1981-1990Jon JostUSA

Jon Jost – Slow Moves (1983)

Slow Moves is a bluesy lyrical romance of two ugly-ducklings who meet on the Golden Gate Bridge and after a brief and awkward courtship, live together with the usual problems of money and work, take flight to an illusory freedom on the road, and dances inexorably to a drab doom. At once funny, grubby, beautiful, lyrical, tragic and sad. (Jon Jost)


At one point, inspired by having lived briefly in a building in Emeryville (across the bay from San Francisco) in which a cryogenics company was reputed to be holding Walt Disney’s iced body, I blurted out a partial script, a vitriolic satire on all things Disney. .. Returning to SF all primed to make the film with a zero budget and my cheap stock, I found my would-be lead actor had gone south to UCSD to get a degree in philosophy. Rather wired to do something, instead of casting around for a replacement I did something else instead: replaced the idea for the film, and in short order asked a few friends if they’d be in it, layed out a few basic ideas, spent a few weeks of casual time talking with the actors, Marshall Gaddis and Roxanne Rogers, nudging them toward developing characters. I did not though let them meet each other, knowing that Marshall hadn’t been laid in a year, and thinking perhaps I’d catch a spark of actual romantic interest, or at least erotic interest.

Marshall – whom I’d met in Montana – had never acted in anything before, and had taken to a reclusive life in the Sierra foothills, caretaking someone’s house and trying to write a novel. I chose him as I wanted rather deliberately to make a film about the kind of people who in general are either simply deemed as unworthy of cinematic presentation, or, if presented are usually made to be caricatures to be ridiculed. Roxanne had worked a bit in theater (her brother is Sam Shepard), but never in film. It was my intention to shoot very quickly – about four days, to improvise off of a skeletal outline, and roll the dice. The “script” was two pages of diagrams and notes to myself, and the hatchmarks of dozens of cribbage games.

1.05GB | 1h 31mn | 624×480 | avi



One Comment

  1. Thanks so much for making available some films of Jon Jost, this one, FRAME-UP and especially LAST CHANTS FOR A SLOW DANCE.

    The write-up above on the making of SLOW MOVES is well worth reading, great insight.

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