Jon Jost

Painter & Filmmaker

Born in Chicago on May 16, 1943, of a military family, Jon Jost grew up in Georgia, Kansas, Japan, Italy, Germany and Virginia. Expelled from college in 1962, he began making 16mm films in January, 1963. He is self-taught. He has made 38 feature length works in the period 1963-2013 (14 celluloid, 16 and 35mm until 1996; 24 digital since that time), as well as more than 30 short works, all of which he conceived, wrote, photographed, directed and edited; most of these he also produced.  Since 1996 he has worked only in Digital Video (DV and HD), completing 24 full-length works and many shorts, as well as one large-scale 7 screen installation work, TRINITY, presented at the ZKM, Karlsruhe Germany, in this medium as of 2007.  He has done several other installations which have never been publicly presented.


After 10 years of making short works, Jost made his first feature-length film in 1974, and has since devoted himself to the making of a wide-ranging series of films, largely focused on specifically American topics, in forms ranging from essays (Speaking Directly, Stagefright), and fictions.   His work has shown widely in museums, film archives, and festivals since 1975. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, presented a complete retrospective of Jost’s work in January 1991. This show subsequently traveled to the J.F.Kennedy Center, Washington DC, the Harvard Film Archive, the UCLA Film Archive, The Film Arts Foundation of San Francisco, as well as to the Bergamo Film Meeting 1993, the Viennale festival 1993, the Bologna and Torino Film Archives in Italy (1995). His his films were accorded full retrospectives at the Cinemateca Portuguese (1996) and the Filmoteca Español (1997), and in 2006 the Buenos Aires Independent Festival accorded his work a partial retrospective.   In 2010 the Kolkata Film Festival did a partial retrospective focus, showing 9 films; in 2011 the Jerusalem Cinematheque did an 11 film partial retrospective, which was repeated in Haifa and Tel Aviv.  In 2012 the Athenee Francais (works as the Japanese Cinematheque) did a partial 11 film retrospective in February.


Retrospectives are planned for 2020 at the National Gallery, Washington DC; UCLA Film Archive, Los Angeles, and the Austin Film Society.  We anticipate others will also be participating.


Since the 1980’s Mr Jost has done workshops ranging from several days to one month around the globe, including in Tokyo, Hanoi, Singapore, Perth, Brisbane, Sicily, Matera, University of Siena, London, and all over the United States.


Jost has received many grants, among them a Guggenheim Fellowship (1089), several National Endowment for the Arts Production Grants, a DAAD Berlin Residency (1979; 1985) and others.


Mr. Jost spent four years teaching in the Graduate Dept of Communications and Arts at Yonsei University.  He retired as Distinguished Professor in July 2011, and resumed full time filmmaking, photography and painting.  He presently lives with his wife Marcella in Belfast, N Ireland.




MURI ROMANI II,  Roma, Italia



AGAIN & AGAIN, 93 mins, Seoul S Korea



THEY HAD IT COMING, 86 mins, Stanberry, MO.



BOWMAN LAKE, 144 mins, Glacier National Park, MT.

BLUE STRAIT, 85 mins, Port Angeles, WA.




COMING TO TERMS,  89 mins, Butte, Montana

CANYON, 72 mins, Grand Canyon, AZ










PARABLE, 72 mins, DV

RANT, 90 mins, DV, NYC. [Edited by Marcella Di Palo Jost]



OVER HERE, 78 mins, DV, color, Portland Oregon



LA LUNGA OMBRA, 77 mins, DV, color-B&W/sound; Capalbio, Italy

PASSAGES, 60 mins, DV, color-B&W/sound; shot 1996-2005 around the world



HOMECOMING, 104 mins, DV, color/sound.  Newport, Oregon.

CHHATTISGARH SKETCHES,  76 mins, DV, color/sound.  Raipur, India.

VERGESSENSFUGE, 64 mins, DV, color/sound.  Karlsruhe, Germany (ZKM)



OUI NON, 116 mins, digital video-for-projection, color/sound. Paris, France; Rome, Italy.



ROMA – un ritratto improvvisiorio.  58 mins,  digital video-for-projection, color/sound. Rome, Italy.



MURI ROMANI, 80 mins, digital video-for-projection, color/sound. Rome, Italy.

6 EASY PIECES, 68 mins, digital video-for-projection, color/sound. Rome, Italy.



NAS CORRENTES DE LUZ DA RIA FORMOSA, 112 mins, digital video-for-projection, color/sound. Cabanas, Portugal; Rome, Italy.



LONDON BRIEF, 92 minutes, digital video-for-projection, color/sound. London, UK.



UNO A TE, UNO A ME, E UNO A RAFFAELE, 85 minutes, 35mm color/sound; Rome, Italy.



FRAMEUP, (1992-3), 90 minutes, 35mm color/sound; Oregon.



THE BED YOU SLEEP IN, 110 minutes, 35mm color/sound; Oregon.



ALL THE VERMEERS IN NEW YORK, (1989-90), 87 minutes, 35mm color/sound; New York City.

SURE FIRE, (1988-90), 88 minutes, 35mm c/s; Circleville, Utah



REMBRANDT LAUGHING,  100 minutes, 16mm c/s; San Francisco.

PLAIN TALK AND COMMON SENSE (uncommon senses) (1986-8), 117 minutes, 16mm c/bw/s; throughout USA.



BELL DIAMOND, 1985, 96 minutes, 16mm c/s; Butte, Montana.



SLOW MOVES, 1983, 93 minutes, 16mm c/s; San Francisco.



STAGEFRIGHT, 75 minutes, 16mm c/s; West Berlin.



CHAMELEON, 90 minutes 16 to 35mm c/s; Los Angeles.



LAST CHANTS FOR A SLOW DANCE (dead end), 90 minutes, 16mm c/s. Missoula, Montana.



ANGEL CITY, 76 minutes, 16mm c/s; Los Angeles.



SPEAKING DIRECTLY (some American notes), 110 minutes, 16mm c/s; Cottage Grove, Oregon; Kalispell, Montana.


Short films


Stand, 2012, 28 mins, Clearwater forest, Idaho

AMTRAK, 2009, 23 min, Newark,NJ

Mr Right, 2008, 30 mins, Seoul, Korean (part of omnibus feature)

San Lorenzo, 2006, 12 mins, Italy

A View of Mount Baker from Port Angeles, Wa. [For Hokusai], 2004, 5 mins, USA

A Walk Through Waseda Garden, 2004, 5 mins, Tokyo, Japan

Tanti Auguri, 2002, 4.5 mins, Italy

FUNKIES – 10 Electronic Paintings,  2003, 10 mins, Italy

Fugue, 2002, 17 mins, Italy

Water Song #2, 4 mins, Rome, Italy

Dharma Does As Dharma Do, 2001, 17 mins, Portugal, Italy

Vera x 3, 2001, 7 mins, Portugal

Til Edvard, 2001, 5 mins, Norway

Adrift, 2001, 17 mins, Italy, Portugal

Water Song #1, 1998, DV, c/s, 14 mins, Portugal

Godard 80, 1980, c/s 15 mins, London, England

Beauty Sells Best, 1978, c/s 5 mins, Los Angeles, Ca.

X2: Two Dances by Nancy Karp, 1980, c/s 30 mins, Berlin, Germany

Primaries/A Turning Point in Lunatic China/1, 2, 3 Four

1968-71, c/s 35 mins, Ben Lomond, Calif.

A Man Is More Than The Sum of His Parts/A Woman Is, 1971, c/s 35 mins, Palo Alto, Ca

Fall Creek, 1970, c/s 15 mins, Ben Lomond, Ca.

Canyon, 1970, c/sil 5.5 mins, Grand Canyon, Ariz.

Flower, 1970, c/sil 7.5 mins, Soda Springs,Ca.

Susannah’s Film, 1969, bw/s 13 mins, Soda Springs, Ca.

13 Fragments & 3 Narratives from Life, 1968, c/s 22 mins, Chicago, Ill.

Traps, 1967, bw/s 25 mins, Chicago, Ill.

Leah, 1967, bw/s 35 mins, Chicago, Ill.

Judith, 1965, c/bw/sil 25 mins, Chicago, Ill.

We Didn’t Go to Unique’s, 1965, bw/sil 30 mins, Chicago, Ill.(lost)

City, 1964, bw/sil 15 mins, Chicago, Ill.

Sunday, 1964, bw/sil 15 mins, Chicago, Ill.(lost)

Chalma, 1964, bw/sil 20 mins, Chalma, Mexico

Repetition, 1963, bw/sil 25 mins, Salzburg, Austria

Portrait, 1963, c/bw/sil 13 mins, Casina Amata, Italy



The Museum of Modern Art, NYC, screened a complete retrospective of his work from January 18 to February 19, 1991. This program was completely repeated at the UCLA Film Archive, Los Angeles, (March-April), and partially repeated at the American Film Institute Film Theater at the J.F. Kennedy Center, Washington, DC, (February), the Kabuki Theater in San Francisco under the sponsorship of the Film Arts Foundation and San Francisco Film Society, (March-April), and the Harvard Film Archive, Boston, (April). In October, 1991, the Viennale, in Vienna, Austria, in the context of a broader festival, screened a complete retrospective of Jost’s films. It was also screened in January-February 1992 at the Arsenal Kino, Berlin. In 1994 the Bergamo Film Meeting, Italy, organized a complete retrospective of all features and short films, and published a book and catalog on Mr. Jost and his work. A traveling retrospective was done in the Netherlands by the Filmtheater Desmet in fall 1994; and in December 1994 a complete retrospective was done at the Cinemateca in Bologna, Italy, and in Feb 1995 it was repeated at the Film Museo Nazionale, in Torino. Full retrospectives were mounted in 1996 at the Cinemateca Portuguese and Filmoteca Espanol.

In addition, in the period 1968 to 1990 Mr. Jost has done literally hundreds of in-person screenings of his work at colleges and universities throughout the United States, as well as in the UK, and at various film and media venues in Germany, Russia, Italy, UK, and the US.  He has also done numerous film and media workshops in London, New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Siena, Singapore, Tokyo, Seoul, Perth and Brisbane Australia, Kolkata and Raipur India..   In August, 2008, Jost and his wife conducted a 6 day workshop for the Viet Nam Film Dept in Ha Noi, Viet Nam.



Jost’s films are regularly invited to festivals around the world.  Most recently his OVER HERE was invited to Rotterdam, Jeonju and other festivals in 2008; LOVE IN THE SHADOWS, an omnibus of 3 short films done with Yonsei University students was invited to the Rotterdam Festival 2009; in the past few years his film HOMECOMING showed at the Venice Festival 2004; Rotterdam, Jeonju, and many others 2005; his previous films have shown in at the Berlin Forum, Rotterdam, Torino, London, San Francisco, Sydney, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Jeon Ju, Yamagata, Split, and too many others to be remembered.

In addition to having his work shown at festivals around the world, Mr. Jost has also juried festivals, including Sochi Russia, the Florence Documentary festival, the EX-is experimental festival in Seoul Korea, and most recently (2008) the Jeonju festival.



First Prize, Narrative Feature, Split Festival 2005, for HOMECOMING

Maverick Spirit Award, Maverick Film Festival, San Jose, March 2000.

NEW VISIONS award, Graz Festival of Film and Architecture, 1999, for London Brief.

FIPRESCI award, Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival, 1997, for London Brief.

Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award, Best Independent Film 1991, for All the Vermeers in New York.

John Cassavetes Lifetime Achievement Award, given by the Independent Feature Project/West at their “Spirit” Awards for independent filmmaking, in Los Angeles, March 1991.

Belgian Royal Film Archive Award for Quality Films, a cash award for selected films to be distributed in Belgium; for All the Vermeers in New York; July, 1991.

Caligari Film Prize, 5000DM Award given by the Arbeitsgruppe fur Kommunale Kino, at the Berlin International Film Festival, February, 1991, for All the Vermeers in New York and Sure Fire.

Best of Festival Award, Ann Arbor Festival 1989, for Uncommon Senses.

Special Jury Prize, Sinking Creek Festival 1989, for Uncommon Senses.

Whitney Biennial, 1989, participation for Uncommon Senses.

Special Jury Prize, San Remo Festival, Italy, 1986, for Bell Diamond.

Special Jury Prize, Bergamo Film Festival, ltaly, 1984, for Slow Moves.

Best of Festival Award, US Festival 1979, Salt Lake, for Chameleon.



MURI ROMANI II (HD variant of Muri Romani; likely to run 2-3 hours)

MANAHATTA – landscape film/installation, shot and needing complex aural work

VEILS (multiple screen installation)

FALLS (installation for 3 screens)

PICCOLI MIRACOLI (Portugal, Italy, 1996 – ??, digital video essay, approximately 2 hrs)



Articles in various film magazines since 1973 including JUMP CUT, SIGHT AND SOUND, AMERICAN FILMMAKER,  SENSES OF CINEMA and the French journal CINEMA.   Most recently IRISH FILM published an article on digital cinema.