Established in 1997, the Golden Gate Persistence of Vision Award each year honors the achievement of a filmmaker whose main body of work is outside the realm of narrative feature filmmaking. Jem Cohen was this year's recipient and joined us at SFIFF56 for an in-depth onstage interview and a screening of his latest film, Museum Hours.
"A plastic bag caught in an eddy of wind, a glimpse of trees and sky, patterned linoleum under the shoes of a musician as he sings: the images that make up Jem Cohen’s films often evoke the overlooked enchantment of the everyday. Cohen’s work is consistently described as defying categorization, what film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum has classified as 'in-between films.' Working in his own territory, somewhere in the borderlands of documentary, essay, musical composition, cultural commentary and city symphony, Cohen often masterfully blends disparate material to create singular filmed pieces. Known for his collaborations with musical artists such as Fugazi, Patti Smith, Vic Chesnutt and Elliott Smith, Cohen is also an intrepid explorer of the quotidian of both the far flung and backyard variety."