Animals Moving to the Sound of Drums & Other Films by Jonathan Schwartz

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Jonathan Schwartz is an American experimental filmmaker who has been making poetic non-fiction 16mm films for over a decade. In both his travel films and his more diaristic work he draws influence from certain traditional approaches to observational filmmaking as well as from mentors Saul Levine and Mark LaPore. The soundtracks to his films are stitched together from rich textural field recordings and subdued synch-sound that slides above the images. In Den of Tigers, filmed in Calcutta, India, the clang and hum of an outdoor marketplace gives way to a quick jam of tablas and chengilas, or a man’s voice explaining that perhaps “…where you are sitting right now, it might have been the den of a tiger.” But what we see are haircuts performed on the side-walk, books stacked floor-to-ceiling, eggs boiling in a broad black pan. The perceptual experience is condensed by layering images and sound from different moments, but in the very same way it is expanded and a third space created through the happy montage. Where one moment in Nothing is Over Nothing an open door is abruptly closed by a disembodied hand, in another the filmmaker himself is smiling into the camera and offering flowers; perhaps it is an unspoken reconciliation between the intimacy of shared personal experience and the slight melancholy of being in a foreign place. In other works, like his 33 1/3 series of in-camera edited films, the aural and visual attention paid to color, shape, and texture is more explicit. What remains familiar throughout is the lyrical sense to editing and the opaque layering of sound and image. Based in Brattleboro, Vermont, Jonathan joins us in Portland for a two-night survey of his films and discussion of his practices.

Programme:

Tuesday, February 25th, 19:30h
- Nothing is Over Nothing (Jonathan Schwartz, USA, 2008, 16mm, color, sound, 16 min.)
- For Them Ending (Jonathan Schwartz, USA, 2005, 16mm, color, sound, 2.5 min., (from 331/3 A))
- For a Winter (Jonathan Schwartz, USA, 2007, 16mm, color, sound, 3 min.)
- Between Gold (Jonathan Schwartz, USA, 2011, 16mm, color, sound, 11 min.)
- Animals Moving to the Sound of Drums (Jonathan Schwartz, USA, 2013, 16mm, color, sound, 7.5 min.)
- Bat El Drinking Water and Other Signs (Jonathan Schwartz, USA, 2013, 16mm, color, sound, 10 min.)
- If The War Continues (Jonathan Schwartz, USA, 2012, 16mm, color, sound, 5 min.)
- New Year Sun (Jonathan Schwartz, USA, 2010, 16mm, color, sound, 3 min.)

 Wednesday, February 26th, 19:30h
- Den of Tigers (Jonathan Schwartz, USA, 2002, 16mm, color, sound, 18 min.)
- A Logic Sore (Jonathan Schwartz, USA, 2006, 16mm, color, sound, 3 min.)
- Happy Birthday (Jonathan Schwartz, USA, 2010, 16mm, color, sound, 10 min.)
- In A Year with 13 Deaths (Jonathan Schwartz, USA, 2008, 16mm, color, sound, 3 min.)
- Animals Moving to the Sound of Drums (Jonathan Schwartz, USA, 2013, 16mm, color, sound, 7.5 min.)
- A Preface to Red (Jonathan Schwartz, USA, 2011, 16mm, color, sound, 6 min.)
- Warm Spots (Jonathan Schwartz, USA, 2010, 16mm, color, silen, 3 min.)

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014 - 19:30
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 - 19:30
  • 1914 SW Park Ave
    Portland State University
    97201   Portland, Oregon
    United States
    45° 30' 37.9224" N, 122° 41' 6.306" W