Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 16: Sun Jan 16

Lost, Lost, Lost (Mekas, 1976): Close Up Cinema, 6pm

This film is also being shown on January 22nd (full details here).

Close Up Cinema introduction to Jonas Mekas season (full details here)A Lithuanian, arriving in New York in flight from war-torn Europe, Jonas Mekas became one of the leading figures of American avant-garde filmmaking. 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 the Film-Makers’ Cooperative (FMC) and the Filmmakers’ Cinematheque in 1964, which eventually grew into Anthology Film Archives, one of the world’s largest and most important repositories of avant-garde films. His own output ranged from narrative films (Guns of the Trees) to documentaries (The Brig) and to “diaries” (Walden). Mekas' highly personal film diaries recorded many of the underground events from the 1950s to the 80s as well as his own life, creating a unique body of work that is both a record of those eventful years and remarkable film poetry. 2022 would have been the 100th anniversary of this legendary filmmaker, and to celebrate this occasion we’re delighted to present 10 of Mekas’ landmark films.

New York Times review: The ecstasy of creation flows from joy to melancholy in the work of the avant-garde filmmaker Jonas Mekas. For more than half a century, this Lithuanian-born artist has been making intensely personal films (now videos) that testify to the creative durability of Romanticism even as they furnish a richly textured portrait of his adopted home, New York City. Among Mr. Mekas's many achievements, one of the finest remains "Lost, Lost, Lost" (1976), a beautifully constructed diary film consisting of material from three decades, beginning in 1949 and ending in 1963. At once rough-hewn and delicate, marked by jagged edits and held together by the lyrical voice-over of Mr. Mekas, above, this portrait of the artist initially presents him as a young, displaced person trying to carve out room for himself within Brooklyn's immigrant community. It wasn't until Mr. Mekas moved to downtown Manhattan and joined a wilder, woollier tribe, whose members included Allen Ginsberg, Ken Jacobs and LeRoi Jones (before he became Amiri Baraka), that the filmmaker breathed more sympathetic air. Mr. Mekas might never have found a paradise to match the one he lost when he fled Lithuania during World War II. But to watch "Lost, Lost, Lost" is to think that for a time, downtown New York, with its cheap rents and band of bohemians, was as close to heaven as a young artist could get. Manohla Dargis

Here (and above) is the trailer.

No comments: