Anthology Film Archives

JONAS MEKAS TRIBUTE SCREENINGS, PART 5

April 6 – June 28

On January 23, 2019, almost a month after his 96th birthday, Anthology’s founder Jonas Mekas passed away. Despite his advanced age, Jonas’s energy, joy, and perceptiveness, as well as his mischievous spirit and boundless openness to new forms of expression, were unflagging until his very final days. He remained a fixture of experimental and independent culture – in NYC and internationally – and a major driving force here at Anthology, until the end. In a very real sense, every program we present – and every film we save, preserve, and restore – has been and will continue to be a tribute to Jonas, to his tireless promotion of avant-garde film and his creation of multiple institutions and initiatives to support the infrastructure of non-commercial cinema. But in order to officially mark his passing we have been presenting screenings throughout the last year, comprising a comprehensive retrospective of his films and videos.

Jonas was, of course, not only a writer, poet, artist, and co-founder of Anthology, the Film-Makers’ Cooperative, and Film Culture Magazine, but also a filmmaker of great renown. Throughout this year we’ll be paying tribute to his oeuvre by screening a wide selection of his films and videos, both widely celebrated classics and far more obscure works.

Following chapters devoted to his diary films, his portraits of people and places, and his films documenting various forms of art or performance, this installment showcases the remaining films in Jonas’s filmography, which don’t easily fit into any category. The selection encompasses a small subset of films that constitute film- or video-letters to friends, colleagues, or to the public at large, as well as numerous others that demonstrate Jonas’s restless and ever-inventive openness to new cinematic forms.

Though this chapter of the ongoing series will shine the spotlight on the last remaining corners of Jonas’s own body of work, we will continue the celebration throughout the rest of 2020 with screenings of additional portraits of Jonas by other filmmakers and artists.

Very special thanks to Oona & Sebastian Mekas, and to Elle Burchill.

All descriptions are by Jonas Mekas unless otherwise noted.

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Upcoming Screenings

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