Jonas Mekas – filmmaker, film critic, archivist, poet, lecturer and curator – is one of the leading figures of American avant-garde film and video. Born in Lithuania, he immigrated to New York in 1949 after spending time in Nazi forced labor camps and displaced persons camps. In addition to his many narrative and diary films that have screened extensively at festivals and museums around the world, he has worked as editor-in-chief of Film Culture, movie critic for the Village Voice and co-founder of Anthology Film Archives, one of the world’s largest and most important repositories of avant-garde films. Read More »
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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 »
“This film is a snapshot of the life of Fred Frith, an English-born multi-instrumentalist, composer, and improvisor. It finds him in Europe, Japan, and the US, working and playing with a variety of avant garde artists.
There is no narrative, or narrator. The images blend with his music, and visa versa, creating a narrative all their own. His performances, widely varied, reveal a light hearted intensity. In one scene, he uses his violin to ‘sing’ with seagulls and, in another, he conducts a quartet. Most of all, it shows him as a human being whose being is infused with music. It pours out of him in all its varied forms, and he welcomes it all. Read More »