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Film at Lincoln Center Announces Jonas Mekas Retrospective

The event will be co-presented with the Jewish Museum from February 17-23.

Film at Lincoln Center Announces Jonas Mekas Retrospective

Film at Lincoln Center announces Jonas Mekas, a retrospective of the Lithuanian filmmaker-director-critic-poet, co-presented with the Jewish Museum from February 17-23.

Few if any figures in the history of New York City film culture have left as large a mark as that of the Lithuanian filmmaker, critic, and poet Jonas Mekas. Rising to notoriety in the 1950s and '60s as a champion of and mouthpiece for the New American Cinema, he founded and presided over such stalwart fixtures of the underground and avant-garde film scenes as Film Culture magazine, the Filmmakers' Cinematheque, the Film-Makers' Cooperative, and Anthology Film Archives.

But he was also one of the 20th century's most vital film artists, a master cine-diarist and something like a present-tense historian who documented the particulars of emigrant life in New York City. His immense oeuvre, produced across seven decades, encompasses rapturous tone poems that exalt the quotidian and transfixing portraits of the legendary artists in his orbit. Join us for a selection of Mekas's most essential film and video works. This series is presented in conjunction with Jonas Mekas: The Camera Was Always Running, a major exhibition of his work on view at the Jewish Museum from February 18 through June 5, 2022.

Highlights of the retrospective include: Reminiscences of a Journey to Lithuania, arguably Mekas's greatest achievement within his exploration of the film-diary form; Walden (Diaries, Notes & Sketches), perhaps Mekas's masterpiece and the work that best embodies his lifelong filmmaking project; Lost Lost Lost, continuing where Walden and Reminiscences of a Journey to Lithuania left off-though moving backward in time-using footage shot by Mekas between 1949-63; As I Was Moving Ahead, Occasionally I Saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty, a tribute to the friendships and relationships that positioned Mekas to see the titular "brief glimpses of beauty"; The Brig, a searing adaptation of Kenneth H. Brown's play of the same name; A Letter from Greenpoint, which Mekas considered his "first real video work," chronicling the first time he'd had to move in over 30 years; Guns of the Trees, his lyrical feature debut, which he wrote, produced, directed, co-photographed, and edited; Paradise Not Yet Lost (Oona's Third Year), focusing entirely on the events of 1977 and around the figure of his then-2-year-old daughter Oona; and This Side of Paradise, a collection of images and memories from pieces of summers spent in Montauk in the company of the families of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and her sister Lee Radziwill.

The retrospective also includes two shorts programs, the first consisting of three tributes to significant friendships in Mekas's life (Scenes from the Life of Andy Warhol, Happy Birthday to John, and Zefiro Torna or Scenes from the Life of George Maciunas), and the second a collection of Mekas's shorter film diaries: Notes on the Circus, Notes for Jerome, and In Between.

Proof of full vaccination is required for all staff, audiences, and filmmakers at FLC venues. FLC requires all guests to maintain face coverings consistent with the current CDC guidelines inside their spaces regardless of vaccination status. Additionally, FLC will adhere to a comprehensive series of health and safety policies in coordination with Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and state and city medical experts, while adapting as necessary to the current health crisis. Visit for more information.

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From This Author - Michael Major