JONAS MEKAS: THE MAJOR WORKS

This 7-Disc DVD Box Set, co-published by Re:Voir Video, Agnès B DVD and Potemkine, brings together, for the very first time, the key films created by Jonas Mekas. These collected works, that span a filming career of more than 60 years, re-affirm his stature as one of the most prolific avant-garde filmmakers and pre-eminent cinema poets.

Jonas Mekas was born in Lithuania in 1922. In 1944, Jonas and his brother Adolfas (HALLELUJAH THE HILLS - also available from GME) were taken by the Nazis to a forced labor camp in Germany. After WWII he studied philosophy at the University of Mainz. At the end of 1949, the UN Refugee Organization brought both brothers to New York, where they settled in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Immediately acquiring a 16mm Bolex camera, Jonas began filming his surrounding environment and friends, that he later assembled into films primarily centered on the dual themes of exile and assimilation. Jonas developed his diary style of filmmaking while simultaneously becoming immersed as a magazine editor and publisher (Film Culture), film critic (The Village Voice), distributor (the New York Film-Makers Cooperative), programmer (the Film-Makers' Cinematheque), and archivist (Anthology Film Archives). In short, Mekas soon became, in singular fashion, the most significant force behind the evolution and promotion of the American Avant- Garde film movement.

"Mekas's enthusiasm for his contemporaries and his modesty and reticence about his own achievements as a film-maker contributed to an underestimation of his stature in the sixties and seventies...Congruent with the magnitude of his recording of the pulse of the New York art world for forty years is his slow revelation of the reflective self. By the nineties it was apparent that Mekas was one of the central filmmakers of the American avant-garde."

– P. Adams Sitney, Visionary Film

"Since 1950, I have been keeping a film diary. I have been walking around with my Bolex and reacting to the immediate reality: situations, friends, New York, seasons of the year. On some days I shot ten frames, on others ten seconds, still on others ten minutes. Or I shoot nothing. When one writes diaries, its' a retrospective process: you sit down, you look back at your day, and you write it all down. To keep a film (camera) diary, is to react (with your camera) immediately, now, this instant: either you get it now or you don't get it at all. To go back and shoot it later, it would mean restating, be it events or feelings. To get it now, as it happens, demands the total mastery of one's tools (in this case, Bolex): it has to register my state of feeling (and the memories) as I react. Which also means that I had to do all the structuring (editing) right there, during the shooting, in the camera."

– Jonas Mekas

 

 
 
 

  Contents

Format: DVD-PAL / Region 0
(No Regional Code)

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THE BRIG
(US, 1964)

Director: Jonas Mekas

• 65 minutes 
• 16mm
• B&W
• Sound

_________________________________________

WALDEN: DIARIES, NOTES, AND SKETCHES
(US, 1969)

Director: Jonas Mekas

• 180 minutes
• 16mm
• Color
• Sound

_________________________________________

REMINISCENCES OF A JOURNEY TO LITHUANIA
(US, 1972)

Director: Jonas Mekas

• 82 minutes
• 16mm
• Color
• Sound

_________________________________________

LOST LOST LOST
(US, 1976)

Director: Jonas Mekas

• 178 minutes
• 16mm
• Color, B&W
• Sound

_________________________________________

AS I WAS MOVING AHEAD OCCASIONALLY I SAW BRIEF GLIMPSES OF BEAUTY
(US, 2000)

Director: Jonas Mekas

• 285 minutes
• 16mm
• Color
• Sound
• 2 Discs

_________________________________________

Short Film Works

CASSISS
(US, 1966) 

• 4 minutes

NOTES ON THE CIRCUS
(US, 1966) 

• 12 minutes

HARE KRISHNA 
(US, 1966) 

• 4 minutes

REPORT FROM MILLBROOK
(US, 1965-1966) 

• 12 minutes

TIME AND FORTUNE VIETNAM NEWSREEL
(US, 1968)

• 4 minutes

TRAVEL SONGS
(US, 1967-1981) 

• 25 minutes

QUARTET NUMBER ONE
(US, 1991) 

• 8 minutes

IMPERFECT THREE-IMAGE FILMS
(US, 1995) 

• 6 minutes

SONG OF AVIGNON
(US, 1998) 

• 5 minutes

MOZART, WIEN & ELVIS 
(US, 2000) 

• 3 minutes

WILLIAMSBURG
(US, 1949-2002) 

• 15 minutes

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Total Running Time: 14:44:00 (7 Discs)

Language: English. English, French & Lithuanian subtitles

Booklet Text: Jonas Mekas, Saul Gottlieb, Jean-Jacques Lebel, Patrice Rollet, P. Adams Sitney, Jerry Tallmer, Pip Chodorov, Genevieve Yue & Timothy Leary (Bilingual French & English)

Published By: Re:Voir Video

Institutional Price: $800 (plus shipping).

To order call: 212.280.8654 or click here for information on ordering by fax, e-mail or post.