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Home Movies: Jonas Mekas box set

By Amy Taubin

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Avant-Garde Pick

As I Was Moving Ahead Jonas Mekas

As I Was Moving Ahead Occasionally I Saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty

Jonas Mekas, the “godfather” of American avant-garde film, turned 90 this past Christmas Eve, and the occasion is being celebrated with major shows in London and Paris. In conjunction with a complete retrospective of film and video at the Pompidou Center comes this rich, beautifully produced box set of six DVDs, each with its own booklet of brilliant liner notes and images. Four of Mekas’s major film diaries are included: Walden (69), a whirlwind depiction of New York’s downtown and uptown mid-Sixties art renaissance viewed close-up by a lonely immigrant outsider who made himself an indispensable insider; Reminiscences of a Journey to Lithuania (72) and Lost Lost Lost (76), the two most poignant and lyrical of the diaries; and As I Was Moving Ahead… (00), an intimate domestic epic. Plus The Brig (64), a collaboration with the Living Theatre; and short pieces selected from five decades. Look! Listen! Marvel!

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