features. It is an essay on political and social problems, constructed as a montage of images, dialogue, printed texts, readings, and action. The arrangement of these elements creates a dialectical process in which points of view are played off against one another both within each scene, and in the juxtaposition of scenes.

Jon Jost, Independent Film-maker – Conclusion and Filmography

‘Slow Moves’ is an anti-love story love story, ‘Stagefright’ is an anti-theatre theatrical piece, ‘Chameleon’ is an anti-art art-movie, ‘Angel City’ is an anti-detective story detective story, and ‘Speaking Directly’ is an anti-feature-film feature-film. It may appear that Jost, and he has been accused of this, is an anti-film film-maker. Jean Luc Godard has come to Jost’s defence on this point, saying: “He is not against the movies, he makes them move,” the point being that it is only the conventions Jost is attacking, not cinema itself, his aim being not to destroy, but to re-invent.

Jon Jost, Independent Film-maker – Flower

Jon Jost’s short film ‘Flower’ (1970) explores the relationship between language and meaning. A direct parallel is drawn between film language and verbal language. The film opens with a quote, in the form of a printed text, from Mallarmé saying that when he reads the word ‘flower’ he experiences a sense of beauty. But there is no flower actually there, only the word, and the associated idea of a flower. Therefore, he concludes, the word ‘flower’ denotes a beautiful idea.

Jon Jost, Independent Film-maker – Angel City

Jon Jost’s ‘Angel City’ (1976) appears as a transitional work in that while it is held loosely together by a thread of narrative, it makes many of its overtly political points through digressions, and sequences which deliberately disrupt the narrative. The film is a simultaneous attack on capitalism and Hollywood films, two evils which, in Jost’s view, go hand in hand; the latter helping to spread the corrupt and dehumanising values of the former throughout society.

Jon Jost, Independent Film-maker – Stagefright

‘Stagefright’ (1981) is very different from the other early Jost films. The reason for the difference is two-fold: firstly it was originally made (in shorter form) for German TV, and Jost has adapted his methods to suit the medium, and secondly the subject under examination, the theatre, is examined in close-up, rather than, as in the pervious two films, through its effect on society at large.

Jon Jost, Independent Film-maker – Last Chants for a Slow Dance

Tom of ‘Last Chants for a Slow Dance’ (1977) is one of those statistics; married, father of two, on the verge of divorce, and unemployed. He is also a desperate human being, unable to cope with marriage, fatherhood, or steady employment, and, in the eyes of society, a misfit.

Andrei Tarkovsky – Introduction and Filmography

The Russian film director Andrei Tarkovsky was born in 1932, and attended schools of music and art before enrolling in the Moscow Film School in 1954. His first feature film, his diploma submission at the school, was ‘The Steamroller and The Violin’ (1961), and his next film, ‘Ivan’s Childhood’ (1962) established his international reputation when it won the Golden Lion at Venice. His place as one of the most important film directors of recent times was consolidated by ‘Andrei Roublev’ (1966), ‘Solaris’ (1972), ‘The Mirror’ (1974), and ‘Stalker’ (1979).

A Look At What Makes A Blockbuster Movie

A Blockbuster movie cannot be mistaken. They really have something special, which is hard to say about other films that we are saddled with. A vast number of movie productions simply cannot be taken seriously, unless they show us something really meaningful. Nowadays that is so hard to find. People get bored with the stupid filmmakers, who are successfully trying to produce as silly movies as they actually can.

Borat in Toronto and More

The Toronto International Film Festival was slated to be very serious and political this year. That’s because of the many features that were related to terrorism or politics in some way. The anticipation of what was to be seen in Toronto was little more than solemn features about sober topics.

Starwars is the Ultimate Movie

Starwars continues to be a huge success. See how it has achieved it’s stunning growth.

Why is America afraid of strong African-American Women?

Is Dancing with the Stars really about who is the BEST DANCER? Was Vivica’s exit from the show more about attitude and personality than it was about her dancing skills?