Now available: additional Jonathan Schwartz prints

Posted June 17th, 2019 in New Acquisitions, New Films, News / Events

Jonathan Schwartz (1973-2018) was a filmmaker, teacher, and source of inspiration for all his friends and students. Jonathan incorporated found and collected materials in many of his films, and simultaneously developed his unique 16mm vision through intimate exchanges with his subjects, handheld gestures, in-camera superimpositions, and a profound attention to the transient qualities of the world around us. Whether in his short collage films or works shot in his home, on his many walks, or during cinematic journeys to Israel, India, Turkey, or Iceland, his work simultaneously embodies a devotion to the ephemerality of external worlds and a gestural responsiveness to evanescent internal states. Often incorporating aurally textured poetic readings, and other times eschewing all words, Jonathan’s films both lacerate and console as we confront his unique cinematic expression of sorrow, disquiet, and exultation. (Irina Leimbacher)

Canyon Cinema is proud to keep the work of Jonathan Schwartz in circulation. Since January, nine new films have arrived and are now being distributed. To see a complete list of Jonathan Schwartz’s films, please click here.


Warm Spots (2010 | 3 minutes | COLOR | SILENT)

The silent WARM SPOTS responds not only to the color temperature of its images, but also to the significance of the places and people portrayed. The “p” from “spots” in the printed title is remarked with a felt tip pen, and it could be the beginning of an unwritten poem, a play or a prayer. Images of emotional warmth for the filmmaker unfold through the view from a window, a boisterous sky, a redden nightfall, and the image of his son. As with IN A YEAR WITH 13 DEATHS, Schwartz finishes this film with an open ending, and no year or signature imprints a final word in it.
– Monica Saviron

Wash + Shave (2010 | 3 minutes | COLOR | SOUND)

…is the faded-by-sunlight title of a film that begins aggressively with a looped soundtrack that persists throughout most of the sequence. The images depict a young Indian man who momentarily stares at the camera (positioned at a higher angle) while washing himself. The slow motion accentuates the presence of the filmmaker, otherwise ignored. Assumed binaries (superior/inferior, developed /underdeveloped) are questioned by focusing on a private act in the public space.
– Monica Saviron


Copper Green (2008 | 3 minutes | COLOR | SOUND)

…begins with a promise, “I’ll sing you a song,” from an unemployed man in a public park to the filmmaker. We never see any of them. Instead, the camera dances around every corner of a found black-and-white school photo from the early 1920s. We see their faces, their expressions and the way they looked, while hearing the man, known by the name of “Showman,” emphatically reciting “Singin’ in the Rain.” Conversation and music are abruptly interrupted, as if communication and understanding were all part of an impenetrable enigma.
– Monica Saviron


For a Conjuring (2008 | 3 minutes | COLOR | SOUND)


Letter: Japan (2007 | 5 minutes | COLOR | SOUND)


A Logic Sore (2006 | 3 minutes | COLOR | SOUND)

“(soleri) lines drawn for buildings, for homes, for notes collected like anagrams
the radio sounds like an invitation to scramble all belongings and float them through the air as jets.
or I was wondering if wind + electricity stopped, I could see you
coming down the road glowing with a candle in your hand” – JS

…mixes together rapid panoramic camera movements with interrupted radio news broadcast (“…Investigation into Thursday’s bombing…”), arcade games, and shotgun sounds. The editing is a jazzy composition, a score of blue notes, polyrhythms, and syncopations. For the image, Schwartz made collages with xeroxed blueprints from Arcology, Paolo Soleri’s set of architecture and ecology principles. It is a very obscure piece followed by new year sun (2010), in which Schwartz approaches light traveling through water in all its forms. His macro lens strives to get closer to the essence, to the transparency of things, and yet, the tenebrous and doomed cry of a church’s bell, and the ascending, unstoppable pitch that accompany the images end up close to the sound of a derailed train–and the unfocused, unclear vision that comes with it.
– Monica Saviron


Sunbeam Hunter (2005 | 3 minutes | COLOR | SOUND)

all for the prevention of violence, check the manual, it might die in the seventies.
the distance is now your compass so follow the shadows to your resting spot.
or I was wondering if sincerity could peak through the display of irony and flood out some emotions of the past.


Interior Ape (2004 | 7 minutes | COLOR | SOUND)

swimming or fluidly moving in pattern – like lust or love or something weird.
a communication halt: cue the apes to speak or make music.


For the Mending (2004 | 7 minutes | COLOR | SOUND)