Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Notes from a Jon Jost screening

Long before I became a DIY filmmaker, around 1990-91, I checked out a book by Rick Schmidt called Feature Filmmaking At Used Car Prices from the Gaithersburg, MD library. In it was a mention of one Jon Jost - super independent & self-reliant filmmaker. And of course by the time I first read about Jost he had been making real indie/DIY movies for probably longer than I had been alive. So, after all this time, it is great to hear that Jost is still going strong; selling lots of DVDs at well attended screenings full of passionate audience members and tackling complicated and important topics with his movies (most recently Homecoming, and La Lunga Ombra - read about both at this LA Weekly article). Read about the experience of attending a recent Jost screening at Jerry Lentz's blog.

Here is a sample from the post:

"Jon Jost was everything I expected and more. He looks like a Social Studies teacher I had, but acts like the Wood Shop teacher we all loved because he wasn't afraid to tell us about how stupid the Principal and Teachers Staff was and he showed us how to make bongs and potato canons.

I was moved by the 9-11 story of three Italian women unable to deal with their feelings and unable to explain it all away with talk. A heated debate broke out in the Q&A after the film. I was still a little numb thinking of my own 9-11 traumas and by the shocking faces of death ending and the call for the impeachment of Bush and Cheney, so my lil' "Golly gee, Mister Jost, who influenced you as a filmmaker?" seemed so stupid as more important questions were asked as political anger erupted in audience with members raising their voices at each other."

I think my video store probably has All The Vermeers In New York, a Jost film that I have been wanting to check out for over a decade. Will look for it tomorrow. The fact that he was able to do many of the key creative tasks on that film was one of the reasons that made me want to try doing the same on my movies (i saw the box for Vermeers at a video store in dc & read the credits on it a long time ago, before I shot my first feature). Looking forward to seeing Vermeers & other, more recent, Jost movies.

Thanks GreenCine Daily for the link.

- Sujewa

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