[Frameworks] R.I.P. Jordan Belson & George Kuchar
adam at lafilmforum.org
Wed Sep 7 23:18:52 CDT 2011
Distressing to lose either of them, let alone both. It seems like we¹ve
seen so much of George lately he was in LA in January, and spoke of his
cancer, but seemed in good shape as well.
And their passing on the same day one of those tricks of fate, like when
Bergman & Antonioni died on the same day or Adams & Jefferson.
And there was a marvelous program of Jordan Belson films at LACMA, organized
by CVM, just a few months ago. Constant reminders of the masters that
both of them were, and how much we¹ll miss them.
On 9/7/11 1:36 PM, "Steve Polta" <stevepolta at yahoo.com> wrote:
> Wow. The phantom filmmaker of San Francisco. Living all these years in North
> Beach, interacting with very few. A mystery. I always hoped he would make an
> unannounced appearance...
> --- On Wed, 9/7/11, C Keefer <keefco at earthlink.net> wrote:
>> From: C Keefer <keefco at earthlink.net>
>> Subject: [Frameworks] R.I.P. Jordan Belson (1926-2011)
>> To: visualmusicplus at yahoogroups.com, frameworks at jonasmekasfilms.com
>> Date: Wednesday, September 7, 2011, 11:53 AM
>> We are sad to report that filmmaker/artist Jordan Belson died early Tuesday
>> morning, September 6, at his home in San Francisco, of heart failure. He was
>> 85. A memorial screening is planned for the near future in the San Francisco
>> Bay Area, plus tribute screenings in several other cities. Details will
>> follow soon.
>> Jordan Belson created abstract films richly woven with cosmological imagery,
>> exploring consciousness, transcendence, and the nature of light itself.
>> Born in Chicago in 1926, Belson studied painting at the California School of
>> Fine Art (now San Francisco Art Institute), and received his B.A., Fine Arts
>> (1946) from The University of California, Berkeley. He saw films by Oskar
>> Fischinger, Norman McLaren and Hans Richter at the historic Art in Cinema
>> screening series in San Francisco in the late 1940s. Belson was inspired to
>> make films with scroll paintings and traditional animation techniques,
>> calling his first films "cinematic paintings."
>> Curator Hilla Rebay at The Museum of Non-Objective Painting, New York,
>> exhibited his paintings, and upon Fischinger's recommendation awarded Belson
>> several grants. From 1957-1959, Belson was Visual Director for The Vortex
>> Concerts at San Francisco's Morrison Planetarium, a series of electronic
>> music concerts accompanied by visual projections. Composer Henry Jacobs
>> curated the music while Belson created visual illusions with multiple
>> projection devices, combining planetarium effects with patterns and abstract
>> film footage. His Vortex work inspired his abandoning traditional animation
>> methods to work with real time projected light. He completed Allures (1961),
>> Re-entry (1964), Phenomena (1965), Samadhi (1967), and continued with a
>> series of abstract films. His varied influences include yoga, Eastern
>> philosophies and mysticism, astronomy, Romantic classical music, alchemy,
>> Jung, non-objective art, mandalas and many more.
>> Belson produced an extraordinary body of over 30 abstract films, sometimes
>> called "cosmic cinema." He produced ethereal special effects for the film
>> The Right Stuff (1983). His last completed film was Epilogue (2005),
>> commissioned by The Hirshhorn Museum. He is survived by his long time
>> partner, Catherine Heinrich. (Revised bio by C. Keefer, for Guggenheim
>> Museum's "The Third Mind" catalog, 2008.)
>> More information about Belson and his work can be found on his approved
>> research pages, at
>> Earlier in 2011, Belson wrote a statement asking people not to put his films
>> online, as it did not do justice to his work.
>> In lieu of flowers, Belson's partner Ms. Heinrich requests that donations be
>> made to Center for Visual Music's preservation and digitization work to
>> continue preserving the legacy of Jordan Belson. Contact cvmarchive (at)
>> posted by:
>> Cindy Keefer
>> Center for Visual Music
>> Los Angeles, CA
>> cvmaccess (at) gmail.com
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