Chris Kennedy

“Jonathan Schwartz: The Skies Can’t Keep Their Secrets.” curated by Jon Davies, August 15, 2012

Jonathan Schwartz: The Skies Can’t Keep Their Secrets
curated by Jon Davies

“I was wondering if sincerity could override irony and flood out some emotions from our past. . . follow the echo, it might disappear into the louds.” —Jonathan Schwartz

“Schwartz’s work [exhibits] a kind of wry fascination with things and a tinkerer’s yearning to take them apart and put them back together again.” —Michael Sicinski

“Jonathan Schwartz is a young American experimental filmmaker who has crafted a body of short, lyrical 16mm films over the past decade. Working with the legacies of anthropological and observational non-fiction cinema, and in the avant-garde tradition of filmmakers like Warren Sonbert and Mark LaPore, Schwartz makes the camera a catalyst for a transformed dynamic between the figure behind the camera and those in front. Turning his camera on the people and places around him (whether in his New England home or on his travels abroad), Schwartz captures jewel-like fragments of gesture, light and colour that he then meticulously assembles alongside sounds collected as field recordings, creating films of great beauty and feeling that seem to vibrate with a total openness to the surrounding world and its denizens.

This programme includes three films made between 2008 and 2011 that exemplify Schwartz’s exacting vision, bookended by his glorious 33 1/3 Series, which are “albums” presented in two parts—an A side and a B side—of vignettes shot on 100-foot rolls of celluloid: “films like songs or marches or eulogies.” The programme concludes with the Canadian premiere of Schwartz’s new film If the War Continues, inspired by a story by Herman Hesse: “and before I could be noticed again and taken to task, I spoke to the tiny blessed star within me, shut off my heartbeat, made my body disappear into the shadow of a bush, and continued my previous voyage without thinking about returning home ever again.” – Jon Davies

33 1/3 Series: Side A dir. Jonathan Schwartz | USA 2005-10 | 14 min. | 16mm
Nothing Is Over Nothing dir. Jonathan Schwartz | uSA 2008 | 16 min. | 16mm
Happy Birthday dir. Jonathan Schwartz | USA 2010 | 10 min. | 16mm
A Preface to Red dir. Jonathan Schwartz | USA 2011 | 6 min. | 16mm
33 1/3 Series: Side B dir. Jonathan Schwartz | USA 2006-10 | 15 min. | 16mm
If the War Continues dir. Jonathan Schwartz | USA 2012 | 5 min. | 16mm

Approx. total running time: 66 min.

Jonathan Schwartz in person.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012 7:00 pm