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By Kathleen Jay
Rosenblatt, who has been making short films since the early 1980s, makes films that deal with a variety of themes — from birth and childhood to religious faith, tyranny and death. Frequently screened on public television and film festivals, Rosenblatt ’s films are consistently recognized for their unique style and his commitment to taking risks. “I have screened several films at that (Jewish Film) Festival over the years.” he said. “Maybe they gave me the award for dealing with subjects that are more risk-taking.” Soft-spoken and highly knowledgeable of his craft Rosenblatt’s work will be shown in a program that includes nine of his shorts at the Roxie Cinema in San Francisco and at the Smith Rafael Film Center in San Rafael next month.
Last spring, Rosenblatt had a sold-out screening of eight shorts at the San Francisco Cinemateque at Yerba Buena. As a follow-up, this retrospective, “Matters of Life and Death,” will include films from the previous show and one additional short called “A Pregnant Moment,” a 24-minute piece shot in 1999 about the birth of his dog’s puppies. “In the program at the Roxie, there are several diary films starring my daughter and I,” he said. “One is about puppies —when our dog gave birth to puppies and what we went through.”
“Phantom Limb,” the center- piece of the show, however, has much more gravity and weight. “It is the longest piece of the program and the most serious,” he said. “It’s a film that deals with grieving and loss. The point of departure in the film was the death of my brother when I was 9 and he was 7.” The program — nine shorts that range from 1 to 28 minutes — will have a total running time of 86 minutes,and will be screened at the Roxie from November 11-17, and at the Smith Rafael Film Center in San Rafael the following week, from Nov.18-24. Rosenblatt,who also teaches filmmaking at the San Francisco Art Institute, will be in attendance opening night at both screenings. For more information, visit www.jayrosenblattfilms.com.
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