Jonathan Schwartz: Animals Moving to the Sound of Drums
Presented in association with the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival
Filmmaker Jonathan Schwartz works in the traditions of the greatest of experimental cinema’s anthropological poets—among them Baillie, LaPore, Levine and Strand. His films— always complex, never resolved—blend travel journal and personal reverie and sing with observational grace while presenting intimate, at times troubled, portraits of friends and family in the context of an infinitely complex and conflicted global community. They embody exploration and introspection, caress and confront the world, and masterfully fuse color, light, gesture and sound into rich and concise form. (Steve Polta)
Possible ways that a familiar image or sound or movement or moment seems both recognizable and necessary. A season for now with winter frost and body temperature rising against the quiet quiet of snow. It’s not too hard to buy a plane ticket and stand amongst strangers with comfort, with the sounds in your chest increasing beats. Smile and acknowledge a certain kind of privilege, a kind that conjures thoughts of others who move through this or that space. Move through the space. And point it back to your own home—I think it is my home or at least it sounds that way when described to others who don’t live there. The animals move and the flowers return in a season that follows. The warmer sun can bring lust or longing—still negotiating a difference but will welcome them both—write something down, the longer days propose to be documented but try to simplify, especially when the descriptions are jumbled. Or at least think about heading north and looking back down from this small mountain. The sky grows from here and I thought of you as I squinted towards the sun. I am sorry for not telling you sooner, apologize for something, maybe for waiting all this time. Or a conversation around personal fragments and external reverberations. (Jonathan Schwartz)
Tonight’s program will present a spectrum of 16mm works—all completed in the last decade—from this prolific filmmaker including, If the War Continues, Bat El Drinking Water and Other Signs, Between Gold, Animals Moving to the Sound of Drums, (an aging process) and the “two-sided” musical series 33 1/3, including For Them Ending, For a Winter, The Wedding Present, 90 Years, A Logic Sore, New Year Sun, In a Year with 13 Deaths, Sunbeam Hunter,Wash + Shave, Copper Green and Warm Spots.