NYC Coming Up


This coming weekend, on Jan 18, 2015, at the Museum of the Moving Image, Coming to Terms will screen at 2 p.m. in the First Look festival there.   Here’s a paragraph review from a longer item printed in Art Forum magazine, covering the films shown there.  Written by Tony Pipolo.


A quite different focus on death is found in Jon Jost’s Coming to Terms, as a terminally ill old man (played by the filmmaker James Benning) asks the largely estranged members of his family, two ex-wives and two sons—one gay and one a Jesus freak—to help him die before unbearable pain sets in. They do so and debate the consequences afterward. Jost, who has conjured a number of unusual visions of Americana since the 1970s, manifests the same straightforward, unadorned cinematic style—static shots, long takes, no camera movement—alternating impressive vistas of the Montana landscape with intimate, though dissociatively framed and edited, encounters between mothers and sons. All of this is characterized by Jost’s predilection for deafening silence that allows the natural world to speak and suits the subject all too well. However stark and somber the film seems, one discerns an underlying bleak wit in the filmmaker’s farewell to a world he no longer recognizes and seems somewhat relieved to depart. As Benning, close in age and cut from the same cloth as his director, dissolves into the landscape near the end, a doubly resonant experience comes to a close in this paean to the American pastoral filmmaking tradition.


And here is another review, drawn from a screening in Cleveland last year.



The last six weeks have seen me in Europe, initially in Italy and then in Spain.  Very mixed journey.

In Rome I shot and edited a short film, Inside, for my friend Eliana Miglio, which is more or less done now, though it needs now a re-do owing to later incident.  Visited with friend Christian Ravaglioli in Piangipane, near Ravenna, where recorded some songs, and got stuff with local cuisine.  And had a short visit with another friend, Pina, in Bologna before moving along to Cassina Amata, near Milano, to visit again with the Rebosio family who took me in in 1962 when I was hitch-hiking.  A wonderful time, as last year.

And then flew to Barcelona on a misguided save-money jaunt which ended with a robbery (large scale pick-pocketing is more like it) in the Barcelona train station.  A back-pack was whisked away literally in front of me, while I stood asking about a croissant at coffee bar at 6:00 a.m.  I’d slept on the airport floor and was obviously a bit groggy and the thief saw his white-haired mark.  In order not to forget, I’d consolidated everything really valuable – NEX camera, very good lenses, computer and a wad of cash into the bag.  A very bad hit, 6 or 7 thousand bucks worth.  Partially now recouped from a funding thing set up by Austin Saget of Kennewick WA and Joseph Garza Medina of Corpus Christi TX: Thanks guys – I was skeptical as you know, but it’s gone a good way further than I imagined it might, and it is very helpful.

Now in Nijar Spain, near Almeria, where there’s an exhibit being mounted of watercolors, pastels, videos and films.  Back to the USA in 3 days.




 (Portraits not quite finished of several people from here in Nijar)




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