[Frameworks] R.I.P. Jordan Belson & George Kuchar

Adam Hyman 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
>> www.centerforvisualmusic.org/Belson
>> 
>> 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)
>> gmail.com
>> 
>> 
>> posted by:
>> Cindy Keefer
>> Center for Visual Music
>> Los Angeles, CA
>> 213-683-1514
>> cvmaccess (at) gmail.com
>> www.centerforvisualmusic.org

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