"Four young people are trying to understand why their friend, a young woman, committed a suicide. A film made up of disconnected scenes weaving between past and present. The title of the film comes from a poem by Stuart Perkoff which tells that some young people felt (around 1960) that everything is against them, so much that even the trees in the parks and streets seemed to them like guns pointing at their very existence."

– Jonas Mekas

"GUNS OF THE TREES deals with the thoughts, feelings, and anguished strivings of my generation, faced with the moral perplexity of our times. Conceived as an episodic, horizontal film, there is no apparent direct story connection between one scene and the next. The scenes act like pieces of a larger, timed, emotional mosaic. Where the direct word, or the direct image, fails — when we come to more essential things — the indirectness of the poet will seize the essence and the truth."

– Jonas Mekas

guns of the trees1.jpg

"It is a bitter but lyric work. It is also revolutionary in form, being unlike, in its technique, anything you ever saw. It is a poster declaration, a manifesto. I regard GUNS OF THE TREES as the most important film by far of the American 'New Wave.'"

– Herman G. Weinberg, New York Film-Makers' Cooperative Catalogue n°6, 1975

"It may be one of the most personal and revealing films of the intellectual, beat and hip fringe of society of America today."

– Gene Moskowitz, Cahiers du cinéma, n°119, May 1961



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


(US, 1962)

Director: Jonas Mekas
Assisted by: Adolfas Mekas, Sheldon Rochlin, Charles Silver, Harrison Starr & Daniel Drasin
Poetry interludes written and spoken by: Allen Ginsberg
Music: Lucia Dlugoszewski
Fold-songs by: Sara Wiley, Caither Wiley & Tom Sankey
Cast: Ben Carruthers, Argus Speare Juilliard, Frances Stillman, Adolfas Mekas, Frank Kuenstler, Sudie Bond, Leonard Hicks, Louis Brigante, Barbara Tucker, Joel Walker, Sterling Jensen, Tina Stoumen, Marjorie Walker, George Maciunas, Marvin Karpatkin, Melvin Clay, Adam Barron & Anna Flanagan

• 87 minutes
• 35mm
• B&W
• Sound


Bonus Material

(US, 1966) 

Director: Carles I. Levine

• 4:30 minutes
• Shot in 1960 on the set of GUNS OF THE TREES. Dedicated to Ron Rice.


Total Running Time: 01:31:30

Language: English. English, French, Dutch & Lithuanian subtitles

Booklet Text: Jonas Mekas, Robert Temple, Alberto Moravia, Eugene Archer, Robert Ebert & Allen Ginsburg (Billingual French & English)

Published By: Re:Voir Video

Institutional Price: $250 (plus shipping).

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