Notes from International Film Festival Rotterdam 2019
By Young Film Critic André Shannon
In the 1950s two radical filmmaker-besties smashed open cinema in NY City. They were Barbara Rubin and Jonas Mekas. They shared a spiritual bond as collaborators akin to a Bradley/Gaga level of creative compatibility, but 50s art-house. An expert on the two, filmmaker Chuck Smith – who made the documentary Barbara Rubin and the Exploding NY Underground which played the Deep Focus section – relays their optimism. "Rubin wrote a letter to Mekas saying one day we'll be running around with such small cameras our hands will become cameras…" That was their dream, Chuck said during an interview in Rotterdam. Mekas never owned a camera phone, he tells me, but he was adamant in what film was always to be: young.