Image of movie Ballad of Philip Guston
Image of movie Ballad of Philip Guston
Image of movie Ballad of Philip Guston

Ballad of Philip Guston

Jem Cohen
United States 2022
30 min

The work of Jem Cohen closely intertwines with music. Music with an affinity to his own aesthetic: unadorned, lyrical, sincere – and yet also raw, confronting, abrasive, unafraid to look at everything and everyone ruined and abandoned by society. Cohen himself uses similar words to describe a beloved artist’s approach to painting in the plangent, essayistic BALLAD OF PHILIP GUSTON. In the rest of this Cohen round-up, a network of musical friendships and artistic collaborations appears. TREE SONG showcases a track by the duo Xylouris White; Cohen’s static landscape frames resonate with the combination of old and new musical styles. Jim White on drums then reappears on a rooftop in OR NOTHING alongside thrashing guitarist Emmett Kelly. Kelly is associated with Jessica Moss, whose investigation of Jewish musical tradition fills both OPENED ENDING, a mournful violin drone set against a free montage of images captured in New York streets; and TISH NIGN, featuring the music of Black Ox Orkestar. At one point, a truck with the word “Time” painted in large letters passes by – could any stolen moment sum up better the cinema of Jem Cohen? (Adrian Martin)

Followed by a talk between Jem Cohen and James Benning.
This film will be shown as part of the screening JEM COHEN. BALLADS.


Gravity Hill Films

Gravity Hill Films

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