: : : All the Vermeers in New York

Story

Probably the most maligned American Playhouse production ever aired, All the Vermeers in New York inspired unanimous contempt from TV reviewers. This 1990 anti-rhapsody in Manhattan landscapes forewarned its viewers of a tedious experience, and People magazine said it was "as exciting as watching a painting dry." What they objected to as "arty" may have had something to do with Jost's static photography or minutes-long lyrical interludes. Composed in, on top of, and around steel and stone urban monuments--as opposed to the warm and unabashed human subjects of Vermeer--Jost's brash depiction of a post-Reagan-era Manhattan and its inhabitants (at various turns a usurious art dealership, a cutthroat Wall Street brokerage, and the superficialities of the New York dating scene) may make Woody Allen's Manhattan seem like a scenic flight in positive-thinking guru Tony Robbins's helicopter, but Jost's dramatic interest isn't in mere exposé. A stock trader's lust for the killer deal is juxtaposed with his obsessions for a rare painting and later for a homesick, unemployed French actress (Emannuelle Chaulet). He spies her in a room looking at the same painting--but what they are looking at becomes, in the psychological context of the film, as mysterious and elusive as what they are looking for. Jost's most expensive movie to date--a mere $250,000--turned out to be the most virulent of his unflinching critiques of the destructive powers of materialism in the American--or, by the romantic and historical associations he provides, European--psyche. --Christopher Chase

DVD Features

  • Color
  • Widescreen

Cast

Emmanuelle ChauletAnna
Katherine BeanNicole
Grace PhillipsFelicity
Laurel Lee KieferAriel
Gracie MansionGallery Owner
Gordon Joseph WeissGordon
Stephen LackMark
Roger RuffinMax

  • Genre: Drama Movies
  • Director: Jon Jost
  • Producer: World Artists
  • Length: 87 min
  • Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
  • Theatrical Release
    North AmericaJan 1, 1990
  • DVD Release
    North AmericaMay 7, 2002
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