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May 17-21, 2006

Jon Jost: Digital Works

Independent filmmaker and digital video auteur Jon Jost presents his work exploring the creative and technical aspects of those qualities specific to digital video as an artistic medium.  Jost, the first recipient of the John Cassavetes Award for Lifetime Achievement as an Independent Filmmaker, has been making award-winning and challenging films since 1963.  After shooting five feature films in 35mm, nine features on 16mm and numerous short pieces on film, Jost "deliberately" and "willfully" turned to digital video in 1996 upon discovering the unique possibilities of this new medium.

This program is presented in collaboration with Boston University's Summer Term and Department of Film and Television which will sponsor a seven day digital video workshop featuring Jon Jost from May 16-22.  For more information about the workshop, please visit www.bu.edu/summer. Film descriptions reprinted from the International Film Festival Rotterdam.


May 17 (Wednesday) 7 pm


Director Jon Jost in Person

Oui Non

Directed by Jon Jost
France 2003, color, 112 min.

Based on improvisation, Oui Non film documents the creation of an acted story between young actors which becomes more real as they experiment. While the film tells a classic tale about the encounter between a boy and a girl, it also provides radical criticism of traditional narrative forms. The film was shot on location in Paris and pays homage to the myth of Parisian romance, the French Impressionists and French cinema. The result of a confrontation between reality and the false representation of fiction, the film is neither drama nor documentary. Jost has noted that Oui Non represents a very conscious farewell to the filmic medium.

Passages

Directed by Jon Jost
US 2006, color, 60 min.

When Jon Jost began working exclusively with digital video in 1996, the abstract and experimental elements became increasingly important in his work. This experimental piece resembles an enchanting moving painting in which color shifts in fascinating turns. Jost’s work recalls the psychedelic experimentation of Pat O'Neil, Scott Bartlet, the Whitney Brothers, Stan Brakhage, Al Razutis, Peter Rose, Bruce Connor and Kurt Heyl, as well as the more pastoral approach of Peter Hutton and Nathaniel Dorsky. Jost previously experimented with this approach in his early short films Portrait and Repetition and City, as well as in his first features Speaking Directly and Angel City.

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May 21 (Sunday) 7 pm

Homecoming

Directed by Jon Jost
US 2004, color, 104 min.
With Ryan Harper Gray, Kathryn Sannella, Keith Scales

This improvised feature focuses on a family that is deeply affected by the political and economic consequences of 9/11. A couple struggles to make ends meet in a remote coastal Oregon town. Their two sons also face personal adversity: one is unemployed and struggling with revelations about his true identity, the other is serving in the army and has been sent to Iraq. Having lived and worked for more than 10 years outside the United States, Jost returned to record the effects of recent developments on the ordinary population. He reveals the vulnerable underbelly of the society which evokes a melancholic and realistic picture of America.

The Long Shadow (La Lunga Ombra)

Directed by Jon Jost
US/Italy 2006, color, 77 min.
With Simonetta Gianfelici, Eliana Miglio, Agnese Nano

In this improvisational psychological drama crossed with political manifesto, a group of people gather in a beautiful country house for no apparent reason. There is confusion, melancholy and rambling conversations. According to Jost, the film is about the effect of 9/11 on the frame of mind of the European middle classes. Immigration, colonization and Third World apathy become central concerns in this beautifully photographed work The initiative for the film, which Jost claims was shot for fifty euros, was taken by the actress Eliana Miglio who agreed to work without a script.

 

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