Puljiz & Sans: Mekas

Yesterday at midnight the great Swedish cultural strand K-Special of SVT showed (third run) a French production from 2012 with Jonas Mekas, who declares that ”I’m not a filmmaker, I don’t really make films, I only keep filming, I am a filmer, not a filmmaker”.

To be in company with Mekas is always a pleasure. In this case he sits there with a beer in his hand, it’s from his native country Lithuania, talking to French art curator Jérôme Sans (who in 2000 made a book on/with Mekas, published by Steidl, title ”Just like a Shadow”).

Of course there is a lot of looking back in this film and talk about Andy (Warhol), Cassavetes (when Mekas came to New York he was a film critic), Robert Frank, Jacqueline (Kennedy) but the main concern/talk of Mekas in this film is the survival of the independent film and his ”baby”, the Anthology Film Archive. His film political achievement, transforming the building which is now the Archive from a prison. His making a collection that is second to none.

There are clips from his works, there is a mention of his escape from occupied Lithuania, but there is first of all this kind and generous old man, who says that only the very very personal films are universal. And blows the trumpet in between.

France, 2012, 52 mins.


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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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