ジョナス・メカス Jonas MEKAS


Jonas Mekas (1922-2019) was born in Lithuania, and together with his brother Adolfas landed in New York City in 1949 as war refugees. Mekas was a poet and a filmmaker but also wore many more hats that granted him the title of the ‘godfather’ of American avant-garde cinema. Before premiering his first film, Mekas together with his brother Adolfas began publishing Film Culture magazine in 1955 and soon joined the Village Voice as a film critic. These became the main outlets through which Mekas channeled his ideas about film as an art form of personal expression and called for a new kind of cinema free from censorship and existing production and distribution systems. By the mid-1960s, Mekas’ loft at 414 Park Avenue South became a headquarters for the fermenting avant-garde film culture. This decade marked Mekas’ embrace of the avant-garde spirit, as he took part in the formation of the New American Cinema Group, and the establishment of the Film-Makers’ Cooperative, the Filmmakers’ Cinematheque, and Anthology Film Archives. He is largely credited for developing the diaristic forms of cinema. Photo: Arunas_Kulikauskas