Film Love and Atlanta Celebrates Photography present
WARREN SONBERT Friendly Witness and other films
A three-night mini-retrospective on a master of avant-garde cinema
Program Two: Carriage Trade
Warren Sonbert with Bolex camera (courtesy the Estate of Warren Sonbert)
A "friendly witness," Warren Sonbert (1947-1995) holds a unique place in American independent film. On one hand he shows the distinct influence of Hitchcock and the Hollywood melodramas of Douglas Sirk, and on the other he was a rigorous avant-gardist. Combining breathtaking photography with some of cinema’s most complex montage editing, he created an exhilarating body of work – compassionate meditations on global humanity that are visually sumptuous and structurally brilliant. Sonbert's films have been the subject of retrospectives at the Guggenheim Museum and other institutions, but remain available only in 16mm prints and are too rarely screened. Atlanta Celebrates Photography and Film Love present three nights of films by this crucial figure of the American avant-garde.
Sonbert's later filmmaking combines his precise but unconventional eye for color, composition, and shot content with his intricate and highly personal editing technique. Amassing voluminous footage from his world travels, he edited shots from multiple locations into seamless film journeys, bringing out subtle connections between people in vastly different locations. Program Two presents Sonbert's magnum opus in this style (and his longest film), Carriage Trade.
PROGRAM Carriage Trade (1972), 16mm, silent, 61 minutes
WARREN SONBERT: FRIENDLY WITNESS AND OTHER FILMS is a Film Love event. The Film Love series provides access to rare but important films, and seeks to increase awareness of the rich history of experimental and avant-garde film. The series is curated and hosted by Andy Ditzler for Frequent Small Meals. Film Love was voted Best Film Series in Atlanta by the critics of Creative Loafing in 2006, and appears in Atlanta Magazine's Best of Atlanta 2009.