Structuring Strategies; Jon Jost Presents his recent feature film 'Coming to Terms'
CalArts, Bijou Theater
FILM/VIDEO: "Among the most devoted and prolific independent filmmakers of this era, Jost was self-taught and made his first full-length film in 1974. Since then he has completed more than thirty features (several of which received theatrical release) in addition to at least as many shorts. Jost's films include dramatic narratives, documentaries, and diaristic investigations, and many of his films blur the lines between categories. His subjects range from the political and cultural critique to more formal explorations, and he is always unpredictable and open to new artistic possibilities.
Born in Chicago to a military family, Jon Jost grew up in Georgia, Kansas, Japan, Italy, Germany and Virginia. He began making films in January 1963 after being expelled from college. In 1965 he was imprisoned by US authorities for 2 years 3 months for refusal to cooperate with theSelective Service system. On his release he became engaged in anti-war activities, working for the draft resistance, Chicago Mobilization, and helped found the Chicago branch of what became Newsreel, the New Left Film production and distribution group." –Aaron Gerow, An interview with Jon Jost
COMING TO TERMS:
“This is a very serious film of a fragmented family called by the father to assist him in committing suicide. Formally it is in no way a conventional film.” – Jon Jost
JON JOST: Born in Chicago on May 16, 1943, of a military family, Jon Jost grew up in Georgia, Kansas, Japan, Italy, Germany and Virginia. Expelled from college in 1962, he began making 16mm films in January, 1963. He is self-taught. He has made some 20+ shorts and 14 feature length films on celluloid, 16 and 35mm, all of which he has conceived, written, photographed, directed and edited; most of these he also produced. Since 1996 he has worked only in Digital Video (DV), completing 18 full-length works and many shorts, as well as one large-scale 7 screen installation work, TRINITY, presented at the ZKM, Karlsruhe Germany, in this medium as of 2009.
After 10 years of making short works, Jost made his first feature-length film in 1974, and since devoted himself to the making of a wide-ranging series of films, largely focused on specifically American topics, in forms ranging from essays (Speaking Directly, Stagefright, Plain Talk & Common Sense), to fictions (Last Chants for a Slow Dance; Bell Diamond) to documentaries (Nas Correntes De Luz da Ria Formosa, London Brief) and hybrids such as Angel City. In Digital Video his work shifted to include highly abstract works such as Passages, Trinity and Dissonance.
His work has shown widely in museums, film archives, and festivals since 1975. Most recently his films were accorded full retrospectives at the Cinemateca Portuguese (1996) and the Filmoteca Español (1997), and in 2006 the Buenos Aires Independent Festival accorded his work a partial retrospective. He has been regularly invited to major film festivals with new work, including Venice (2004), Rotterdam (2008), Berlin, Toronto, London, Edinburgh, Sydney, Yamagata, Jeonju, Singapore, and many others.
Jost's recent work, HOMECOMING, was shown at the Venice Film Festival, Cinema Digitale section, in Sept. 2004, and then was shown at the Rotterdam festival in January 2005, as well as being in competition at Jeon Ju, Korea. Since 2006 his works, PASSAGES, LA LUNGA OMBRA, and OVER HERE were screened at the Rotterdam Festival, and subsequently at Jeon Ju, Warsaw, Frankfurt, Split, San Jose Maverick and other festivals. His most recent film, Imagens de uma cidade perdida was shown in Rotterdam and in competition at the Yamagata documentary festival in Japan in Oct 2011.
Feature length filmography:
• Speaking Directly (1973)
• Angel City (1976)
• Last Chants for a Slow Dance (1977)
• Chameleon (1978)
• Stagefright (1981)
• Slow Moves (1983)
• Bell Diamond (1986)
• Plain Talk & Common Sense (1987)
• Rembrandt Laughing (1988)
• Sure Fire (1990)
• All the Vermeers in New York (1990)
• Frameup (1993)
• The Bed You Sleep In (1993)
• Uno a me, uno a te e uno a Raffaele (1994)
• London Brief (1997)
• Nas Correntes de Luz da Ria Formosa (1999)
• 6 Easy Pieces (2000)
• Roma - un ritratto improvvisario (2000)
• Muri romani (2000)
• Oui Non (2002)
• Vergessensfuge (2004)
• Homecoming (2004)
• Chhattisgahr Sketches (2004)
• Passages (2004)
• La Lunga Ombra (2005)
• Over Here (2007)
• Parable (2008)
• Rant (2008)
• Swimming in Nebraska (2010)
• Imagens de uma cidade perdida (2011)
• Dissonance (2011)
• Trinity (2011)
• The Narcissus Flowers of Katsura-shima