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Jack Wise: Language of the Brush

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Ever since they became friends in the 1960s, visual artist Jack Wise and experimental filmmaker David Rimmer were intrigued by the idea of making a film with two artists and two disciplines--forming one "conversation" on notions of perception. At last, one year before Wise's death, the two come together in this interpretative portrait. In this intriguing film, Jack Wise speaks very privately about his artistic process--"losing oneself in the language of the brush"--and what it means to be an artist. While at work in his studio, Wise talks about calligraphy being his freedom and the mandala his discipline. As he reveals his spiritual journey into Eastern religions and the importance of the mandala, we see the circle become a dominant motif in his art, and discern the influence of Chinese and Tibetan art on his own landscape-based work. Director David Rimmer's experimental voice asserts itself sensitively. Pace and imagery--water droplets, leaf and tree forms, a door which opens--sublimely convey the mystery and pulse of the artist's paintings, process, and perceptions. Complementing this portrait is Dennis Burke's enigmatic sound design wihich supports not only the filmmaker's vision of Jack Wise, but the spirit and work of the artist himself.

1998, 43 min 36 s