Mark Rappaport

Filmmaker, photo-montagist, scriptwriter and film essayist, Mark Rappaport is one of the most essential American artists of the past forty years. "Mark Rappaport makes movies that look, sound and feel like nobody else’s," wrote Roger Ebert. "He is an original." Rappaport first achieved notoriety with three independent features, CASUAL RELATIONS, MOZART IN LOVE and LOCAL COLOR, whose deliberately baroque, flamboyantly melodramatic aesthetics and direct interventions against traditional film narrative found the director compared to such visionaries as Raul Ruiz, Jean-Marie Straub and Werner Schroeter. Successes at European festivals (yet misunderstood by many American mainstream critics), the features were praised as "glamorously home-made art cinema" (Jonathan Rosenbaum) and "enormous, stimulating fun" (Derek Malcolm); "Rappaport’s movies are New York hip," stated a writer for Time Out, "going on European cool." "Those frightened by experimental filmmaking," assured Malcolm, "can be assured that Rappaport always tells a story, never seems pretentious and can usually be relied upon chiefly to entertain, if often by provocation." In the 1990s, Rappaport started making videos. POSTCARDS was the season-opener for the acclaimed PBS series, "Alive from Off-Center." ROCK HUDSON’S HOME MOVIES (made in video and transferred to film in order to play theatrically) was given a Special Citation by the National Society of Film Critics for "adroitly combining fictional narrative with essay to deconstruct Rock Hudson's screen image." It was followed by EXTERIOR NIGHT and FROM THE JOURNALS OF JEAN SEBERG, which garnered the best reviews of his career. SEBERG won the Independent/Experimental film and Video Award from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association as well as the Dutch Film Critics Award at the Rotterdam International Film Festival. In addition to his films, Rappaport is a successful photomontage artist, with gallery shows in New York, Rotterdam, Spain and France. Not only a filmmaker and artist, he has also published a substantial body of film criticism and theory, with over twenty-five of his pieces published in the key French film journal Trafic. A collection of his writings, "Le spectateur eui en savait trop," was published in France in 2008. - Jason Sanders

photo ©Robin Holland/


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