Filmmaker Jon Jost will screen his film "All the Vermeers in New York" in the Weitz Center Cinema Monday, April 16th, at 8:00 p.m. Jost will give an "Orange Couch" talk the following day at noon in Weitz 138.
Born in Chicago on May 16, 1943, of a military family, Jon Jost grew up in Georgia, Kansas, Japan, Italy, Germany and Virginia. Expelled from college in 1962, he began making 16mm films in 1963. Jost is self-taught, and has made some 40 shorts and 33 feature films, largely focused on specifically American topics, in forms ranging from essay, fiction, documentary, hybrid, and abstract video. Since 1996 he has worked in Digital Video (DV), including the large-scale 7 screen installation work, Trinity presented at the ZKM, Karlsruhe Germany.
Jost’s work has shown widely in museums, film archives, and festivals since 1975. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, presented a complete retrospective of Jost's work in 1991, which traveled internationally. Recent retrospectives include screenings at the 2010 Kolkata Film Festival, the Jerusalem Cinemateque in 2011, and the Athénée Français, Tokyo in 2012. Jost has received many grants, among them a Guggenheim Fellowship, several National Endowment for the Arts Production Grants, and a DAAD Berlin Residency.
In July 2011 Jost retired from the Graduate Department of Communications and Arts at Yonsei University, South Korea, as Distinguished Professor. He is presently traveling in the U.S., working on a narrative fiction, and commencing an 18-month journey to shoot an HD follow up to the essay films on America, Speaking Directly (1973) and Plain Talk & Common Sense (1987).
All the Vermeers in New York was made in 1989 - 90. A parable of the missteps of life enacted in the hothouse world of the late 1980’s New York, in which the art market and the stock market each boomed, and in process spawned a smorgasbord of “yuppie” delusions which still persist. Anna, a French actress studying in New York crosses paths with a successful stock-broker, Mark, standing before a Vermeer portrait at the Metropolitan, thence ensues a peculiar romance of missed meanings and connections, with tangential asides to the steaming arts world and stockmarket, loft-mate conflicts, and, perhaps, love. Wrapped up in their blindered worlds, Anna and Mark deflect away from their chances, leaving at the conclusion the wistful face of Vermeer’s portrait enigmatically asking questions. All the Vermeers in New York is a comedy of manners which, as gently as a Vermeer, looks beneath the skin of this time and place, and of these characters.