This film is a portrait of the passage of one year in the lives
of some San Francisco friends, circa 1988 (before the dot.coming of
the city), a slow marijuana hazed story which drifts like the fabled
fog, encompassing the quirks and habits of a generation that made the
city theirs, if only for a while. Very obliquely Rembrandt Laughing
sketches the time and place, encompassing the AIDS epidemic, the casual
sexual revolution, the debris of '68 lingering in the air. A quiet,
very San Francisco comedy of life among a small group of friends. Rembrandt
Laughing was improvised over the period of about a month by Jost and
his friends, mostly acting non-professionals.
1989 | 16mm | Color | Sound | 100 minutes
Producer, writer, director, editor cinematographer
: Jon Jost
Music: Jon A. English
With: Jon A English, Barbara Hammes, Jennifer
Johanson, Ed Green, Nathaniel Dorsky, Janet McKinley, Roger Ruffin,
John Powers, Kate Dezina, Jerry Barrish, John Bassett, Peter Machel
Shown at Berlin, Toronto 1989
Broadcast on WNET Independent Focus
"A masterful elliptical account of a little over a year in the lives
of a few friends in San Francisco... with a warmth, philosophical depth
and overall sense of relaxation new to Jost's work. One of the ten best
films of 1989."
- Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"Rembrandt Laughing ... a joy, a gem, a tissue paper tracing of
- Amy Taubin, Village Voice
"Devotees of director Jon Jost will uncover profundities in every
scene; those who aren't so taken by Jost will scratch their heads and
wonder what all the shouting is about."
- Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide
" I cannot say that I am able to follow all the plot elements of Jon Jost’s Rembrandt Laughing. Jost himself has explained that..."
- Dennis Grunes's review. Read more