An essay-film on language and theater, on human communication - intellectual in content, but purely poetic in terms of form: image, sound, language, cinema. Stagefright, with the exception of one shot, was all filmed in a small puppet theater space, actors against black.

1980 | 16mm | Color | Sound | 75 minutes

Producer, writer, director, editor cinematographer : Jon Jost

Shown at Sydney and, Melbourne Film Festivals

Broadcast by SFB, Germany






"The key questions (of alternative cinema) were posed by Jon Jost's superb Stagefright - a dramatic meditation on cinema, theater, performance and politics which was too complex and too rich for one screening to be satisfactory. The ending gave the most devastating example I have ever seen to cinema's power to jolt and audience out of its complacency. Extraordinary!"

- Meaghan Morris, Sydney Financial Times

"... One of the most powerful and shocking eruptions of violence I've ever seen in a film. Like the killed rabbit Last Chants, it both gratifies our desires for meaning and action and shows the resultant blood on one's hands in the process. As long as Jost goes on making more films just as truthful, I don't expect him to win any popularity contests."

- Jonathan Rosenbaum, Film Comment