Philip Stewart Solomon
January 3, 1954
Manhattan, New York City, U.S.
|Died||April 20, 2019 (aged 65)|
near Boulder, Colorado, U.S.
|Education||Binghamton University Massachusetts College of Art|
|Known for||Experimental film, Machinima|
Philip Stewart Solomon (January 3, 1954 – April 20, 2019) was an American experimental filmmaker noted for his work with both film and video. In recent years, Solomon had earned acclaim for a series of films that incorporate machinima made using games from the Grand Theft Auto series. His films are often described as haunting and lyrical.
Solomon was an associate of the influential American experimental filmmaker Stan Brakhage, with whom he taught film at the University of Colorado in Boulder. Solomon and Brakhage collaborated on three films. In a 1992 poll for the British film magazine Sight & Sound, Brakhage picked Solomon's Remains to Be Seen as one of the ten greatest films of all time. The film had previously been selected as one of the top ten films of 1989 by the Village Voice.
Solomon was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1994. In 2007, he was the recipient of the Thatcher Hoffman Smith Award from the University of Oklahoma. In 2012 Solomon received the Knight Fellowship of the USA (United States Artists) Fellows program, alongside novelist Annie Proulx, sculptor Alison Saar, jazz musician Jack DeJohnette, dancer and choreographer Trisha Brown, and artist Theaster Gates.
On April 10, 2010, Solomon's American Falls opened at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. The six-projection video/sound installation received great acclaim before closing in July 2010. In conjunction with the Corcoran exhibition, Solomon's career as a filmmaker was explored in "Rhapsodies in Silver," a three-program survey at Washington's National Gallery of Art.
A re-edited, feature-length, single-projection version of American Falls was featured at the New York Film Festival's "Views from the Avant Garde" on October 1, 2010. The single projection version of the film condenses the original multi-projector format into a triptych, placing three independent (yet associative) images next to one another. In Fall 2012, Solomon screened a three-channel version of American Falls at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, New York, as part of the exhibition "Film After Film."
Originally from New York City, Solomon attended Binghamton University and received an Masters of Fine Arts from the Massachusetts College of Art. One of Solomon's instructors was the experimental filmmaker Ken Jacobs, who started his first class with a screening of Tony Conrad's film The Flicker. Solomon initially disliked the film, but the experience, followed by a screening of his future collaborator Stan Brakhage's Blue Moses, had a profound impact on his development as a filmmaker. Another formative experience came in the form of a lecture by critic Fred Camper on Brakhage's Anticipation of the Night.
Solomon began making films in 1975. Solomon has since destroyed some of his early works, many of which were made in imitation of Brakhage.
Solomon had been teaching at the University of Colorado since 1991.
Solomon's films have been housed at the Academy Film Archive since 2005, and they have preserved several of his films, including "As If We," "Twilight Psalm I: The Lateness of the Hour," and "What's Out Tonight Is Lost."
- The Passage of the Bride (1979–1980)
- Nocturne (1980)
- What's Out Tonight Is Lost (1983)
- The Secret Garden (1988)
- Clepsydra (1992)
- The Exquisite Hour (1989/1994)
- Remains to Be Seen (1989/1994)
- Elementary Phrases (w/ Stan Brakhage) (1994)
- The Snowman (1995)
- Concrescence (w/ Stan Brakhage) (1996)
- Psalm I: "The Lateness of the Hour " (1999 – )
- Psalm II: "Walking Distance " (1999)
- Psalm III: "Night of the Meek " (2002)
- Seasons... (w/ Stan Brakhage) (2002)
- Crossroad (w/ Mark LaPore) (2005)
- Rehearsals for Retirement (2007)
- Last Days In a Lonely Place (2007)
- Still Raining, Still Dreaming (2008)
- American Falls (2000 –2012 )
- The Emblazoned Apparitions (2013)
- Psalm IV: "Valley of the Shadow" (2013)
- Reprinted from Cinemascope #30: Phil Solomon Visits San Andreas and Escapes, Not Unscathed: Notes on Two Recent Works. Academichack.net. Retrieved on January 6, 2012.
- Wexner Center for the Arts: Phil Solomon Archived February 12, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. Wexarts.org (October 1, 2008). Retrieved on January 6, 2012.
- Phil Solomon at REDCAT
- CNYPG: Phil Solomon. Cinema.cornell.edu. Retrieved on January 6, 2012.
- 25, 2009+22:49:13 Directors' Top Ten. Webcitation.org. Retrieved on January 6, 2012.
- Canyon Cinema: The Films of Phil Solomon Archived September 7, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- Creative Capital: Philip S. Solomon Archived August 8, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
- The Thatcher Hoffman Smith Award. Cim.ou.edu. Retrieved on January 6, 2012.
- "USA Fellows - United States Artist".
- "Museum of the Moving Image - Exhibitions - Phil Solomon: American Falls".
- Cinemad: Interview with Phil Solomon. Cinemad.iblamesociety.com (November 18, 2005). Retrieved on January 6, 2012.
- Genzlinger, Neil (May 2019). "Phil Solomon, Leading Experimental Filmmaker, is Dead at 65". The New York Times.
- Harris, Kyle. "RIP: Phil Solomon, Experimental Filmmaker and CU Professor". Westword. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
- "Preserved Projects". Academy Film Archive.
- Phil Solomon Official Website
- Professor Phil Solomon Faculty Page, Film Studies, University of Colorado at Boulder
- "Reflection on the Avant-Garde Experience: A Meditation on Phil Solomon's The Secret Garden by Dana Anderson
- Phil Solomon program at the Conversations At The Edge program Conversations At The Edge at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago
- Phil Solomon at IMDb
- Michael Sicinski's Cinemascope magazine article on Phil Solomon
- Michael Sicinski's review of "Last Days In A Lonely Place" by Phil Solomon
- Patrick Friel's review of Phil Solomons In Memoriam trilogy as printed in The 11th Views from the Avant-Garde, the experimental film program of The New York Film Festival
- NY Times review by Manohla Dargis
- CINEMAD interview with Phil Solomon
- American Falls installation and NGA Retrospective review by Genevieve Yue
- ARTFORUM review of American Falls at the NYFF
- Film Comment Avant-Garde Film poll, Top 50 Filmmakers of the Decade, May/June 2010
- 303 Magazine: "Phil Solomon: USA Knight Fellow
- Westword: "Boulder-based filmmaker Phil Solomon awarded USA grant after finishing American Falls"
- The Brooklyn Rail: "Chemical Sundowns: Phil Solomon with Leo Goldsmith
- Boulder Weekly: "Songs of Solomon: CU Filmmaker works in the medium of visual music"
- Huffington Post, UK: "London Film Festival Review: Phil Solomon's American Falls."