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Jonathan Schwartz

"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.

Jonathan received his MFA at Massachusetts College of Art where he studied under professors Mark Lapore, Erika Beckman, and Saul Levine. Over the years he taught courses at the School of Museum of Fine Arts and Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston and at Bennington College in Vermont. From 2008 to 2018 he was Associate Professor at Keene State College in New Hampshire. He lived in Bratteboro, Vermont.

Jonathan's films have screened nationally and internationally at venues such as New York Film Festival's 'Views from the Avant-Garde' and 'Projections' programs and Toronto International Film Festival's 'Wavelengths' program. Other festival screenings include International Film Festival Rotterdam, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Images Film Festival, Media City Film Festival, Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin, Exis (Seoul, Korea), and TIE. His films were also presented in solo shows at the Austrian Film Museum, UnionDocs, Cinema Project, and San Francisco Cinematheque as well as alongside the work of Mark Lapore at the 13th Brakhage Center Symposium. In 2010, he was included in The Film Society of Lincoln Center's Avant-Garde Poll in Film Comment as one of 25 Filmmakers for the 21st century." (-Irina Leimbacher)

"Schwartz's films are windows that show the artist in the process of being expressed, looking for a balance between contentment and fear. He himself jumps steadily, as far as he can get each time. Either in his own or foreign territory, Schwartz is not a hunter, but a whisperer. There is a sense of awareness and appreciation in all of his work, of looking, breathing, and grasping without suffocating. With the organic quality of 16mm film, Schwartz crafts a world of faces, textures, and places that invoke and evoke language without unnecessary adjectives." (-Mónica Savirón)

Films