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JONAS MEKAS


 

Jonas Mekas (b. 1922) is a Lithuanian-born American filmmaker, poet and artists known as the “godfather of American avant-garde cinema”. When Mekas arrived in New York in 1949 he bought his first Bolex camera and began to record brief moments of the world around him. Mekas founded the Anthology Film Archives in 1964, which remains the world’s most important repository of avant-garde films. Mekas has directed and produced numerous projects of his own, ranging from narrative compositions (Guns of the Trees, 1961) to documentaries (The Brig, 1963) and “diaries" (Lost, Lost, Lost, 1965). Mekas’s work in turn has inspired many artists and film-makers to follow in his footsteps. Mike Figgis, Jim Jarmusch, Harmony Korine and Martin Scorsese, among many others, have cited Mekas as a key influence.