Walker Art Center

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Filmmakers in Conversation: Jay Rosenblatt in Retrospect



After a weeklong run of his recent work at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, San Francisco–based Jay Rosenblatt visited the Walker to discuss his career working in 35mm, 16mm and video. Senses of Cinema calls him “arguably the most highly esteemed composer of short films working in the United States today: his films are ironic, humorous assemblages that disturb viewers with their juxtapositions and ambiguity, exposing enigmatic and yet indissoluble relationships within films, between films, and among films and their viewers in general.” Since 1980, Rosenblatt has been constructing distinctively personal and witty explorations on expansive topics—life and death, psychology and history, the human condition—exclusively using discarded footage from a variety of sources. His delicately detailed compositions have been described as “tightly controlled aural and visual essays, poems, and stories, often all three at the same time.” Rosenblatt’s award-winning short films have screened at major festivals worldwide as well as on HBO, the Independent Film Channel, and the Sundance Channel.