Poet and hero of the American counter-culture, Jonas Mekas, born in Lithuania in 1922, invented the diary form of film-making. Walden, his first completed diary film, an epic portrait of the New York avant-garde art scene of the 60s, is also a groundbreaking work of personal cinema. —Re-Voir
“Jonas Mekas’ films celebrate life. They rise up against the world’s overwhelming commercialism, attempting instead to revive the pleasures of friendship, a first snowfall or the return of Spring. Mekas’s genius stems from his generously including the viewer in his vision of the world, allowing us to (re)discover, in a simple image, the incredible force and necessity of poetry.” —Yann Beauvais
Jonas Mekas was born in 1922 in Semeniskiai, Lithuania. He currently lives and works in New York. In 1944, Jonas Mekas and his brother, Adolfas, were taken by the Nazis and imprisoned in a forced labor camp in Nazi Germany for eight months. After the War, he studied philosophy at the University of Mainz from 1946-48 and at the end of 1949, he emigrated with his brother to the U.S. settling in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in New York. Two weeks after his arrival, he borrowed the money to buy his first Bolex 16-mm camera and began to record moments of his life. He discovered avant-garde film at venues such as Amos Vogel’s pioneering cinema 16, and he began screening his own films in 1953. He has been one of the leading figures of American avant-garde filmmaking or the “New American Cinema,” as he dubbed it in the late ‘50s, playing various roles: in 1954, he became editor and chief of Film Culture; in 1958 he began writing his “Movie Journal” column for the Village Voice; in 1962 he co-founded… read more
Spent some joyful, liberating hours watching this. Now I want to live in the country AND New York while keeping a film diary too.
How bourgeois. As I was watching this I had violent fantasies of a society where artists were persecuted for playing the part of artists. If these are only unassuming personal images, why impose a waltz over footage of a wedding?