Warren Sonbert

Carriage Trade (1972) 16mm, color, 75 min

Genre: Experimental

Keywords: Films about Film, Media, Structural

"In CARRIAGE TRADE, Sonbert interweaves footage taken from his journeys throughout Europe, Africa, Asia, and the United States, together with shots he removed from the camera originals of a number of his earlier films. CARRIAGE TRADE was an evolving work-in-progress, and this 61-minute version is the definitive form in which Sonbert realized it, preserved intact from the camera original. "With CARRIAGE TRADE, Sonbert began to challenge the theories espoused by the great Soviet filmmakers of the 1920s; he particularly disliked the 'knee-jerk' reaction produced by Eisenstein montage. In both lectures and writings about his own style of editing, Sonbert described CARRIAGE TRADE as 'a jig-saw puzzle of postcards to produce varied displaced effects.' This approach, according to Sonbert, ultimately affords the viewer multi-faceted readings of the connections between shots through the spectator's assimilation of 'the changing relations of the movement of objects, the gestures of figures, familiar worldwide icons, rituals and reactions, rhythm, spacing and density of images." -- Jon Gartenberg, program note for CARRIAGE TRADE, Whitney Museum of American Art, New American Filmmakers Series, October 11-17, 1973

Rental: $110.00
16mm Rental: $110.00

Warren Sonbert

Divided Loyalties (1978) 16mm, color, 22 min

Genre: Experimental

Keywords: Art & Artists

"Warren Sonbert described DIVIDED LOYALTIES as a film 'about art vs industry and their various crossovers.' According to film critic Amy Taubin, 'there is a clear analogy between the filmmaker and the dancers, acrobats and skilled workers who make up so much of his subject matter.' (The soho weekly news, Nov 2, 1978) "In a lecture on 'film syntax' at the San Francisco Art Institute in 1979, Sonbert elaborated upon his role as the film's omnipotent and omnipresent voice. ' The job of editing ... is to balance a series of ambiguities in a tension-filled framework.' Interpreting a multiple-shot sequence from DIVIDED LOYALTIES (in which a close up of a Cezanne paiting is being cleaned), he elaborated that 'the image of art naturally refers back to the artist-filmmaker, saying that art is both objective and merciless, the filmmaker being both callous and opportunistic. ... the artist is cool and detached, but the reason is to shake up and dirturb. ... art is being revealed, in the causal link of images... nothing has a valid reality outside of the whole chain of iamges... ' (Warren Sonbert lecture, published in Film Culture, no. 70-71, 1983)" -Jon Gartenberg

Rental: $75.00
16mm Rental: $75.00

Warren Sonbert

Honor and Obey (1988) 16mm, color, 21 min

Genre: Experimental

Keywords: Political & Social Activism

"...what was clear was Sonbert's absolute mastery of form." -Elliot Stein, Film Comment "In Warren Sonbert's HONOR AND OBEY soldiers march in formation, a tiger stalks through the snow, religious processions wind through the streets, and palm trees wave in a tropical breeze. As brightly colored images of authority figures blend into scenes of cocktail parties, this 21-minutes silent film flows along with the grace of a musical score built on complex tensions hidden among notes. 'Whose authority will you obey?' the film seems to ask, as it deftly avoids simple minded juxtapositions. Instead, we see a melange of images so full of geography (Notre Dame Cathedral, The Sydney Opera House, Fifth Avenue) , that the work mocks the idea of any specific setting. Sooner or later, social and natural laws meet and probably clash, Mr. Sonbert suggests, but in this scenario of discrete images, all is apparent harmony. HONOR AND OBEY is by far the most accomplished and rewarding piece in 'Avant-Garde Voices,' the title covering five works by independent filmmakers shown at the New York Film Festival ..." Caryn James, The New York Times

Rental: $75.00
16mm Rental: $75.00

Warren Sonbert

The Cup and the Lip (1986) 16mm, color, 20 min

Genre: Experimental

"Sonbert's most recent film refines the premises of his work over the past 15-odd years. His bravura-acrobatic camera and editing style of the '70s pale next to the seemingly effortless spectacle he produces today. ... The film is so dense it's impossible to apprehend it at a single viewing .... It is Sonbert's darkest work." - Amy Taubin, The Village Voice

Rental: $75.00
16mm Rental: $75.00

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