The name Jonas Mekas is synonymous with alternative cinema and film culture in New York. Meet and talk with “The Godfather of American Avant-Garde Cinema” on Wednesday, February 10 at 6pm in the Amphitheater at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, where the filmmaker, poet, and artist will be the spotlight of our ongoing Free Talks series.
Born in a Lithuanian farming village, Mekas was liberated from a German forced labor camp and he eventually moved to New York in 1949 and began filming. In 1954, he and his brother Adolfas started Film Culture magazine, which soon became one of the most important film publications in the U.S. In 1958, he began his popular “Movie Journal” column in The Village Voice, and in 1962 he founded the Film-Makers’ Cooperative, followed by the Filmmakers’ Cinematheque in 1964, which eventually grew into Anthology Film Archives, and is recognized today as one of the world’s largest and most important repositories of avant-garde cinema.
Mekas has also published a dozen volumes of poetry and prose. His films and art have been shown at the Venice Biennale, documenta of Kassel, the Museum Ludwig in Cologne, the Centre Pompidou, and the Serpentine Gallery, among other museums and institutions. His film work includes such titles as The Brig (1964), Walden (1968), Reminiscences of a Journey to Lithuania (1971), Lost Lost Lost (1976), As I Was Moving Ahead Occasionally I Saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty (2001), and Out-takes from the Life of a Happy Man (2012). Lost Lost Lost and Walden were recently released on Blu-ray by Kino Lorber.