Jonas Mekas

Jonas Mekas – Birth of a Nation (1997)

Jonas Mekas’ BIRTH OF A NATION (1997) continues the filmmaker’s investigation into the possibilities of film-as-diary to offer glimpses of key figures of experimental cinema, including Stan Brakhage, Tony Conrad, and Michael Snow, compiled from footage shot over four decades. As far back as the masterpieces WALDEN (1969) and LOST, LOST, LOST (1976), Mekas has been turning his roaming camera on those around him, eschewing conventional documentary in favour of a more impressionistic, subjective engagement with his friends and surroundings. Read More »

Jonas Mekas – Notes on the Circus (1966)

Synopsis:
The short film is a montage of sped up video clips of The Ringling Brothers Circus in action set to a musical track. The film is separated into four segments, each segment which focuses on different acts within the circus. The later segments often incorporate clips from earlier segments, mostly as background to the featured acts. The speed of the video clips match the tempo of the soundtrack music. Read More »

Jonas Mekas – Zefiro Torna or Scenes from the Life of George Maciunas (Fluxus) (1992)

About:
The life and work of Fluxus artist George Maciunas as seen in clips filmed between 1952 and 1978.

“Images from the life of George Maciunas. Includes footage I took of George in 1952, at his parents house, with his father and mother and sister Nijole. Bits of Fluxus events and performances, and picnics with friends (Almus, Warhol, Lennon, Yoko Ono, etc.); George’s wedding and footage I took him in Boston three days before he died.”
– Jonas Mekas Read More »

Jonas Mekas – He Stands in the Desert Counting the Seconds of His Life (1986)

Quote:
“The film consists of 124 brief sketches, each half-a-minute to about two minutes long. Portraits of people I have spent time with,places, seasons of the year, weather (storms, snow, blizzards etc…) many of my film-maker friends- streets and parks of New-York- brief escape in nature, out of town- nothing spectacular, unimportant celebrations of life that has gone, by now, and remains only as a record in these personal, brief sketches.” Jonas Mekas Read More »

Jonas Mekas – Out-Takes from the Life of a Happy Man (2012)

Quote:
Memories, they say my images are my memories. No no no! These are not memories: this is all real what you see – every image, every detail, everything is real, everything is real and it’s not a memory, it has nothing to do with my memories anymore. Memories are gone, but the images are here, and they are real! What you see, every second of what you see, here, is real. Is real. Right there in front of your eyes, what you see, it’s real. There, in front of you. Yes, from that screen, it’s all real. (Jonas Mekas) Read More »

Jonas Mekas – Hare Krishna (1966)

Max Goldberg wrote:
Jonas Mekas’s freewheeling camerawork leaves itself open to the possibility of a second Great Awakening in this impressionistic sketch of a Hare Krishna troupe taking to the streets. Later incorporated into Walden, this short stands as a fine example of Mekas’ participatory approach to filming. Read More »

Jonas Mekas – Report from Millbrook (1966)

Max Goldberg wrote:
Jonas Mekas’ elegant report on a Poughkeepsie police department’s raid of Timothy Leary’s base-of-operations amply demonstrates the political potential of his diary filmmaking. The film’s protest is lodged in the disjunction between sound and image, with Mekas’ intimate, idyllic footage of the Millbrook property undercutting audio of the sheriff’s fear-mongering rationales. The interview was itself an act of subterfuge as East Village Other writer Bob Simmons posed as a buttoned-up reporter from the solidly mainstream Look to get his exclusive. As Simmons simply gives the sheriff enough rope to hang himself, Mekas’ montage leaves the outrage to the audience. Read More »