Made in Chinatown
16mm, color, 8 min
MADE IN CHINATOWN was made in Chinatown. -- Jim Jennings
"I met Jim with Henry (Hills) and Vincent (Grenier) and Ken (Jacobs) in 1980 when I returned to NYC from SF. Always intrigued with his work, remembering seeing an early 'minibike' film at Henry's place on 8th street, and another work of great beauty: silhouettes of bodies down on Wall Street. High modernism with an intimate feel. Later, in the early oughts, seeing work at the New York Film Festival when Mark McEllhatten was programming Jim regularly, made me sit up and take notice, once again. The film I remember was unusually for Jim, in color -of Chinatown in the snow. Beautiful, ephemeral light. I invited Jim up to school that fall as a guest artist at the SMFA, The School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, where I taught. I knew the students would love this work: the Bolex, daylight - all the tools they were using and here, exquisitely handled. I learned then that Jim, instead of exposing for the shadows, as the Hollywood pros would, was exposing for the sunlight. Letting the blacks go deep and dark. Finding on the street the fugitive faces and moments that the rest of us might notice but had never captured in the quick darting tender embrace of Jim's celluloid. That he, as a plumber, sitting on the Avenues, waiting by his truck, lunch or a break, would find the time, the inclination, the poetry of the street, the Whitmanesque masses central to his project. Faces: anonymous but familiar, heroic in their dailiness and dignity. Kind of like Jim himself."
-Nathaniel Dorsky, notes for "Jim Jennings + Friends", February 11, 2017, Anthology Film Archives.
16mm Rental: $35
back to homepage