Herb Shellenberger

The Cinema is Jonas Mekas
October 12, 2012—April 20, 2013
International House Philadelphia
Philadelphia, PA, USA

Jonas Mekas (born 1922) emigrated from Lithuania to New York following WWII and became a pivotal figure in American independent film. Shortly after settling in Brooklyn, he bought a Bolex camera and began recording film diaries of his daily life. These diaries have been shaped into undoubtedly the most mesmerizing personal documentaries (a genre he invented) that have ever been made. The National Film Preservation Board selected his 1972 film Reminiscences of a Journey to Lithuania for the National Film Registry in 2006.

More than just a filmmaker, Mekas founded the Film-Makers' Cooperative, a film distribution cooperative that currently holds the world's largest collection of experimental film and video works. Soon after, Mekas—along with Stan Brakhage, P. Adams Sitney, Peter Kubelka and others—founded Anthology Film Archives, an organization with the purpose of exhibiting and preserving artist's film and video. He has been honored across the world for this and other work, including extensive writing on film and his Lithuanian-language poetry.

We are excited to present the films of Jonas Mekas in Philadelphia for the first time in many years, with one screening this fall, one screening this winter and a spring weekend of screenings and panel discussion where Jonas Mekas will join us to discuss his life and work, along with several scholars and filmmakers.

Film Magazine of the Arts, Jonas Mekas, 1963, US, 16mm, 20'
Lost Lost Lost, Jonas Mekas, 1976, US, 16mm, 178'
Scenes from the Life of Andy Warhol, Jonas Mekas, 1990, US, 16mm, 36'
Selections from The 365 Days Project, Jonas Mekas, 2007, US, video, 137'
Street Songs, Jonas Mekas, 1983, US, 16mm, 11'
Walden (Diaries, Notes and Sketches), Jonas Mekas, 1968, US, 16mm, 180'
Zefiro Torna, or Scenes from the Life of George Maciunas, Jonas Mekas, 1992, US, 16mm, 35'