International Competition

6 Easy Pieces

- USA, ITALY, PORTUGAL / 2000 / English, Italian, Portuguese / Color / Video / 68 min

Director, Script, Photography, Editing, Sound, Music, Producer: Jon Jost
Narrators: Jon Jost, Eduardo Albinati, Joao Benard da Costa
Architecture: Gian Lorenzo Bernini
Source: Jon Jost
Vicolo di Santa Rufina, 50, 00153 Roma ITALY
Phone & Fax: 39-06-581-4759 E-mail: laragreen@netscape.net

Most documentary films send a message to their audience. However, there is nothing in this film resembling such a message, only “image” and “expression.” A child on a gravel road, a woman firing a gun, a dancing woman—no individual meaning is to be found. Images like a deluge of evening lights reflected by a speeding car, the geometric beauty of a row of posts and light dancing on the surface of water merely appear before the viewer. This work, comprized of six episodes, is made on digital video, a medium differing greatly from film.

[Director’s Statement] While I know many people would hardly think of this film as a “documentary”—to my experience the documentary field is a bit conservative, and a bit ideologically fixated—to me it certainly qualifies. It just documents different things in a manner somewhat different than normally. The images are simply of life, of the world, as I passed by it, and as it prompted me to look, to feel, to ponder, to be amazed, to enjoy its beauty, to be surprised at what I found when I wasn’t even really looking for anything to happen. Letting things be free, wandering with no firm idea of making a film at all, with no purposeful direction allowed instead for the spontaneous magic of life to slip into little digitized miracles. I didn’t go to shoot two charming children; I went to shoot the sun slicing across a walkway. I didn’t go to shoot two young women talking while doing laps in a pool, I was playing with shutterspeeds and dancing light. I didn’t go to shoot anything in this work on purpose. Instead I let the nature of this wonderful new medium, DV, which costs almost nothing, which allows one to be playful, to experiment, to look and to learn in new ways, be my guide. After I think nearly four years of shooting many things in DV, these six pieces, and their little companions, seemed to gravitate together effortlessly, asking me to put them side by side, to say....

Well I have no idea what it says, but it is clear it says something. Something about life, about my views of that life, about light, about this medium and how it can help change how we think and perceive ourselves and our world. And of course, 6 Easy Pieces wasn’t all that easy—it is the cumulative expression of almost forty years of learning. I hope a little of that comes through in the manner it should: invisibly.


- Jon Jost

An experienced filmmaker since 1963, having made some 14 feature-length films in 16 and 35mm before taking up Digital Video in 1996. He has made four full-length works in DV and hopes to avoid working in film in the future. His 16mm work Plain Talk & Common Sense (1987), and his video work London Brief (1997) were screened at YIDFF, ’89 and ’97 respectively.

• International Competition | Angelos’ Film | A2 | Buenaventura Durruti, Anarchist | Crazy | Days in Those Mountains | La Devinière | Gaea Girls | Grandma’s Hairpin | In Vanda’s Room | The Land of the Wandering Souls | Mysterious Object at Noon | Paragraph 175 | Private Chronicles. Monologue | 6 Easy Pieces | Southern Comfort • Jurors | Hartmut Bitomsky | Bernard Eisenschitz | Ann Hui | Kuroki Kazuo | Ivars Seleckis