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Different Johns is a film about musician, photographer, filmmaker John Cohen. ‘There is a saying that the treasures of the universe may be found between the eyes of a horse. But the treasures of the earth may be found between the eyes of John Cohen. Its simplicity. its music - its silence.’ Patti Smith.
Robert is an accidental documentarian, inspired by his subject. Different Johns is Robert’s first feature. His next, Speed is Expensive, is about another maverick, Philip Vincent, and the motorcycle that would both make him and break him. Robert combines this visual storytelling with a successful career in furniture design, the 2D versus 3D.
Film Review: John Cohen, a founding member of the New Lost City Ramblers, was an unconventional artist who played an important role in documenting American culture. His work as a photographer and filmmaker is particularly highly regarded by museums, galleries and festivals worldwide. Spanning over fifty years, Different Johns is a rich account of Cohen’s many talents as an exceptionally gifted folk musician, photographer, musicologist, filmmaker and anthropologist. The film immerses the viewer in the hidden side of 1950s American culture as well as the Abstract Expressionist movement centred around New York's Cedar Bar. You learn the stories behind Cohen’s famous photographs of Jack Kerouac, Willem de Kooning, Robert Frank, Allen Ginsberg and Woodie Guthrie. A highlight worth mentioning is a young Bob Dylan on the cusp of fame, immortalised by Cohen in the iconic black and white ""smoking portraits"". John Cohen was an enigmatic and inspiring man who was often overlooked by the public. Different Johns offers us a precious insight into his fascinating life and, above all, the chance to finally sit down and get to know him. Tayba Mason
With Dir. Robert Carr; Moderated by Elliot Grove.