I thought of a documentary about my friend, actor and painter, Steve Lack, lead in All the Vermeers, when we met again in NYC after 12 years, in February 2006. We were talking and just by chance I proposed to him to be my subject for something. We didn't define anything in terms of a movie or a documentary, but I told him I'd be very interested in making something with him.
After a few months Marcella and I were off to the East Coast for screenings and workshops and we passed through NYC and while there shot with Steve, very casually. We spent time with him, in the routine of his life, meeting family and friends, art world relationships. We got a good handful of hours of material. Back home, Marcella slowly started to look at the footage and begin to edit something. On getting a rough cut we decided we needed more material and on another trip, in 2007, we spent some more time with Steve, shooting, going Upstate with him. With several more periods of editing the film got into final shape in May 2009. The process was fully collaborative, an equal balance of both of us.
Our basic idea for Rant was to make a documentary portrait which would follow the everyday life of an artist once well-known in the NY art world, both as a painter and actor, and worked with known filmmakers and artists, reaching the height of his "success" in the '70s and '80s. From that foundation we tried to give a critical overview of how the art world, in general, has changed, being - along with seemingly everything else - overwhelmed by the market economy ideology. Money first, art last.
With Rant we thought to capture the bitterness which Steve, and other artists like him, feel towards this shift of the art world, in which they fit less comfortably, because they're artists and not businessmen. The film captures a glimpse of this, as well as of the outgoing energy of this distinctive and driven artist.
2009 | Digital Video | Color | Sound | 85 minutes
Producer: Jon and Marcella Di Palo Jost
Shooting Director, Cinematographer and Assistant Editor: Jon Jost
Editing Director, Camera Assistant and Sound Recording & Mixer: Marcella Di Palo Jost
With: Stephen Lack, Asher Lack, Lili Lack, Gracie Mansion, Sir Rodney Sir, James Romberger, Marguerite Van Cook, Don Bonham, James Kettlewell, Michael Locascio, Christopher Henry