Jon Jost

Bell Diamond (1986) 16mm, color, 96 min

Genre: Narrative

Keywords: Political / Social Activism

Telling story of a Vietnam vet in Butte Montana whose wife leaves him after seven years when she feels there is no longer communication between them, and more painfully and pointedly, because she is unable to have a child owing to his sterility from exposure to Agent Orange. Told in a gentle style, richly emotional, made with non-professionals drawn from the community of Butte. "... with a story developed by the filmmaker and cast and completely improvised, the film deals with characters who are neither articulate nor particularly attractive, but pays them the kind of respect and attention that they would never receive from other quarters. Visually Jost's most impressive work to date. The impact of the film's original form of realism arrives only gradually, but once it registers, it becomes indelible." -- Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader "Among the ten best of the year. Formally exquisite and politically pointed study of an alienated Vietnam vet against the background of a bankrupted mining town." -- Dave Kehr, Chicago Tribune "Jost discerns emotions that conventional film practice misses. Using nonpro actors he proves his integrity almost too well, surround this desert of inarticulate, tight faces with some of the finest pictorial representations of the working-class West imaginable -- cloud filled skies, cyclone fences, desolate factories, pipelines, old tanks. A packing up scene between Jeff and Cathy and a confrontation with a veteran's counselor are sharp on attitude and language. All this through the intrepid pursuit of a different world and an alternate point of view." -- Armond White, Film Comment "Jost's method of narrating his tale will not be to every taste, for, though it's visually impressive, not one frame could be confused with commercial cinema. Using real time, Jost links Jeff's story to that of American labor history (in a brilliant sequence), ends with delightful ambiguity, and generally adopts an edgy, improvisatory style that reminds you of toned-down Cassavetes. This slow, quiet, intense film held me in its sway -- it has the power of reality." -- John Powers, LA WEEKLY

Rental: $200.00
16mm Rental: $200.00

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