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Writing for The Village Voice

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Jonas Mekas Film-maker
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We had very, very, very little money for the film and so, at some point, I said that's it and lets put the material together. So I was never really happy with the film and then it, seldom did I show it though, what else can I say? Some people like it, but they liked in Europe, they liked it in Italy, they liked in because of the sort of political aspect, and I always, very often I during the years that, later years thought about re-shooting it completely, but it will stay as is and, I don't have much to say about it. Just, really, two really simple things. Did you shoot it in 16 or 35? I shot it in 35. That was another influence of Edouard De Laurot, that you had to be professional you had to shoot, and that, that affected also how you know how, it became very expensive to shoot sound so we had to dub it, the whole, the film is dubbed, not and we did not have a, a, the dubbing, we did on our own movieola, it was okay. But that was another handicap, considering the 35. 16 would have been better, that was still when some of us wanted to be professional.

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.

Duration: 2 minutes, 9 seconds

Date story recorded: September 2003

Date story went live: 24 January 2008