Films by Jon Schwartz
Some years ago, I had the pleasure of sharing half a dozen dinners with the great Orson Welles. As I was a big fan of what remains to date his last completed film, F FOR FAKE, he indulged my many questions regarding the production of that film. The theme of that film, “art is the lie that makes us see the truth,” thus became the basis of much of our conversations. And it was at the conclusion of one of these dinners that he revealed his profound disappointment that not only did FAKE not find an audience, but even worse the film didn’t inspire other “essay” films.
That was the first time I had heard of “essay” films or even thought of making them. To simply take a theme and meditate upon it any which way the subject demanded, it seemed so liberating from the traditional biographical and historical documentaries of the time. And best of all, it could be done on the fly and with a minimum crew. That then has begat this ongoing series of films, small films about big things; subjects that I’ve made into a movie for no other reason than it interests me. In this age of thrill ride cinema and homogenized fare, I personally can think of no better reason for making a movie.