I confess that I’m not a fan of Moraldo’s music, though it does have a soothing effect after a few minutes of Visions of a City. But I’m a big admirer of Larry Jordan’s work, and I’m especially fond of most of his non-collage works (which I absolutely adore, of course). Visions of a City was shot in 1957 but was not edited till 1978. Using beat poet and playwright Michael McClure (Ike in Kerouac’s Dharma Bums) as a “guide” and visual counterpoint, it is a short portrait of San Francisco shot almost entirely through reflections of all sorts: mirrors, shop windows, car windows, bottles. The mirror trope, obviously, has endless theoretical and philosophical possibilities. Suffice to say that the sepia tinted images, the powerful editing and the distorting effects of mirrors make this one of Jordan’s most beautiful films. —Eye of Sound
Fantastic landscapes of the mind is what makes the unique work of San Francisco animator Larry Jordan so compelling. With a taste for nostalgic romanticism for intricate turn-of-the-century illustrations, Jordan creates a magical universe of work using old steel engravings and collectable memorabilia. His 50-year pursuit into the subconscious mind gives him a place in the annals of cinema as a prolific animator on a voyage into the surreal psychology of the inner self.
Born in Denver, Colorado, in 1934, Jordan was introduced to filmmaking by Stan Brakhage, one of the pioneers of American experimental film. As classmates, they began to investigate the possibilities of filmed “psychodrama,” a form of free-association using dream imagery. One of Jordan’s earliest films, One Romantic Adventure of Edward (1952) uses erotic visual references assembled in the style of the then in-vogue classic school of “Russian montage.” Brakhage made his acting debut in this film and both… read more