All the Vermeers in New York (Jost, 1990)

All the Vermeers in New York (Jon Jost, 1990)

As I’ve come to hope/expect, more Jon Jost means more excellency. Here, for the first time in my adventures through his filmography, he abandons the rural setting and puts a film in a big city – New York. As it turns out, that doesn’t seem to hurt his cause at all. All the Vermeers focuses on several lonely characters as their lives start to come together. Though even as they come together, they’re still very alienated not only from the rest of the world, but still even from each other. The film is full of great sets that accurately represent New York while still allowing the sense of isolation to dominate. It’s not the most original idea, but it’s still executed extremely well.

Two of the characters first interact at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (in what is a dialogue-free, soothing, and hypnotic scene) where a lonely stockbroker sets his eyes on a French girl trying to make it as an actress. Their relationship is always awkward, whether it be when she invites her roommate along to meet him for drinks, or when she asks him for $3000 to pay her rent after he has asked her to move in with him. And these situations make the film what it is. I will say I got bored with some of the long takes where there are no characters present, and the end of the film didn’t quite feel right either, but overall this was still a great experience.  8.75/10


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