William E. Jones

Produced with a stringent economy of means, my work is minimalist in form and maximalist in ambition. Moving images, (often at the threshold of being stills,) while carefully composed, can be almost brutal in their primitivism: "here is the front of a building; here is a field of grass." The conventional montage that transports a spectator from master shot to close up without announcing itself is nowhere to be found. The sense of cinematic space is created in the juxtapositions - sometimes obvious, sometimes unlikely - between words and images. Spoken words, unable to perform their traditional cinematic duty of giving the illusion of life to a dramatic scene, are free to be about anything at all. The narration, the result of years of research and writing, encompasses personal memory, historical and political discourse, even a few jokes. To describe the whole trajectory of the work: I begin by describing the circumstances of my formation, and I end by reflecting on society as a whole. I make essay films addressed not to passive consumers, but to citizens (ideally, all spectators) who think as well as feel when they attend the movies.


Finished (1997)
Massillon (1991)