Early Monthly Segments

#47 = 1/21/13 = Jonas Mekas + Lorne Marin

Diaries, Notes and Sketches

“When one writes diaries, it’s a retrospective process: you sit down, you look back at your day, and you write it all down. To keep a film diary, is to react (with your camera) immediately, now, this instant: either you get it now, or you don’t get it at all…All footage that you’ll see in the “Diaries” is exactly as it came out from the camera: there was no way of achieving it in the editing room without destroying its form and content.” -Jonas Mekas

We toast a new year with a celebration of Jonas Mekas’s 90th birthday last month and showing a film that documents his early years in New York. These “Diaries, Notes and Sketches” open in November, 1949 with the Mekas’s arrival in Brooklyn. He and his brother Adolfas borrow money to buy a Bolex camera and Jonas starts shooting their daily lives. These first two reels we’re presenting (from a six-reel, 3-hour film titled “Lost Lost Lost“) frame their first five years after landing in Brooklyn, living with fellow post-war Lithuanian immigrants and other “displaced persons” and their attempts at melding into their new surroundings while holding onto hopes for Lithuanian independence. Political meetings and rallies, meals, weddings, readings and visits to Long Island are captured and narrated with a blunt reflection on Mekas’s loneliness and longing to both fit in to New York while simultaneously not losing touch with his past.

“The period I am dealing with in these reels was a period of desperation, of attempts to desperately grow roots into the new ground, to create new memories…These reels carry the title Lost Lost Lost, the title of a film myself and my brother wanted to make in 1949, and it indicates the mood we were in, in those years. It describes the mood of a Displaced Person who hasn’t yet forgotten the native country but hasn’t gained a new one.” -Jonas Mekas

We open with a short film from 1972 by Toronto’s Lorne Marin: “When I first conceived “Rhapsody“, I saw it as a purely formal investigation of the visual effect(s) of creating a constant rhythmic series of lap dissolves. My original expectation was that by dissolving together overlapping static-camera shots, an illusion of movement might occur. After viewing the initial film footage, I realized that, apart from the intended formal/structural context, there existed in the imagery a rich, detailed portrait of my street and its inhabitants.” -Lorne Marin

Rhapsody on a Theme From A House Movie, Lorne Marin, 1972, 16mm, Canada, 7 min.
Diaries, Notes and Sketches (Lost Lost Lost, reels 1-2), Jonas Mekas, 1975, 16mm, USA, 60 min.

@ Gladstone Hotel, Art Bar | 1214 Queen St West
Monday January 21, 2013 | 8:00 pm screening | $5 suggested donation

Rhapsody on a Theme From A House Movie

Upcoming! EMS #48 = Monday February 18, 2013 = Andy Warhol’s Kitchen
EMS #49 = Monday March 18 = 4th Anniversary