Gartenberg Media Enterprises is proud to announce the program lineup for the Warren Sonbert Retrospective taking place at the L'Age d'Or Film Festival in Brussels, Belgium from October 4th to 9th. Each program in this series will be introduced by Jon Gartenberg, a noted authority on Sonbert's oeuvre.
"Warren Sonbert was one of the most original and influential figures in American experimental cinema. He began making films in 1966 while studying at the University of New York. Sonbert himself has taught filmmaking at the San Francisco Art Institute, the Art Institute of Chicago and Bard College. He also wrote critical reviews on opera and film for San Francisco weeklies. His first films, in which he captured the spirit of his generation, were first inspired by academia, later by the figures of the Warhol scene.
In the late 1960s, when Sonbert began to take his Bolex camera with him on travels, his cinematic strategy changes and he begins to weave his travel images together with sequences of previous films. It’s a period during which his work shows the filmmaker’s capacity to turn his first experiences into more accomplished works, using his characteristic ‘polyvalent cutting’, a technique where each sequence ‘can be combined with ambient sequences with, potentially, many dimensions.’ Sonbert drew on his early experiences on camera movement, light and design to create brilliantly cut masterpieces that not only zoom in on his New York environment but also, more generally, on the sphere of human activity. These are films in which he comments on art and industry, news reporting and its effects on our lives, or the interaction between artistic disciplines. His last works culminate in symphonic (silent or sound) arrangements that unite the universal gestures of Men into unique combinations. Over the course of his career, Sonbert made 18 films. Before his death in 1995, he worked on WHIPLASH. This last film was completed by filmmaker Jeff Scher, following Sonberts precise instructions."
Copies of "Warren Sonbert: Selected Writings" (published by Framework: The Journal of Cinema and Media and guest edited by Jon Gartenberg) will be available for sale at the festival. For more information on the special issue of Framwork click here.
For further inquiries about Warren Sonbert’s films, please see:
GME Programming & Curating: Warren Sonbert Retrospective