a story lives forever
Sign in
Form submission failed!

Stay signed in

Recover your password?
Form submission failed!

Web of Stories Ltd would like to keep you informed about our products and services.

Please tick here if you would like us to keep you informed about our products and services.

I have read and accepted the Terms & Conditions.

Please note: Your email and any private information provided at registration will not be passed on to other individuals or organisations without your specific approval.

Video URL

You must be registered to use this feature. Sign in or register.


Lithuania's religious wars


Inspired to do headstands by a centenarian
Jonas Mekas Film-maker
Comments (0) Please sign in or register to add comments

In the village next door there was an old 100-year, at least that is what everybody said, that he is 100 years old. He used to come and visit my father and he said, 'I will now, give me a ladder and I will climb on the roof and I will stand on my head on the chimney,' and he did that! He used to climb and stand, it wasn't a very big tall house, and he used to do that! That impressed so much that I had to learn, and I began standing on my head on everything that people, you know, you would provoke, including on the back of the horse, riding home from the fields and standing on my head.

So, that's part of my... sort of... You get so, even now sometimes it comes handy. Just last year, with my drunk friends, we were, you know, attacked, attacked in our practically, we were so drunk that we were being thrown out from the mafia run bar, and so before I know, we are in the streets, my, one of my friends already, there are four younger mafia defense team of the restaurant, they're all Korean or Chinese. but they're all, you can see that they can chop you to pieces. And Sheila my friend she's right there on the ground and blood then my friend Julius want to fight back and stop and I made my movement and they step back and go, what! They did not know, suddenly I got them confused for, 'Who is this guy, he's challenging us? This guy?' and they sort of stepped back enough time for me to grab both of my friends and try to go and pull them out and at that time I must have made the right move and they're all, it's automatic, you know, it's an action, reaction. So, that was in the Italian... on Mulberry Street, it's a year ago. So, I may have saved them, they really could have damaged them.

Jonas Mekas (1922-2019), Lithuanian-born poet, philosopher and film-maker, set up film collectives, the Anthology Film Archive, published filmzines and made hundreds of films, all contributing to his title as 'the godfather of American avant-garde cinema'. He emigrated to America after escaping from a forced labour camp in Germany in 1945.

Listeners: Amy Taubin

Amy Taubin is a contributing editor for "Film Comment" magazine and "Sight and Sound" magazine. Her book, "Taxi Driver", was published in 2000 in the British Film Institute's Film Classics series. Her chapter on "America: The Modern Era" is part of "The Critics Choice" published by Billboard Press, 2001, and her critical essays are included in many anthologies, mostly recently in "Frank Films: The Film and Video Work of Robert Frank" published by Scalo.

She wrote for "The Village Voice" weekly from 1987 into 2001 both as a film and a television critic. She also wrote a column for the "Village Voice" titled "Art and Industry" which covered American independent filmmaking. Her first weekly film criticism job was at the "SoHo Weekly News". Her writing has also appeared in "Art Forum", the "New York Times", the "New York Daily News", the "LA Weekly", "Millennium Film Journal", "US Harpers Bazaar" and many other magazines. She is a member of the National Society of Film Critics and the New York Film Critics Online.

She started her professional life as an actress, appearing most notably on Broadway in "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie", and in avant-garde films, among them Michael Snow's "Wavelength", Andy Warhol's "Couch", and Jonas Mekas' "Diaries, Notebooks and Sketches".

Her own avant-garde film, "In the Bag" (1981) is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art and the Friends of Young Cinema Archives in Berlin.

She was the video and film curator of "The Kitchen" from 1983-1987.

She has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from N.Y.U. in cinema studies. She teaches at the School of Visual Arts in both the undergraduate and the MFA graduate programs, and lectures frequently at museums, media centers, and academic institutions. In 2003, she received the School of Visual Arts' art historian teaching award.

Tags: headstands, chimney, horseback, centenarian, Mafia, Korean securitymen, Jiu-Jitsu

Duration: 2 minutes, 46 seconds

Date story recorded: September 2003

Date story went live: 24 January 2008