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DVD : JORDAN BELSON - 5 Essential Films

A member of the Beat Generation, BELSON began his career as a painter, moved into animation and experimental film, and later joined electronic composer Henry JACOBS to create psychedelic Vortex Concerts at a Planetarium in San Francisco in the late-’50s.

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A member of the Beat Generation, BELSON began his career as a painter, moved into animation and experimental film, and later joined electronic composer Henry JACOBS to create psychedelic Vortex Concerts at a Planetarium in San Francisco in the late-’50s.

Like many Beats, BELSON was highly influenced by Eastern mysticism and he began formulating abstract, audiovisual presentations that often utilized circular motifs, solar imagery, lasers, star fields, and billowing, ethereal vapors...

DVD NTSC all zones
No Dialogs

Total Running Time 0h45 mn approx

IMPORT USA

YOU’LL SEE...

ALLURES (1961)

ALLURES - a film by Jordan BELSON (1961) - image

"I think of Allures as a combination of molecular structures and astronomical events mixed with subconscious and subjective phenomena - all happening simultaneously. The beginning is almost purely sensual, the end perhaps totally nonmaterial. It seems to move from matter to spirit in some way...it took a year and a half to make, pieced together in thousands of different ways... Allures actually developed out of images I was working with in the Vortex Concerts."

Jordan BELSON, quoted in Expanded Cinema by Gene YOUNGBLOOD, p. 160-162


SAMADHI (1967)

SAMADHI - a film by Jordan BELSON (1967) - image

Samadhi begins with stunningly lit, turbulent clouds shifting through the color spectrum before gradually revealing a circular center that becomes a template for a variety of morphing imagery. A rumbling hiss comes and goes on the soundtrack (which Gene YOUNGBLOOD identified in a Film Culture article as "the inhaling and exhaling of BELSON’s own respiration") before blending into lingering electronic sounds. It’s a haunting, organic tone poem.

This film evokes the ecstatic state achieved by the meditator where individual consciousness merges with the Universal. "I hoped that somehow the film could actually provide a taste of what the real experience of Samadhi might be like." (from Scott MacDonald’s interview with BELSON in A Critical Cinema 3). BELSON adds "It is primarily an abstract cinematic work of art inspired by Yoga and Buddhism. Not a description or explanation of Samadhi."


LIGHT (1973)

LIGHT - a film by Jordan BELSON (1973) - image

Light is based on the continuity of the electromagnetic spectrum. It is a ride through space and light. This is the last film for which BELSON composed his own soundtrack. This film was preserved with the support of the National Film Preservation Foundation.
Light commences with violet droplets raining down upon swirling blue and crimson vapors, and develops into partially opaque superimpositions that layer colors upon colors, and textures upon textures; the soundtrack was created by BELSON and features a halting, soft piano performance that later merges with more atmospheric and electronic sound effects. Again, circular imagery persists, but the film also incorporates the glittering motion of what seems like millions of particles moving across the screen, fading out, and reappearing in different orientations.


FOUNTAIN OF DREAMS (1984)
Never before released

FOUNTAIN OF DREAMS - a film by Jordan BELSON (1984) - image

A bold synchronization to the Transcendental music of Franz LISZT.
Fountain of Dreams
sets BELSON’s swirling clouds of brilliantly-hued effluvium and various shimmering reflections to the stirring piano music of Franz LISZT. The motions in this film are closer to arcs; the quickly moving wisps of smoke appear and disappear with an entrancing rhythmic beauty, each carefully lit, eventually dissolving into particles that swirl in motion across the screen. This is a particularly delicate film, one that could prompt endless contemplation.


EPILOGUE (2005)

EPILOGUE - a film by Jordan BELSON (2005) - image

The film is a dramatic cornucopia of chiaroscuro lighting and thick, tumultuous clouds, ambiguous physical formations, and beautiful lens flares set to Rachmaninoff’s deeply evocative "The Isle of the Dead" symphony.

Epilogue was installed in the Visual Music exhibition at the Hirshhorn, Washington, D.C., June - September, 2005.

DVD NTSC all zones
No Dialogs

Total Running Time 0h45 mn approx

IMPORT USA


Sources : Filmjourney.org (Doug CUMMINGS)
Produced by Center for Visual Music

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