While the press notes the loss of what many are calling a giant of the avant-garde, Mekas said last year: “There is nothing avant-garde about what I have done.” He just did what had to be done. That’s the Jonas his friends most admire. An exile from his native Lithuania, he later declared: “My country is cinema.” He was a cinephile extraordinaire, a dedicated poet, critic, publisher, distributor, activist, archivist, memoirist and a filmmaker of relentless spontaneity. Mekas’ indefatigable Bolex finger captured more than one generation of independent artists in his home movies. He leaves many, many friends high and low.
You are invited to join the screening of Barbara Rubin & the Exploding NY Underground by Chuck Smith on Monday 28 January at 21:30 in KINO 3. Afterwards, a tribute will start around 22:50. There will be remembrances, short videos, music and spirits.
Barbara Rubin & the Exploding NY UndergroundChuck Smith IFFR 2019 78′
Portrait of a key figure from New York's underground film scene, a rising star who disappeared as fast as she appeared.
Rubin was a hyperactive spider in the web of the New York art scene in the late 1960s until she embraced Judaism; a rising star who disappeared as quickly as she appeared. Her oeuvre remained limited to one film, which nevertheless earned her a permanent place in the canon of the avant-garde.
One of Mekas’ short films also has been chosen for screening on Monday 28 January at 14:00 in Pathé 1, prior to the screening of High Life by Claire Denis. Indeed, a ‘high life’ it was, the life of Jonas Mekas – and now even higher.
High LifeClaire Denis IFFR 2019 110′
A spaceship is sent to explore a black hole. Its crew consists of dangerous prisoners, including Monte (Robert Pattinson) who is caring for a child born on board. Their medical officer (Juliette Binoche) may have sinister intents. A sci-fi film like nothing else, where Claire Denis explores bodies and souls in her very personal way.
Photo in header: Jonas Mekas