Jonas Mekas Characteristics

In the 1950's Jonas Mekas became a powerful force behind New Yorkís avant garde film culture. Mekas is an experimental filmmaker and critic. The moment he arrived in America his desire was to capture the reality of life. He carried with him a 16mm Bolex everywhere, ready to film the constant memories that life has to offer. His passion for life, shows through his work. Mekas later became the founder of the "New American Cinema Group," also known as the The Filmmakers Cooperative, and the Anthology Film Archives.
--Kimberly DeSoto, 2001

Richard Leacock feels passionate about film journals of Jonas Mekas, "Here is a filmmaker with a spring-driven camera who has developed his very own relationship with his camera and is artist enough to create sequences that are an extension of his personal vision." Leacock goes on to praise Mekas's work saying his relationship with the camera is a nurtured one.

Nam June Paik says that Jonas Mekas will become the greatest two-way video artist of today. Paik says Mekas was able to "cram his New York life from 1950 to 1990 into ten hours of single frame odyssey." Mekas had rewarding patience to carry around a heavy bolex for 40 years.

"Jonas has many pockets...and all of them are open," Stan Brakhage. "No one has ever chronicled his own life day by day life Mekas. His films give the sense of life as it lived and consciously re-embarked archaeologically."

"Jonas Mekas, architect of the Film-Makers' Cooperative and possessor of a vision of a different way of producing, distributing, and exhibiting film," David Curtis.

Gathered by Kimberly DeSoto, 2001

Jonas Mekas