- Scenes From The Life Of Andy Warhol: Friendships And Intersections, 1990, 35’
- Zefiro Torna Or Scenes From The Life Of George Maciunas, 1992, 35’
- Happy Birthday To John, 1995, 24’
- This Side Of Paradise, 1999, 35’
Four young people are trying to understand why their friend, a young woman, committed a suicide. A film made up of disconnected scenes weaving between past and present. The title of the film comes from a poem by Stuart Perkoff which tells that some young people felt (around 1960) that everything is against them, so much that even the trees in the parks and streets seemed to them like guns pointing at their very existence.
This compilation of short film works brings together Jonas Mekas' many forms of expression throughout his career. At times funny, subversive, provocative, ironic, and fundamentally free, this panorama also shows us the sharp eye and acerbic wit that makes Jonas Mekas more than a filmmaker: a lover of life and people that he embraces with his camera, whose montages sing of eternity.
As I Was Moving Ahead... is a record of subtle feelings, emotions, daily joys of people as recorded in the voices, faces and small everyday activities of people I have met, or lived with, or observed -- something that I have been recording for many years. This, as opposed to the spectacular, entertaining, sensational, dramatic activities which dominate much of the contemporary film-making.
Since 1950 I have been keeping a film diary. I have been walking around with my Bolex and reacting to the immediate reality: situations, friends, New York, seasons of the year. On some days I shot ten frames, on others ten seconds, still on others ten minutes. Or I shot nothing. When one writes diaries, it's a retrospective process: you sit down, you look back at your day, and you write it all down.
After a twenty-seven year absence, Adolfas and his brother Jonas returned to their birthplace in Lithuania. They had left Lithuania as young men, destined for a German labor camp. Now they came home for a visit, Adolfas with his wife, the singer Pola Chapelle.
I went to see The Brig, the play, the night it closed. The Becks were told to shut down and get out. The performance, by this time, was so precisely acted that it moved with the inevitability of life itself. As I watched it I thought: Suppose this was a real brig; suppose I was a newsreel reporter; suppose I got permission from the U.S. Marine Corps to go into one of their brigs and film the goings-on: What a document one could bring to the eyes of humanity!
These six reels of my film diaries come from the years 1949-1963. They begin with my arrival in New York in November 1949. The first and second reels deal with my life as a Young Poet and a Displaced Person in Brooklyn. It shows the Lithuanian immigrant community, their attempts to adapt themselves to a new land and their tragic efforts to regain independence for their native country. It shows my own frustrations and anxieties and the decision to leave Brooklyn and move to Manhattan.
This box brings together the key works of Jonas Mekas, one of the most prolific avant-garde film artists and an acclaimed poet. Born in Lithuania in 1922, chased west by Soviet and Nazi forces, Mekas and his brother spent four years in German displaced persons' camps before arriving in New York in 1949 where they started shooting 16mm films on exile, military domination and poetic freedom. Jonas developed his diary style of filmmaking while busying himself as a film critic, programmer, organizer and distributor.
The Flicker sweeps away reality, transports us into another environment and acts as a sort of instrument of perceptual experimentation. The filmmaker himself considers it as a kind of science fiction film which, instead of entering us into strange worlds – which have everything to do with this world and the development of conventional narrative structures –, proposes to transport us into a totally different dimension which is abstract and structured in a manner radically different from our environment.