Speaking Directly

Jon Jost, Jon Jost

IFFR 1992

  • 110'
  • USA
  • 1974
Speaking Directly can best be described as an original mixture of a political film against the Vietnam War and a personal film: a home movie.The film is very autobiographical. While he made it, Jost lived in fairly primitive surroundings in a remote area of Montana. He presents his girl-friend, friends and neighbours and asks them for example to say what they think of him. He also appears in front of the camera himself, for a relatively brief time in view of the length of the film, but he exposes himself totally in front of the cinematographic mirror. The sensitive personal scenes are juxtaposed with more sober analytical parts.Jost uses for instance a number of very moving pictures of the Vietnam War which he repeats one after the other. During these repeated shots, lists of war events are summarised. This kind of element makes the film a fiery and passionate political plea against the former American policy.Speaking Directly was once called a 'wild ambitious' film (Manohla Dargis) and was the first film with which Jost focused the attention of the critics on himself. Jonathan Rosenbaum (American Film): 'A candid and challenging self-portrait, it carries autobiographical directness and political rigour a lot further than one might have thought they could go in film'. The film lasting almost two hours was made in one year by Jost, almost without financial means.The film was too direct and too radical te be recognised in the circuit of avant-garde film and too complex, too personal and also too directed at film-making itself to appeal to the politically-interested audience.
Jon Jost, Jon Jost
Country of production
Production Year
Festival Edition
IFFR 1992
Complex Corporation