jonas mekas: cinema all over the day uxeta labrit eta jonas mekas   I  jonas mekas Jonas Mekas was born in 1922 in Semeniskiai, Lithuania. In 1944, he was inprisoned by the Nazis. He was taken to Germany and worked in a factory for 8 months. After the war, he studied philosophy at Mainz’s University and when he finished his studies, he moved to New York. Two weeks after his arrival, he got a 16mm Bolex camera and since then, his life turned into a movie. He collected in celluloid his everyday life. Besides this work, he reached further in the theoretic field and became one of the founders of the “avant garde” movement in USA. Some of the ones he created are: Film-Makers’ Cooperative (FMC) and The Filmmakers’ Cinematheque. The same way we think of novels, poetry and short stories, when we talk about literature, we think of full-length films, documentaries and shorts when talking about movies. Like writing, movies also go beyond the commercial format. Movies are a language. Limiting a language causes the first step towards its disappearance. Jonas Mekas films life. He doesn’t make up fiction or keep documents to spread a message. He records life in a subjective way because memory is subjective. However, Mekas doesn’t keep special moments of life. He films the ordinary and small experiences that happen in the important moments of life. When asked to define his movies, this is what he answered once: “Fall will be here again, leaves will fall and I will be there with my camera”.
So far, this type of films could only be seen in museums and in movie fans´ clubs. However, this old movie maker soon uploaded his movies on the net. On his virtual production room, apart from his work, there are old “avant garde” classics and contributions by Jim Jarmusch. It's something to think about. In the times where we live in comfort and young directors worry only about success, this 86 year old director, armed with his camera, represents the free sense of filmmaking in a radical way.

just like a shadow
(text: jonas mekas)

As an exile, as a displaced person, I felt that I had lost so much, my country, my family, even my early written diaries, ten years of it, that I developed a need to try to retain everything with my Bolex camera. It became an obsession, a passion, a sickness. So now I have these images to cling to... It's all ridiculous, I think. Because what I have, after all, is already fading, it's all just like a shadow of the real reality which I do not really understand. When you go through what I went through, the wars, occupations, genocides, forced labor camps, displaced person camps, and lying in a looming potato field - I'll never forget the whiteness of the blossoms - my face down to earth, after jumping out the window, while German soldiers held my father against the wall, gun in his back. I have never understood human beings since then, and I just film, record everything, with no judgment, what I see. Not exactly "everything", only the brief moments that I feel like filming. And what are those moments, what makes me choose those moments? I don't know. It's my whole past memory that makes me choose the moments that I film.
Why did I film it all? I have no real answer. I think I did it because I was a very shy person. My camera allowed me to participate in the life that took place around me.
I don't think my film diaries are about the others or what I saw: It's all about myself, conversations with my self.