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Time Mechanicals: 16mm Cityscapes by Jim Jennings

Time Mechanicals: 16mm Cityscapes by Jim Jennings

Sunday, August 21, 2022, Doors open at 7:00 pm, showtime at 7:30 pm

At 2220 Arts + Archives, 2220 W. Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles CA

Tickets: $12 general, $8 students/seniors, free for Filmforum members


Filmforum is honored to celebrate the life and exquisite 16mm filmmaking of Jim Jennings, who died on May 19 of this year.  Jennings was a prolific creator of intimate, generous, and visually striking works of observational photography, nearly all silent and many filmed in the course of his NYC commutes as a master plumber whose company, Time Mechanicals, took him to all corners of the photogenic metropolis.

A quintessential New York filmmaker who approached the form of the city symphony with much more of a folk musician’s soul, Jennings – as characterized by friend and curator Mark McElhatten – “perseveres, in a city nearly photographed to death, in bringing to light familiar elements saved from disregard and savored into sharp filmic articulation.”

Jennings’s films are somehow understated and spectacular at the same time, produced as they are from a sensibility marked by great humanity and humility.  He dearly loved observing the everyday, ordinary goings-on of his environment, often filmed while traversing the city between plumbing jobs.  In much of his filmmaking, the quotidian ephemerality of these usually urban spaces is captured and amplified to celebrate its intrinsic visual poetry through his sensitive and artful eye.  His editing, intuitively complementary to his often breathtaking cinematography, was frequently done in-camera, as he trusted his initial subjective reactions and the cumulative procession of experience to communicate something of a vital and evolving shared consciousness.

This program, presented with immense thanks to Jim’s wife Karen Treanor, and the Academy Film Archive (home of Jim’s film collection), will be projected from Jim’s own 16mm prints, including several gorgeous vintage reversal prints!

Program and notes by Mark Toscano.

Read the essay on Jennings in the new issue of CinemaScope: Deaths of Cinema | In Transit: Jim Jennings (1951-2022), By Michael Sicinski