Come October I’ll be leaving Europe after nearly two years, returning to USA for a long and perhaps final American sojourn. As it’ll be for 7 months or so, and dealing with the mundane stuff of peddling DVDs etc. will be too much hassle, I’ve decided to get all my work up on-line, VOD. Towards that end I’ll be posting in the coming month, pages on the films, in chronological order. Including some thoughts, information, reviews of others, and where to go for a VOD order.
A very tentative itinerary, commencing Oct 19 and finishing up May 2018
Meantime my itinerary in USA will commence on West Coast in late October, heading on a zig-zag path from Seattle to Redding Ca. (to grab my van), to Butte and Missoula in Montana, then back to Seattle area, drifting down coast through San Francisco, LA, and then east through Arizona, New Mexico and on to East Coast by April. Fixed places for screenings and such at present includes So Cal, LA, Phoenix, Austin, Shreveport, Lincoln NE, Chicago, Wash DC, Boston with others shaping up along the way. If you would be interested in an in-person screening, Q&A, talk, classroom presentation, workshop or perhaps just putting me up a night, contact me by placing a note here.
16mm color/snd 1973-4, 110 mins.
Jon Jost, producer, writer, director, cinematographer, editor
Shown at the Edinburgh Film Festival, 1975.
In the collections of MoMA, Freunde der Deutschen Kinemathek (FdK), British Film Institute (BFI), Australian Film Institute, Portuguese Film Archive
Broadcast by UK’s Channel Four, 1981
Speaking Directly is an essay-film making for a kind of State of the Nation address, from the perspective of someone other than the President of the United States, circa 1972-4. This film addresses both the political and cultural situation of the US at the height of the Viet Nam war, Watergate and its aftermath, and likewise addresses the personal life, in this context, of the filmmaker, at that time thirty years of age, recently out of two plus years in Federal prison for refusal to accept military service.
“I can think of no other film like it. As a radical critique of American in the early 70’s it is as essential a document, in a way, as the collectively made Winter Soldier… although the experiences it bears witness to are distinctly different (Jost was imprisoned in Federal custody from March 1965 through June 1967 for draft resistance.)”
Jonathan Rosenbaum, Film Comment
“Far and away the most inspired feature by the tenacious US independent Jon Jost, Speaking Directly is a reflexive film about Jost’s attempt to make a reflexive film during the Vietnam War. Despite its importance, the movie has surfaced here only rarely during the decade since it was made.”
Jim Hoberman, Village Voice
“In the history of the American avant-garde, Speaking Directly stands as a remarkable achievement: between the currents of pure cinema and “committed” documentary-fiction, it asserts a deliberate primitivism, a return to the ideological roots of American radicalism. As such, it also bears comparison with Godard’s Le Gai Savoir, another discourse on method which refuses to take for granted what we think we know.”
Ian Christie, Sight and Sound
To see this film go to my Vimeo VOD page. Comments, nice or not, welcomed.