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How I came to work at The Graphic Studios


Lost, Lost, Lost - the truth of being a refugee
Jonas Mekas Film-maker
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After seeing really The Treasure of Sierra Madre, I know exactly the moment when we saw the film and went, 'Ha! Maybe there is something in cinema'. And after that we saw some of the new German films, you know, with the visual sort of, post-war neo-realistic scenery... backgrounds. And already we wrote our first never-produced scripts already in the displaced persons camp; I still have them, very ambitious very... The other reason, the other film that was the other cause and maybe really even more important was Fred Zimmerman's film, The Search. The Search was about a family, post-war family... it's about war and post-war, family looking, searching for their child, and we thought everything, it was so naive we thought it was... so, the presentation all the research the... that we have to make a film and show how it really is. It made us so mad seeing that film, and that anger, that madness really, that's when we began to make notes for our own film, Lost Lost, not Lost Lost Lost, but Lost, Lost it was only two... or maybe it was four, Lost, Lost Lost, Lost.

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: The Treasure of Sierra Madre, The Search, Lost, Lost, Lost, Fred Zinneman

Duration: 1 minute, 48 seconds

Date story recorded: September 2003

Date story went live: 24 January 2008