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.