Anthony Stern's passion for the synthesis of image and music led to his discovery of glass and the healing possibilities of colour. The thread that unites his work in glass and film is the manipulation of transparent material that records movement.
Anthony Stern was first exposed to glass as a child via a collection of antique glass marbles from Czechoslovakia. He grew up in Cambridge and experimented with music and painting. He had his first exhibition of paintings with Syd Barrett in 1963. While studying English and History of Art at Cambridge University he was introduced to filmmaking by Peter Whitehead. He directed experimental non-linear films, most notably ‘San Francisco' which decades later has been included in exhibitions at Tate Liverpool and the Whitney Museum of American Art. In addition to his body of work which encapsulates the psychology of the Psychedelia movement, Stern travelled to Afghanistan in 1971 and made a impressionistic documentary entitled the ‘Noon Gun.' The film was re-edited in 2004 and premiered at the Melbourne Film Festival the same year.
The Cinémathèque Française in Paris hosted a retrospective of Stern's films in June 2008.
“He uses a flash-and-freeze method, interrupting the movement, composing in a multiplicity of frozen image; the work is reminiscent of the American...underground school... The cinema, he says, is completely satisfying. It embraces music, theatre, painting, all the arts." - Dilys Powell, Sunday Times.
"San Francisco, as might be expected, divided the audience. Most probably detested it; but for local experimental filmmakers and others it was the best film in the Festival" - David Stratton, Director, Sydney Film Festival.