Architecture of Mountains

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Film Info
Director:Tom Joslin
Film Category:LGBT
Pop Culture
Running Time:62
Year of Release:2010


We are honored to present a retrospective of the intimate, poetic and personal work of Tom Joslin (1946-1990). These three films track the career and life of this brilliant man who helped shape queer and experimental film. Tom Joslin was infamous for taking his camera everywhere, mixing life and art to such a degree that at one point during BLACKSTAR he is found lying with his partner Mark Massi in a bed of film to highlight 'how film got between us' in their relationship. Though his career was cut short, having made only three films, his influence on the 'personal as political' extended throughout the documentary medium having been a pioneer of the video diary, and poetic experimental film. His work never structured around a message or political motive, but acts itself as a vehicle for change as we watch one couple live in a time when it was radical to come out, one couple deal with the ugly and beautiful 'every day', and one couple go through the plague of Aids; it is impossible to sit through his films and not be changed in some way. His retrospective showed last year in New York and SFDocFest is excited to bring it out the coast where he spent so much of his life. Come out to see documentary not representing or depicting life, but showing it.


Assembled with footage from an unfinished project, Hampshire College colleague, Abraham Ravett and two alums, Sam Shapiro and Ben Balcom, put together what was to be a film on the nature of perception and human consciousness. This ‘Nomadic Archive’ wonders through the imaginative dreamscapes Tom Joslin constructs after inventing a machine that would wake him up periodically throughout the night and turn on his soundsynch film camera. The film is as whimsical as it is haunting, with shots from the bed that eerily foreshadow what his body later looks like after contracting Aids.