Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 29: Sat Jan 29

He Stands in a Desert Counting the Seconds of His Life (Mekas, 1969-1985):
Close Up Cinema, 7.30pm 

This film is also being shown on January 30th (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.

Senses of Cinema review:
The great achievement of American avant-garde film has been the interiorization of the cinema image: the creation of a body of films whose techniques are geared not toward using the film image for objective presentation of external events but for the exploration of the varieties of the private personas and inner visions of their makers. Jonas Mekas’s film, He Stands in a Desert Counting the Seconds of His Life, is one of the most intense, beautiful, and moving examples of that tradition.
Fred Camper

Here (and above) is an extract.

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