Drawn together from two decades of itinerant shooting in Europe, Travel Songs evokes Jonas Mekas’ improvisatory approach to sightseeing, with Assisi, Moscow and Stockholm all filtered through his singularly animated lens.
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The work of Jonas Mekas touches me deeply and it is a beautiful thing to be moved by images. It is the closest thing i know of memory turned into pictures (the second closest thing being Chris Marker i guess). It works like memory with flashes, a certain light, a friend, a place we loved, and it is very much there and gone at the same time. It has to do with the brilliant editing, this special Mekas touch.
Bit of a mixed bag; some shorts have real panache and visual beauty, and capture life so well, and others are mediocre. Although this is often how I feel about Mekas' work in general. Even though Walden is one of the greatest diary works I have ever seen, I don't think he has an impressive catalogue of work.
Mekas: the tourist.
The tourist is different in his perception and his spatial categorisation of the place he visits. Travel Songs is the tourist's eye - the blurred landscapes from inside the train, the tilting down on buildings and the plants. Even such a rapid, blurry input is bound to stir emotions - fear of the foreign night - the Dantean Forest - where one needs guidance to be kept from losing the good way.
Lovely, at points, snippets of footage from various destinations, which form a tapestry of memory traces in line with a cinema of lived experience and the undifferentiated logic that supports it. There is poetry in the images and in the precious but fleeting observations of everyday-life and the surrounding objects or natural milieu that haunts memory, yet it is typically-for Mekas-marred by the erratic diary style.
Acepto con placer el caos que propone Mekas, pero en ciertas ocasiones, como en "The song of Italy" y "The song of Stokholm", me desespera y abruma. Sin embargo, la imagen de las niñas en Ávila junto con la pausada voz poética de Jonas, en pleno extásis de la experiencia, muestran el glorioso caos del cine de un neoyorquino y europeo, o mejor: un ciudadano del mundo.
Watching "Travel Songs" reminds me of a stream of memories - it manages to convey the feeling of a confusing, melancholic dream... Just like most of the other Jonas Mekas' work I've seen so far, it revolves around himself - I'm sure the images bring memories and have a meaning for Jonas, but for me - they were mostly random, erratically put together, uninspiring fragments of someone's holiday...