Made in Chinatown

Rental Format(s): 16mm film

"I met Jim with Henry (Hills) and Vincent (Grenier) and Ken (Jacobs) in 1980 when I returned to NYC from SF. Always intrigued with his work, remembering seeing an early 'minibike' film at Henry's place on 8th street, and another work of great beauty: silhouettes of bodies down on Wall Street. High modernism with an intimate feel.

"Later, in the early oughts, seeing work at the New York Film Festival when Mark McEllhatten was programming Jim regularly, made me sit up and take notice, once again. The film I remember was unusually for Jim, in color - of Chinatown in the snow. Beautiful, ephemeral light. I invited Jim up to school that fall as a guest artist at the SMFA, The School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, where I taught. I knew the students would love this work: the Bolex, daylight - all the tools they were using and here, exquisitely handled. I learned then that Jim, instead of exposing for the shadows, as the Hollywood pros would, was exposing for the sunlight. Letting the blacks go deep and dark. Finding on the street the fugitive faces and moments that the rest of us might notice but had never captured in the quick darting tender embrace of Jim's celluloid. That he, as a plumber, sitting on the Avenues, waiting by his truck, lunch or a break, would find the time, the inclination, the poetry of the street, the Whitmanesque masses central to his project. Faces: anonymous but familiar, heroic in their dailiness and dignity. Kind of like Jim himself."
- Nathaniel Dorsky, notes for "Jim Jennings & Friends," February 11, 2017, Anthology Film Archives.

"Jennings, a prolific and consistently wonderful filmmaker, excels at constructing near-perfect short films out of glimpses of fleeting, ephemeral visual phenomena. Made in Chinatown is a street film in which the human presence is represented only indirectly and in fragments, either through its reflection in shop windows, cars, and other surfaces, or through the shadows it casts. There is nothing extraneous here, nothing which upsets the film's fragile, delicate balance between what is physically substantial and the immaterial traces of that substantiality."
- Senses of Cinema, October 1-2, 2005, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia

Rental Fees

16mm film $35.00  

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