As in her previous film, Im Spiegel der Maya Deren, Martina Kudlácek investigates in Notes on Marie Menken the life and work of one of America's most unusual avant-garde artists. In a personal, diary style, Kudlácek looks at the life of the almost forgotten Marie Menken (1909-1970). The occasionally delightful images, entirely in keeping with Menken's work, are complemented by a musical score by John Zorn. In addition, the film includes work by Menken that has never been seen before, including a 'duel for Bolex cameras' between Menken and Andy Warhol. Menken started her artistic career as an abstract painter, but later started experimenting with film. Her underground films inspired artists including Stan Brakhage, Jonas Mekas, Andy Warhol (in whose films she also acted) and Kenneth Anger. Apparently, she was also the inspiration for Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virigina Woolf. In this film, old friends and acquaintances reminisce about this gracious yet fragile woman, her artistic struggle and radical integrity. Film maker Jonas Mekas wrote about her: 'Marie was one of the first film makers to improvise with the camera and edit while shooting. She filmed with her entire body, her entire nervous system. You can feel Marie behind every image, how she constructed the film in tiny pieces and through movement. The movement and the rhythm, this is what so many of us seized upon and have developed further in our work.' (PvH) Elsewhere in the Cinema Regained programme six short films by Marie Menken are screened.

Filmmaker
Martina Kudlácek
Premiere
World première
Country
Austria
Year
2006
Medium
35mm
Length
97’
Language
English
Producer
Martina Kudlácek
Sales
Mina Film
Writer
Martina Kudlácek
Cinematography
Martina Kudlácek
Editor
Henry Hills
Sound Design
Judy Karp
Music
John Zorn
Cast
Kenneth Anger, Peter Kubelka, Stan Brakhage, Jonas Mekas, Alfred Leslie