Re: [Frameworks] R.I.P. Jordan Belson (1926-2011)

Date: Thu, 8 Sep 2011 14:54:06 -0700 (PDT)

As an interesting post script, if there could be one in this sad situation. Tues
evening I was watching the sunset here in North Beach SF and saw a hawk, quietly
eating his prey for dinner on the porch. Seeing a hawk in SF is extremely rare
especially in North Beach where Jordan lived and where George worked and
sometimes stayed. It was the next morning that I heard about George's passing
and then later about Jordan Belson so perhaps in a strange way the kingdom of
nature was guiding them both into another world.


To: Experimental Film Discussion List <>
Sent: Wed, September 7, 2011 7:09:54 PM
Subject: Re: [Frameworks] R.I.P. Jordan Belson (1926-2011)

This is a sad week indeed. All of us at Canyon Cinema will miss George and his
amazing sense of humor and satire. George has always been a source of comical
wisdom to all of us here. Also missed will be Jordan Belson. I was lucky to be
able to work with him on my series of Film Screenings in 1999 called Shake the
Nation where I was able to program two exhibitions of his work and have an
internegative created of three of his valuable works. I was also lucky enough to
have several in depth telephone conversations with him. He lived around the
corner from my apartment in North Beach.

Dominic Angerame
Canyon Cinema

From: Steve Polta <>
To: Experimental Film Discussion List <>
Sent: Wed, September 7, 2011 1:36:55 PM
Subject: Re: [Frameworks] R.I.P. Jordan Belson (1926-2011)

Wow. The phantom filmmaker of San Francisco. Living all these years in North
Beach, interacting with very few. A mystery. I always hoped he would make an
unannounced appearance...

--- On Wed, 9/7/11, C Keefer <> wrote:

>From: C Keefer <>
>Subject: [Frameworks] R.I.P. Jordan Belson (1926-2011)
>Date: Wednesday, September 7, 2011, 11:53 AM
>We are sad to report that filmmaker/artist Jordan Belson died early Tuesday
>morning, September 6, at his home in San Francisco, of heart failure. He was 85.
>A memorial screening is planned for the near future in the San Francisco Bay
>Area, plus tribute screenings in several other cities. Details will follow
>Jordan Belson created abstract films richly woven with cosmological imagery,
>exploring consciousness, transcendence, and the nature of light itself.
>Born in Chicago in 1926, Belson studied painting at the California School of
>Fine Art (now San Francisco Art Institute), and received his B.A., Fine Arts
>(1946) from The University of California, Berkeley. He saw films by Oskar
>Fischinger, Norman McLaren and Hans Richter at the historic Art in Cinema
>screening series in San Francisco in the late 1940s. Belson was inspired to make
>films with scroll paintings and traditional animation techniques, calling his
>first films "cinematic paintings."
>Curator Hilla Rebay at The Museum of Non-Objective Painting, New York, exhibited
>his paintings, and upon Fischinger's recommendation awarded Belson several
>grants. From 1957-1959, Belson was Visual Director for The Vortex Concerts at
>San Francisco's Morrison Planetarium, a series of electronic music concerts
>accompanied by visual projections. Composer Henry Jacobs curated the music while
>Belson created visual illusions with multiple projection devices, combining
>planetarium effects with patterns and abstract film footage. His Vortex work
>inspired his abandoning traditional animation methods to work with real time
>projected light. He completed Allures (1961), Re-entry (1964), Phenomena (1965),
>Samadhi (1967), and continued with a series of abstract films. His varied
>influences include yoga, Eastern philosophies and mysticism, astronomy, Romantic
>classical music, alchemy, Jung, non-objective art, mandalas and many more.
>Belson produced an extraordinary body of over 30 abstract films, sometimes
>called "cosmic cinema." He produced ethereal special effects for the film The
>Right Stuff (1983). His last completed film was Epilogue (2005), commissioned by
>The Hirshhorn Museum. He is survived by his long time partner, Catherine
>Heinrich. (Revised bio by C. Keefer, for Guggenheim Museum's "The Third Mind"
>catalog, 2008.)
>More information about Belson and his work can be found on his approved research
>pages, at
>Earlier in 2011, Belson wrote a statement asking people not to put his films
>online, as it did not do justice to his work.
>In lieu of flowers, Belson's partner Ms. Heinrich requests that donations be
>made to Center for Visual Music's preservation and digitization work to continue
>preserving the legacy of Jordan Belson. Contact cvmarchive (at)
>posted by:
>Cindy Keefer
>Center for Visual Music
>Los Angeles, CA
>cvmaccess (at)
>FrameWorks mailing list

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Received on Thu Sep 08 2011 - 14:54:13 CDT