Plain Talk is a complex essay-film, a follow-up a decade
and some years later to Speaking Directly, and so another State
of the Nation discourse, made for Britain's Channel Four in the year
1986-87. The work involved extensive travel around the United States,
and poses an examination of just what America is/was, or what do we
mean when we speak of it. Done in a series of radically different sections
which collide with each other in a manner intended to provoke thinking,
Plain Talk, which was made by an American and intended for
American viewers, was indeed broadcast in Britain, but somewhat predictably,
not in the USA.
1987 | 16mm | Color | Sound | 110 minutes
Producer, writer, director, editor cinematographer
: Jon Jost
Music: Jon A. English
Selected for the Whitney Biennial, 1987;
shown at Berlin, London, Yamagata, and many other festivals.
"No filmmaker could be more in the American grain than Jost, and
Uncommon Senses proves to be a stunning experience, a totally
original and challenging essay on America."
- Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times
"Plain Talk and Common Sense is Jost's most successful
film yet - a movie of expansive negativity, that putting patriotism
under erasure, proposes to represent America and then revels in its
inability to do so."
- J. Hoberman, Village Voice
"Funny, sinister and engrossingly watchable, it's a surprising
and accessible success for a director notorious for his low-budget minimalism.
And despite his complaint that the words have been hijacked by the loony
right, it could only have been made by a patriotic American."
- John Gill, Time Out, London
"The following is one of the entries from my 100 Greatest English-Language Films list, which I invite you to visit on this site if you haven’t already done so."
- Dennis Grunes's review. Read more