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Cornell, 19651978

  • 3.9
I worked as Joseph Cornell's assistant during the summer and fall of 1965, during which time I shot four rolls of Kodachrome 16mm film in and around Cornell's house. The scenes included a brief biographical glimpse of Cornell and his work, as well as his working environment, which is perhaps the more valuable record now since it no longer exists. I found the film difficult to complete as evidence by the full thirteen years between the filming and the editing. I believe the fascination with Cornell's work that was felt while he was alive (and the continuing fascination) centers around a quality which is hard for me to describe. It is that quality, since I experienced it at first hand and over a long period of time, which I have tried to elucidate in this film: an aesthetic personality which never backed off from aesthetic experience, never divided personal enjoyment from art, never worked and then got drunk to relax from working, or horsed around with the creative process, and at the same time could encompass sentiment in the strongest displays of his art. This intensity finds a ready and willing audience. It is not merely the result of an individual style but embodies much more universal qualities and, I feel, is quite worthy of perpetuation among artists of succeeding generations. - Lawrence Jordan

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Lawrence Jordan's remarkable portrait of reclusive artist Joseph Cornell.


1 member likes this review

Very nice. A moving tribute.

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top reviewer

Member Reviews (13)

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top reviewer

Very nice. A moving tribute.

1 member likes this review
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top reviewer

Lawrence Jordan's nice tribute to his teacher, Joseph Cornell. It is tough to think that one person's life can be summed up in a 7 minute film, so this feels more like an introduction to an interesting artist than a complete picture. This is enough to start a search about an artist I might find interesting.

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top reviewer

A good, but all too brief, introduction to a very talented collage artist whose works deserve greater exposure.

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top reviewer

Beautiful. Excellent film.

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top reviewer

The camera embodies the action of an image (jumping up & down, the arc of the rope). Personalized boxes. Footage of the elusive artist; in it's own way as mystifying as ROSE HOBART, something very ordinary (a man in his yard, a run-of-the-mill adventure flick) imbued with an aura of being beyond what it seems.

A lovely brief snapshot of an American artist who should be known by everyone.

This is a sensitive glimpse into Cornell's world by his assistant and a wonderful chance to see the artist at work. I liked the voice over by Jordan very much. Thank you!

"Joseph was not afraid of cinema, in fact he insisted on it. It was part of his belief system that they were moments, crystalized from the past. The influence of Proust, again."

Wonderful and much too brief glimpse at a great artist !

Odd....

joseph cornell has always been a favorite of mine. i learned of him, not thru required art history classes, but thru a painting instructor when i started to frame things and categorize several paintings within a painting. cornell was amazing.

Gorgeous footage of Cornell's life as shot through the eyes of assistant Lawrence Jordan.

A beautiful , heartfelt tribute to Joseph Cornell by Larry Jordan, himself a great and very personal artist.