Jon Jost in the PNW
Screening Dates
  • July 5 (Friday) 8:50
New Restoration

Extraordinary … The Bed You Sleep In is in every respect a brilliant, corrosive work—one of the most remarkable films of the 1990s.”

Adrian Martin, The Age (Melbourne)

Buoyed by the crossover success of his first 35mm production All the Vermeers in New York, maverick American independent Jon Jost trained his eye on the Pacific Northwest and the crumbling timber industry of Toledo, Oregon. The social rot left by that downturn serves as backdrop and metaphor for this immersive—and deeply unsettling—narrative involving lumber-mill owner Ray (Tom Blair), his devoted wife Jean (Ellen McLaughlin), and the letter that arrives like a guillotine into their lives, accusing Ray of transgressions against his daughter as a child. Building toward a who-to-believe impasse of exceptionally bleak consequence, the film engineers a palpable sense of dread stemming from Blair’s carefully modulated performance and Jost’s formal experimentations—shuttling pans, uncanny compositions, and a vérité-rupturing employment of split screen. Located somewhere at the intersection of Twin Peaks and James Benning, The Bed You Sleep In is a masterful work of terrible beauty and one of Jost’s most acclaimed pictures.

Restored DCP courtesy of Eye Filmmuseum

Introduced by Jon Jost.

One of maverick independent Jon Jost’s most forceful efforts … This is as evocative and apocalyptic as [his] cinema gets—a film full of unanswered questions that will nag at you for days.”

Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader

This quiet film is a visual stunner, full of haunting tableaus of its picturesque Pacific Northwest setting … One of the finest works of a true American filmmaking original.”

Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune