LIVE FILM/MUSIC COLLABORATIONS (partial list):
GRAVITY HILL / SOUND+IMAGE
An evening at the crossroads of cinema and music, featuring films by Jem Cohen with a shifting group of musicians. Has included live soundtracks by Guy Picciotto (guitar), Jim White (drums), George Xylouris (lute), Jessica Moss (violin), Jace Clayton/DJ Rupture (turntables, effects), Mira Billotte (voice, drum), Matana Roberts (saxophone), Catherine McRae (violin), Todd Griffin (guitar) and projection tech by Dawn of Man.
Performances at Big Ears Fest, Knoxville, Issue Project Room NYC, Syros Intl. Film Fest, Greece, Porto, Portugal (Serralves Museum), Istanbul Independent Film Festival
WE HAVE AN ANCHOR
Multi-projection documentary portrait of Cape Breton. Commissioned by EMPAC. (85 min.) Presented on April 27, 2012 with live music by Jim White, Guy Picciotto, T.Griffin, Jessica Moss, Efrim Menuck, and Sophie Trudeau. Toronto version included Mary Margaret O’Hara on vocals. Mainstage presentations at BAM’s Next Wave Series, Sept. 2013 and at the Barbican, London, 2015, with Mira Billotte on vocals. The installation version was installed at University of Michigan Museum of Art in 2015 for the show: Jem Cohen: Life Drawing.
MANIFIESTO D.F. / CHANCE MEXICO CITY : On March 26, 2009 a feature length city portrait of Mexico City was presented with live music/soundtrack by Guy Picciotto with T.Griffin, DJ Rupture with Andy Moor, and Sonido Changorama, at the Tlatelolco Cultural Center. This was part of the 25th Festival de Mexico en el Centro Historico. A newer version, now called CHANCE MEXICO CITY or, in spanish, CIUDAD DE MEXICO POR AZAR, was presented at SANFIC, the Santiago International Film Festival, in August, 2009 at the Normandie Theater.
EVENING’S CIVIL TWILIGHT IN EMPIRES OF TIN
Jem Cohen’s films with live music, at the Kino Gartenbau Theatre, Vienna, commissioned by the Viennale Film Festival. An exploration of Empire, inspired by Joseph Roth’s 1930’s novel, The Radetzky March.
With VIC CHESNUTT, MEMBERS OF SILVER MT. ZION, GUY PICCIOTTO, DAVE PAYANT, T.GRIFFIN, AND CATHERINE MCRAE Nov. 1, 2007
FUSEBOX: Oct. 12-15, 2005; invited by the Vooruit Art Center in Ghent, Belgium to curate a 4-day program, Cohen created Fusebox, a festival at the crossroads of music, film, and activism. Guests included The Evens, Patti Smith, Tom Verlaine, The Ex, Guy Picciotto, T.Griffin Coraline, Andy Moor, HangedUp, Jerusalem in My Heart, and a special formulation of Silver Mt. Zion called Thee Silver Mountain Elegies Play War Radio. Travis Wilkerson was also an invited guest for the film program, which included works by Chantal Akerman, Chris Marker, Lynne Sachs, Peter Watkins, Kevin Brownlow, Rob Smits & Britta Hosman, Garrett Scott & Ian Olds, the Dardennes, Bill Daniel, and Cohen. Constellation Records was also an invited guest.
Film projections were shown with live soundtracks by various combinations of the musical guests.
Other past collaborative events involving projections of Jem’s films with live music include:
With JACE CLAYTON, RYAN SAWYER, LUC SANTE, Cities, Dead and Alive, at PS1, curated by Mark Beasley and hosted by Sukhdev Sandhu, Dec. 6 2015, in conjunction with Greater New York
With TERRY RILEY:
Rotterdam Film Festival/Sound Check Live
BLESSINGS, OMENS, SPELLS AND MOJOS
Feb. 4, 2005 and Cinematexas Film Festival/Eye + Ear
Sept. 9, 2004
With GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR
An extensive series of films were made for the band’s live performances from late 2000 through 2003. New films were made for the current tours, which began in 2010 and are ongoing.
An extensive series of films were made for the band’s
1989 and 1995 world tours. Some are documented on the R.E.M. Tourfilm documentary, others are included on the R.E.M. Parallel compilation.
Two Films were made for:
STORIES, MAPS, AND NOTES FROM THE HALF-LIGHT:
Improvised Music Performance and Film Screenings with
NEW YORK WATERS (NUMBERS 1 AND 2) (2004, 16mm, 6 min.)
IN CAPE BRETON (2001, 16mm. 6 MIN.)
Live film/music improvisations for the Ex 25th Anniversary Celebration and convoy tour. Amsterdam, France, and Brussels,
Andy Moor and Ian MacKaye
Andy Moor and Yannis Kyriakides
Katherina (Ex), Amy Farina, Wilf Plum
With Nadia Moss and Laura Hanna at St. Cecilia’s convent, Brooklyn, April 3, 2010
With T. Griffin and Catherine McRae: CURSE AND BLESSING: FILM & FILING CABINET, Live show at Light Industry, Jan. 14, 2009
With MARY MARGARET O’HARA a 16mm film was projected with an improvised song at The Stone, Jan. 5, 2008
With Jeffrey Lewis and band, as part of Michael Shamberg’s ‘Turtle Salon’ at the Tank, NYC, April 27, 2008
With Andy Moor and Colin Mclean (Impakt Live Event) Utrecht, Oct. 21, 2005
With Patti Smith:
FOOTAGE OF WORLD TRADE CENTER RUINS
used in live performances, including: Pittsburgh, PA. Sept. 2002
8-BALL CORNER POCKET
Live show at Collective Unconscious, NY
March 6, 2001
With BLONDE REDHEAD:
Live show at a movie theater in Milan. 1997
With STEPHEN VITIELLO and guests:
Music for Film/Film for Music
with HOUSE SLEEPS FIRE
(Stephen Vitiello, Gabriel Cohen, Knox Chandler, Shin Shimokawa)
Misc. live New York shows at
The Kitchen, Dia Foundation, Segue
INDEPENDENT MUSIC FILMS:
LUCKY THREE (Elliott Smith Portrait) (1997, 16mm, 11 min.)
The following three films are included as extras on the
BENJAMIN SMOKE dvd:
FROM FUR CITY – Cat Power live at Warsaw (Brooklyn)
(2002, 16mm, 4:30) Shot with Pete Sillen
THE FOXX AND LITTLE VIC Vic Chesnutt with T.Griffin and Catherine McRae (2001, 16mm, 6:30 min.) Shot with Pete Sillen
GEORGIA THIEF Smoke at the Clermont Lounge, Atlanta (2002, Super 8, 5:15 min.)
CHICKEN SONG (2014, HD, 6:43) and PSARONDONIS SYRTO (2014, HD, 7:00) are films based on live performances by Xylouris White and were eventually released as videos for the band.
MUSIC WORKS DONE FOR HIRE:
TREE SONG, Xylouris White (2019, 7:25 min)
BELLA CIAO, Marc Ribot & Tom Waits (2018, 4 min)
THE MILITANT ECOLOGIST, Marc Ribot & Meshell Ndegeocello (2018, 4:18)
THE ONE I LOVE, Blonde Redhead (2014, HD, 4:12)
Short film, “SPIRIT,” for PATTI SMITH’S cover version of
NIRVANA’S “SMELLS LIKE TEEN SPIRIT” (2007, Super 8, 7:30)
(Before 1997, Jem did some commissioned collaborations with music groups, which can be considered “music videos.” Some were done for friends in bands, and most were done without the input or interference of record labels. Please note: Jem did not and does not consider himself a “music video director.”
YOU’RE THE ONE, LEE Miracle Legion (1989, Super 8, 4 min.)
SNACKS AND CANDY Miracle Legion (1992, Super 8, 4:15 min.)
FLAT DUO JETS DOCUMENT (1989, Super 8, 6:30 min.)
E-BOW, THE LETTER, R.E.M. with Patti Smith (1996, 16mm, 5:22)
NIGHTSWIMMING (short form), R.E.M., (1993, Super 8, 16mm, 4:20)
COUNTRY FEEDBACK , R.E.M., (1992, Super 8, 4:40)
BELONG, R.E.M., (1992, Super 8, 5 min.)
TALK ABOUT THE PASSION, R.E.M., (1988, Super 8, 3:50)
I WAS DANCING IN THE LESBIAN BAR, Jonathan Richman
(1996, 16mm, 3 min.)
THE FOUR SEASONS/WINTER (LONGFORM) Antonio Vivaldi
Orpheus Orchestra with Gil Shaham, (1994, 16mm, Super 8, 6:40)
CONCERT À QUATRE, VOCALISE, Olivier Messiaen
Myung-Whun Chung, Bastille Opera Orchestra (1996, Super 8, 5:20)
The above works, with the exception of SNACKS AND CANDY and
FLAT DUO JETS, are collected on a MUSIC WORKS compilation.
It is not available for purchase, but can be rented through Video Data Bank and the Lux.
It also includes LUCKY THREE and the ‘Away’ PSA.
EQUATION DAUMAL (film directed by Patti Smith, camera, co-edit, Jem Cohen, 2008)