Part of Winter 2004
Guest-curated by Scott Berry & Chris Kennedy
“A Roger Jacoby film is both of its time and highly original. Influences of Jack Smith’s operatic extravaganzas and Warhol’s serial portraiture readily show up (Jacoby borrowed even more from Warhol: he ran away with superstar Pope Ondine to Pittsburgh). The tension of these influences – that of scale and intimacy, spontaneity and repetition – are bathed by Jacoby in his own painterly and personal vision. Trained as a painter, Roger Jacoby translated his flair for colour and abstraction into his films through a mastery of colour hand-processing. His resulting films, filled with densely manipulated images and sounds and an outlandish and willing cast, transform elements of the everyday into Bizetian burlesques.
The films he made over his ten years of filmmaking showcase his textured, intimate and exquisite approaches. Futurist Song, his first film, shows coloured stain-glass patterns which directly reference early modernist painting and the colour sense of Paul Klee. Dream Sphinx goes back even further, inventing a Victorian Eden where Sally Dixon and a dapper Ondine cavort in a garden of earthly delights. The effect of these films is one of humour, poignancy, visual beauty and familial love.
The centerpiece of his work is the two-part How to Be a Homosexual. Completed three years before his untimely death, the film weaves together vignettes from his life with meditations on illness and expectant mortality. These companion films are Jacoby’s mind and body dialectic, demonstrating that the mind takes wild flights of fancy in service to the human spirit, but that are grounded by the body, which requires love, tending and care.” (Scott Berry & Chris Kennedy)