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WARREN SONBERT

Experimental filmmaker Warren Sonbert died May 31 of complications from AIDS. He was 46.

Sonbert began making films while attending NYU in 1966. He later taught filmmaking at the San Francisco Art Institute, the Art Institute of Chicago and at Bard College.

He frequently wrote film and classical music reviews, most recently for the Bay Area Reporter and the San Francisco Sentinel.

His 18 films mixed elements of documentary, travelogue, home movie and narrative in free-wheeling, kaleidoscopic visual collages, usually employing music rather than dialogue to further shape mood.

Among his better-known works are “Carriage Trade” (1968-72), “Friendly Witness” (1989) and “Short Fuse” (1991).

Some of his films are in the permanent collections of the New York Museum of Modern Art, the British Film Institute and other institutions worldwide.

Sonbert received a Rockefeller Foundation grant in 1991. His work has been showcased at the Whitney Museum, the Berlin Film Festival and elsewhere.

The New York City native is survived by his father, Jack Sonbert, of San Diego; two brothers; and his companion, Ascension Serrano.

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