JON BEHRENS : SELECTED EXPERIMENTAL SHORT FILMS : 1987-2007
For more than 25 years Jon Behrens has worked completely outside of the mainstream conception of what filmmaking is , He began to make films as a teenager in the late seventies, starting out with his Grandfathers Wollensak regular 8mm camera and then moving on to 16mm shortly there after. Since the age of 16 Behrens has made well over 100 films of various lengths , subject matters and approaches, from documents of the early Seattle punk rock scene to poetic film experiments in which the celluloid film stock itself has been manipulated. Over the years Jon has And has screened his films both Nationally and Internationally . and has been called one of the Northwest’s most prolific filmmakers This DVD brings for the first time on Home video 16 of Jon Behrens’ better known works from the past twenty years. The Films on this disc have all been digitally remasterd from newly minted 16 & 35mm prints. This collection of films have been hand picked by Behrens’ long time companion and muse Barbara Evans
FILMS INCLUDED ON THIS DVD ARE:
The Astrum Argentium (2006) Vernal Obeisance (2003)Undercurrents (1994)Kodachrome Revisted (1987) Fluffy Fluffy Calm Calm (1998) All Saints Day II (2001) Anomalies of the Unconscious (2003) Prostian Neurosis (1999) Stan’s Salon (1997) A Little Splinter of Time (1995) Desert Abstractions (1997) The Flickering of the Minds Eye (2001) Exposures (1989) Six Arms Homage to Mekas (2005) Reflections (1992) The Last Ten Minutes (2000)
Total running time 120 min - (NTSC)
THE ASTRUM ARGENTIUM (2006) Is the third film in a series that is being called the Anomalies cycle. It is mostly a hand painted and step printed film. This time I used stained glass dyes and also experimented with photographing growing crystals with time laps cinematograhy. I also created the sound design for this film.
VERNAL OBEISANCE (2003) The second collaboration I did with R.K. Adams, we proceeded to experiment with the Idea of using panels in our films. When we talked about doing this we decided that we wanted to pay homage to the upcoming spring, the result was this film." – Jon Behrens
"This collaboration merges 5 elements of cinematic vision. Classic Jon Behrens hand painted elements frame a single image torn into four pieces. The mood alternates between color and black & white cinematography in this experimental homage to spring" - Ryan Adams Alpha Cine Labs
UNDERCURRENTS (1994) Music by Rubato -This film was the third and final installment of my Urban Landscape Series and is my personal favorite of the three. In this film I utilized all the techniques that I had learned over the years and put them all into this film. I finally felt that my mission was complete regarding structures and that I could move forward and try other ideas.
KODACHROME REVISITED (1987) Music by Throbbing Gristle - I made this film by shooting around 180 rolls of 35mm slide film. I then hand processed the film in a very sloppy manner. I never mounted the film into slides I simply took the 35mm strips of film and spliced them together as you would 35mm motion picture film Some of the rolls used in this film were shot by random people I sent a roll of film to that they shot and sent back to me.
FLUFFY FLUFFY CALM CALM (1998) Is sort of a film poem it is the story of the week in the life of an eyeball. The viewer sees the eyeball darting around and also sees what the eyeball sees as well. The week has been condensed down to 4 min. This film was an experiment that worked. I shot all the eye shots using Letitia Tyler on 200ft of film and shot all the other shots on another 200ft. I then cut the negative together without ever seeing what the film looked like projected. I just wanted the editing process to be all part of the eye theme. I was hoping that it would all say something, and it does.
ANOMALIES OF THE UNCONSCIOUS (2003) sound design by Negativland -This is the second film of the Anomalies Cycle. It is a hand Painted and manipulated film. I also used the technique of bleaching and batiking of the film emulsion. The footage was then step printed on a J-K Optical Printer. Although similar in style to The Flickering of the Minds Eye I began to experiment more with other colors and different textures such as dried leaves and flowers, hair, insect parts, and a variety of different types of inks and paints.
ALL SAINTS DAY II (2002) This film is a collaboration with filmmaker Joel Schlemowitz , on ALL SAINTS DAY 2001 we each shot 100 ft of film, at the same time of the day , 3000 miles apart, and we did not tell each other what we shot. The film was hand processed and cut up into 2ft length’s and then cut back together alternating from Joel’s footage to Jon’s until all the film was gone. This film is the follow up to ALL SAINTS DAY which was done using the same techniques the year prior soundtrack for this film was done the same way.
PROUSTIAN NEUROSIS (1999) Music by Rubato - This film is a collaboration with friend and filmmaker, Mia Roozen Separately filming footage, unknown to the other, and splicing it together to create an abstract prosaic, a symphony of sight and sound, a subconscious exploration of neurotic origins. Music by Rubato
STANS SALON (1997) I was in Boulder Col. on holiday when I attended one of Stan Brakhage's film salons that he hosted. I saw some very incredible images that night and got to meet the grand master himself. I was so inspired by what I saw and the people that I met that the moment that I returned home to Seattle I made this film. My first fully hand painted motion picture, and the techniques that I used in this film were the beginning of an entirely new faze of my filmmaking and I hope to master this technique some day.
A LITTLE SPLINTER OF TIME (1995) There was once a wonderful cinema in Seattle Wash called the Pike St. Cinema. It was owned and operated by Dennis Nyback for about 3 1/2 years this cinema played the best films no one else would show. This film is just a little splinter of time captured on film--a very special place in my life that will never be forgotten. I simply documented the cinema as it was including Nick the theater Cat.
DESERT ABSTRACTIONS (1997) Music by Rubato - This is a film that I had wanted to make for many years. It was not until the summer of 1996 that I actually got it together and shot it. Again with the help of Steve Creson we packed up all our equipment and loaded on to a plane and flew to Arizona were we rented a car and drove around the desert for week and filmed everything that we thought looked interesting. This film is similar to the films in my urban landscapes series, only this film was shot in eye popping full color and there are no man made elements in this film at all. Lots of rock formations, colors, and shapes only things made my mother nature. Music by Rubato
THE FLICKERING OF THE MINDS EYE (2000) This film is made up of hand painted and batiked sections of film that I then step printed on an optical printer. I also used fingers, potatoes, sponges to print textures and patterns. The film was then cut into a rhythmic I also provided the films sound design .
EXPOSURES (1989) Spoken word by Kelley K. Vance sound by Mary Lake - I made this film in the early months of 1989. I was experimenting with my newly purchased Bolex camera. This film is a study in urban landscapes and multiple exposures. All of the effects in this film were created in camera. This was the first film in my urban landscape series.
SIX ARMS - HOMAGE TO MEKAS (2005) I was asked to participate in a film program were filmmakers were asked to each shoot a 100ft roll of film in the style of legendary filmmaker Jonas Mekas. This short burst cinematic film diary was shot on a nice Saturday Afternoon at my favorite Pub The Six Arms, I documented my afternoon as it happened. Their was no editing at all on this film it was all done in Camera. I liked the film so much that I decided to add a sound track and released it.
REFLECTIONS (1992) Music by Rubato -This film was the second installment of what I call the URBAN LANDSCAPE SERIES. The film is more like an extension my earlier film Exposures, but this time I made a much more valiant attempt to say what I wanted to say. By the time I made this film I felt that I had mastered the art of cinematography. This was the first film in which I collaborated with long time friend and music composer John Rogers.
THE LAST TEN MINUTES OF EXISTENCE (2000) This is a film that I had planed on making for more than two years before I began to shoot it. The Idea was to shoot an entire 400 ft. magazine of film from start to finish without stopping. When news came that they were going to destroy the King County Domed Stadium I thought that this would be a perfect subject for this film. I got up at 3:45 am on that faithful morning and loaded up my beloved Auricon Pro 600 movie camera and made my way to the location that I had seeked out weeks prior. I set up my camera and framed up my shot and began shooting exactly 5 minutes before the Stadium was due to be imploded. My Idea was to document the last moments before destruction, the moments during destruction and the moments after destruction, a full 400ft of film shot in one take from one angle with out stopping. The film was shot in black and white and printed on color stock with a royal blue tint. I had always wanted to make a film this way and pay homage to one of my early film influences the late great Andy Warhol
Total running time 120 min - (NTSC)
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