May 26, 2011 / Filmwell
Kenji Koiso has his summer vacation all planned out: he and his friend Sakuma have …
April 1, 2009
In the most recent online issue of Artforum, P. Adams Sitney has put together an excellent introduction to a slice of American avant-garde cinema in the guise of reviewing Facet’s new release of Lawrence Jordan’s films. Mixed in with all the interesting tidbits of biographical info on Jordan, Brakhage, Deren, and others are comments about the effect religion and poetry had on Jordan’s filmmaking. Even if you haven’t had the opportunity to watch anything by Jordan, the article is worth reading.
On Sophie’s Place:
“In thus correlating some of the backdrops to critical moments in the filmmaker’s history, I am tempted to read certain other series, which seem to derive from Old Testament illustrations of the valley of prophetic vision and the Exodus, as allusions to Jordan’s life among the artists of the Bay Area. Particularly, the exterior view of a mosque, followed by a visionary city, coming soon after the Hagia Sophia interior, fits the biographical pattern of the filmmaker’s first move to San Francisco. Eventually we see the interior of a tent, located within a temporary Exodus tabernacle, in which two priests preside over a magical altar. If I might pursue the admittedly tenuous logic of this hermeneutic path, I would identify these priests as formative influences on the spiritual growth of the autobiographical subject, perhaps even fixing the pair as Robert Duncan and Jess. The emblematic signs of their influence are the mesmerizing stares with which they fix the ever-transforming male representatives of the filmmaker.”