On the evening of September 15, 2010, two programs of films by Warren Sonbert will be featured in public projections at Cinema Action Christine (4 rue Christine, 75006 Paris, Métro St-Michel, price: 6€). The programs will be introduced by curator Jon Gartenberg, and are held as part Light Cone’s Preview Show, an annual event gathering experimental film programmers from around the world. The two programs, which span Sonbert’s entire artistic career, announce the launch of an international tour of his films by Light Cone, the exclusive European distributor of his films.
Warren Sonbert was one of the seminal figures of American experimental cinema. He began making films in 1966 while a student at New York University. Sonbert built upon his early experiments with camera movement, lighting, and framing to subsequently create brilliantly edited masterworks that encompass not only his New York milieu, but also the larger sphere of global activity. Sonbert’s passionate interest in film, music, experimental poetry, and travel is reflected in his films; he lived a completely engaged life, and the images culled from that life formed the raw material of his artistic expression. His late works culminated in symphonic montages (both silent and sound) that unite universal human gestures into singular works of moving image artistry.
Following Warren’s untimely death in 1995, a project was undertaken under the auspices of the Estate Project for Artists with AIDS, in conjunction with curator Jon Gartenberg, to restore his final film, WHIPLASH, to public view as well as to preserve his entire extant body of work. A complete set of preservation negatives of Sonbert’s films are now housed at the Academy Film Archives in Los Angeles. Sonbert retrospectives have subsequently taken place at the Guggenheim Museum (1999), the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2000), the Centre Pompidou (2002), the Austrian Filmmuseum (2005), Anthology Film Archives (2006), and the Harvard Film Archive (2008).
Prints of Sonbert’s films are now available for European distribution exclusively from Light Cone. Light Cone, in collaboration with Gartenberg Media Enterprises, will present a new tour of Warren Sonbert’s films throughout European cinematheques, festivals, and other cultural institutions beginning in the fall of 2010.
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