Monday, 17 November 2008
Jonas Mekas on Paris Hilton
This is one of my favourite youtube videos. It features Jonas Mekas, who I consider one of the last important living figures from the post-ww2 american avant-garde film tradition. He came to America in the 1940s from Lithuania as a refugee and began working is a film critic.
He's working on a 365 film project, which as I understand it, involves him making a little video every day for one year. Not sure if the project is finished yet. At any rate, this is one of them. He goes for a 'video diary' style, and this time he just holds the camera and reflects on the importance of changing one's mind.
I love how committed he is to what he is saying, and I think he's right as well. For a bit of back story to the man, he was initially opposed to the avant-garde when first taking up film criticism. He's also alleged to have said in the past that the avant-garde was part of a 'conspiracy of homosexuality'. Sad though this claim is, I think Mekas is no stranger to learning to change one's mind, and he also comes across as a very humane guy.