Special collectors 8 Blu-Ray boxset with 27 films by Jonas Mekas
This boxset brings together the “diary films” of Jonas Mekas (1922-2019). Mekas perfected a poetic, personal technique of filming his daily life in short bursts, with no plan or script, as one would write when taking notes or keeping a diary. He filmed a little bit every day, collecting his many 100-foot rolls (2’30”), occasionally pausing to edit them together, selecting rolls, sequences or fragments to make films that reflect different periods of his life: New York in the 1950s with its immigrant communities of displaced persons; the 60s avant-garde art scene; his brief bittersweet returns to Lithuania and other journeys.
As time slips by, his family life, his friends and the simple observations of life are captured, leaving their physical trace on film, a new reality of images.
Originally, Mekas thought of his grand project as one long film, Diaries Notes and Sketches, in which each part would be a chapter. Walden was the first part to be edited together, while Lost Lost Lost, filmed during the fifteen years that preceded it, wouldn’t be completed for another seven years. But because the film labs kept confusing all these different films that had the same name, Jonas abandoned the idea and gave each film their own respective title.
We chose to start volume 1 with Walden (shot 1964-1968 and edited in 1969) followed by Lost Lost Lost (filmed 1949-1963 and edited in 1976). We then associated Reminiscences of a Journey to Lithuania (shot and edited in 1971) with Paradise Not Yet Lost (shot in 1977 and edited in 1979). Volume 4 is a series of short and medium-length films shot “in between” the others, 1963-1967, and edited through 1978. Volume 5 consists of a quartet of portraits of art friends (Andy Warhol, George Maciunas, Yoko Ono et John Lennon, Peter Beard and the family of John F. Kennedy), all shot in the 1960s and 1970s and edited in the 1990s. Volume 6 brings together short films and videos from his later period, 1991-2015, his more personal reflections on his life, on art and on his city of New York. Volumes 7 and 8 are devoted to his longest film (shot 1974-1999 and edited in 2000), As I Was Moving Ahead Occasionally I Saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty, an epic poem about his family life during the past quarter century.
The video elements included on these discs are taken from the latest high-quality transfers of the most pristine film prints available. Many of these films are previously unpublished in video format. Included are special gifts to complement the films and to enhance your home viewing pleasure.
BOXSET CONTENTS :
EVERY FRAME EVERY SECOND IS REAL : AN ORIGINAL STRIP OF A JONAS MEKAS FILM PRINT
BOOK OF TEXTS BY JONAS MEKAS ABOUT THE FILMS
8 Blu-Ray = 27 FILMS
Film scan and mastering: Metro Post, New York.
Conception and design: Studio Isabelle Vigier, Brussels.
Project coordination, color grading, disc design: Diana Vidrascu.
Encoding and authoring: Le Joli Mai.
Printing and pressing: BOD, Kaunas.
Printed in Lithuania, April 2022.
Published by Re:Voir, Paris, with support from the Centre National du Cinéma et de l’image animée and the Lithuanian Film Centre.