Jonas Mekas (1922-2019)

The Lithuanian-American filmmaker and artist Jonas Mekas has passed away.

“We lived in a century where for maybe half the world it was made impossible to remain at home. So now, I often say that cinema is my home. I used to say culture was my home. But it got a little bit confused. Nobody knows what culture is anymore. So I stick to cinema.


My own diaristic style came very much from that fact that I had no time and money to make a scripted, ‘conventional’ film. So instead of making films I just filmed. I sometimes joke, I say I am not really a filmmaker; I am only a filmer. I film real life. I never know what will come next. The shape of my films emerges from the accumulation of the material itself. I go through my life with my Bolex camera.”

Jonas Mekas1


Update (2003)

Winter, don’t ever be over. So that Spring
never has to show up, and no armies can
come marching in on us, while they’re still waiting for Spring. Wild
forest creatures will stay calm asleep, dreaming of

Winter, don’t ever be over. All will stay shut in
at home, sleeping all the while, with the vile evildoers, tramps
and wheeler dealers all frozen stiff, all will be drinking
with prostitutes, like children in their innocence
until the Spring,
                         which is never to come.

Don’t show up, Spring. Keep all your
blossoms, smells, kisses and crusts --
I want to stay calmly drinking my wine
with old friends -- while it’s still winter,
while the armies haven’t marched in yet --

O snow, keep on snowing, as deep, impenetrable,
cold, as in the winter of 1812,
until it’s Spring,
                         that’s never to come.

Jonas Mekas2

Images from As I Was Moving Ahead Occasionally I Saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty (Jonas Mekas, 2000)

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