Daniel Levine

A Preface

 P6Matilde Rebosio, January 1963 in Portrait

Having had it suggested numerous times in the past few decades that I should write an autobiography, and since none of our critics and academics have seen fit to write much of anything regarding my work*, I thought it might be of interest to a few people if I were to kill a few birds with one stone, and make a kind of autobiography built around my work. And also, my daughter Clara, kidnapped in 2000 by her mother, Portuguese film director Teresa Villaverde, and kept – in collusion with the Portuguese juvenile court system – from seeing her father since August 2002, deserves to know who her father is. I have kept a blog for her (www.paginasparaclarinha.wordpress.com, www.paginasparaclarinhavol2.wordpress.com) which I have good reason to think she reads, but her blog is another matter than this. So this blog will be just that – a look backwards at one life, in this case a look centered around my film work, though philosophically and artistically this will necessitate comment on a lot more than film.

As my friends know, I am not a cineaste – I very seldom watch movies, either out or at home; I have no TV. My interest in pop culture of all kinds is nil. The same friends know I am a workaholic, and that there are a few things which have circumscribed my world in a most severe manner, things which for my own well-being I don’t feel free to divulge publicly.

My work, being very personal, is deeply entangled with my larger life, and so to discuss it things of my life must be included. Many, if not all, of my friends, ex-lovers, collaborators and others are still alive and I hope in being honest and accurate as I can, that none of them are offended. If any of them should read this, they are welcome to correct where my memory is faulty – and certainly talking with old friends I have learned that our memories can be at fault, conflict with others, or, in my case, often I can simply not recall at all what someone else feels was an important matter, good or bad. Where my recollection varies with theirs, they can add as they like. But I will write here, as best I can, what was “true” from my perspective.

I’ll go chronologically, and as I write of each film, it will be made available on Vimeo VOD, for anyone wishing to see them. The same films are available at higher quality in both DVD format and BluRay. For those one may contact me through my website: www.jonjost.altervista.org.

As my life is rather busy, and will in the coming two years entail considerable travel and shooting/editing work, this project is likely to come erratically, in fits and starts. When time allows, I’ll add a post. Comments are welcome.

* – I have had a handful of students say they are writing their thesis on my work, or a film of mine, and quite literally the day after I wrote this I was asked if it would be OK if someone – Bill Fech – wrote a long essay on my work for an upcoming week of screenings at the Ross Media Center at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. It was suggested this may later turn into a book. And another, a young friend now, Daniel Levine, is, he says, writing a book on my work.

1JonJostItalyCassina Amata di Paderno Dugnano, 1963