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It comes out that she has read also a lot and she could quote "Thus Spoke Zarathustra" pages practically with that she had, you know, she said, I know the whole book in my head. And she befriended everybody and she sort of became a like the glue between different factions because she was very active, like somebody with a mission to keep everybody together and in peace and not to fight you know, between, different, there were different factions and some were, you know, like violently sort of attacking each other and very often she managed to make peace in that community. And, I mean, her contributions are so many and different that, let's say, her keeping together the Velvet Underground and bringing them first to me, then bringing them to Andy Warhol and then that's how Velvet Underground you know came into existence. How she met Bob Dylan I don't even know, I don't remember, but there she is and comes into Bob Dylan's life around the time when he had a motorcycle crash and she, everybody thought his career is finished and she thought so and there she is around keeping his spirits and saving him. And so, then she goes to London and meets supposedly in the street, the Beatles , which one went out of, maybe John or-
No maybe George.
Maybe George and then supposedly that's how the legend goes, she gets them really on drugs. And she, so it goes, I mean it's her life story still has to be written because she was very, I think, important in that period and to keep us all together

Jonas Mekas, poet, philosopher and film-maker, has 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, 37 seconds

Date story recorded: September 2003

Date story went live: 29 September 2010