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Lost, Lost, Lost - the truth of being a refugee


The first camera
Jonas Mekas Film-maker
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It happened so that the mayor of our town where I was studying in Lithuania ended up also in New York with his daughter, and his daughter liked... liked me very much. So she suggested to her father that she... he lends money to us. Instead of lending actually, he gave, to put a deposit on Bolex at Peerless store on 34th, 32nd Street, which we did. And so that we got, it wasn't yet, not a purchase, it was a deposit, but we had the Bolex like already two or three weeks later after we came to, and we started. The footage at the beginning, the very beginning of Lost, Lost, Lost, is our very first footage that we took in Brooklyn on Lorimer Street. And there were trees in front of it that, Cullers [sic], what's her name, the writer, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. She wrote... her trees are also on Lorimer Street and those trees are still there. Cullers. C-u-l-l-e-r-s, I think, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

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: Bolex, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Duration: 1 minute, 28 seconds

Date story recorded: September 2003

Date story went live: 24 January 2008