A three hour long avant-garde odyssey of two Lithuanian brothers who moved to America after the second world war and tried to reinvent themselves in the land of opportunity. The first few parts of the film where pretty interesting, as they serve kind of as documentations on late 40s America. However, in the latter parts of the film, where the film-maker realized he wanted to go avant-garde is where I fell off. Meh.
My 1st Jonas Mekas, and I’m grateful to the reviewer who said to stick it out till Reel 3. At times, the interplay of image, word, sound was something like the cinematic version of symphonic; elements deftly caught up into arrangement. Some bits soared… But the demoralizing run time + the 1st 2 meh reels never fully got made up for. 3.5. Will try some of his others.
Mekas always brings poetry. This film is the opposite to the Homeric Ulysses, but elaborates on the same issue. Where is home? Where can I be happy? Mekas´ answer: anywhere. You just have to look everything with new eyes. He´s lost, but finds glimples of beauty everywhere. Brief glimples. These images are fragmented, burnt, intense, dazzling, and full of Heimweh. This seems soft, but is instead postmodern epic.
Beautifully poetic at times, accompanied by some strong images here and there, but the sheer length feels overwhelming at times. The narration is dealing with nostalgia, but what we see is a lively Lithuanian community, then some holiday excursions with friends - this somehow collides and contradicts each other. I spent 11 years of my life as an immigrant abroad, and believe me - it was much more lonely that this!
Mekas' films are at once epic and intimate, encyclopaedic and elegiac, and contain within them hidden multitudes. This is a brilliantly oneiric experience and one of the great films on immigration (and emigration too). Mekas' halting commentary only adds to the other-worldly effect. It seems both immediate and irrevocably locked in the distant past. And to top it all off, Salvador Dalí appears at one point!
Every scene in the documentary seems to extend the corporeality of its participants, be it the empty streets, the clueless people, the wandering author, the scene of coffin burial, the scene of people getting married, child getting baptised. All of these could be felt as if one was there, with those bodies, people in a very physical sense. Everyone should see this.
More archival footage from Jonas Mekas, this shows the strange transition felt by those who left, or had to leave, their homeland in order to make a fresh life elsewhere. Troubles and tension crop up in between moments of appreciated freedom and beauty. As a film experience, this will test your patience at times, but the message ultimately makes it something worthy of your time.
2.5 - I'm glad I stuck with it, after the second viewing, as the first 4 reels, especially 1-2 (devoid of anything remotely interesting and completely sterile visually), almost feeling like a student film of Mekas. I guess these ones were some of his first, so kind of understandable; but reels 5-6 were much more like the Mekas which I like, and showed his early promise and potential.Bubble gum was first bit of beauty