RIP Jonas Mekas
RIP Jonas Mekas, December 24, 1922 - January 23, 2019.
The world of cinema has lost one of its leading avant-garde filmmakers, film critic, writer and artist.
There are so many writings and interviews with Jonas Mekas, here’s one I read a couple of years ago that I remember, with Bilge Ebiri for The Village Voice from September 2017.
But your films are often about memory.
No! No! No! My films are about the present moment. You cannot film a memory. But yeah, how I film is affected by what I am made of — from the moment when I was born, I was made by every moment, every second I lived, and already even generations before were in me already. Otherwise, how would I learn to speak or anything? So, I’m like a last leaf of a big, big tree that goes, you know, centuries and centuries back. So that whatever I do and say, how I film, is affected by what I am. But what I film is now — not a second before, not a second that will come, but what is now, the present moment. And that is not memory.
If in the UAE, MUBI is streaming a selection of his films over the next couple of months. It will be my introduction to his films as there is so much of his work I have not seen, and it will be the same for anyone not familiar with his work.
Richly articulate in both style and narrative, Mekas’s vast body of work excels at capturing all sorts of everyday events by adopting the most personal of touches. In every brief moment and with each new encounter, his eye was masterful at conveying fond curiosity and sheer instinct while framing the world.
As we pay homage to his eclectic contribution to cinema and beyond, MUBI is proud to present nine of Jonas Mekas’s most personal films: profoundly diverse in their own chosen settings and intimate happenings, they all cohesively belong to a cinematic journey that still feels significantly alive and timeless.