It’s part of the aching horror and lucidity of Jost’s vision that he can’t regard himself and the U.S. as wholly separate entities. Jonathan Rosenbaum
Born in Chicago in 1943, Jon Jost was raised all over the world- a military brat. He made his first feature length film, Speaking Directly, in Cottage Grove, Oregon in 1973.
In 1991, he was honored with the first IFP/West John Cassavetes Lifetime Achievment Award. In 1993, he returned to Oregon to make The Bed You Sleep In in Toledo.
From his own website:
The Museum of Modern Art, New York, presented a complete retrospective of Jost’s work in January 1991. This show subsequently traveled to the J.F.Kennedy Center, Washington DC, the Harvard Film Archive, the UCLA Film Archive, The Film Arts Foundation of San Francisco, as well as to the Bergamo Film Meeting 1993, the Viennale festival 1993, the Bologna and Torino Film Archives in Italy (1995). Most recently his films were accorded full retrospectives at the Cinemateca Portuguese (1996) and the Filmoteca Español (1997).
His films have been purchased for television broadcast and/or for cinema distribution in the US, UK, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Norway, Hungry, Russia, and Japan .
Prints of his films are held in the archives of The Museum of Modern Art, NY; the British Film Institute, the Freunde der deutschen Kinemathek, The Royal Film Archive of Belgium, the Cinemateca Portuguese, the Filmoteca Español, the Bologna Archive, the National Film Library of Australia (Canberra), the Yamagata Festival of Japan, and the Istituto Luce, Rome.
Jon Jost never swerved from his art film roots, never carried his experimental filmmaking as far as experimenting with Hollywood. A great example of an Oregon lillypadder, he currently teaches at Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea.