Check on Amazon
Jonas Mekas (Lithuanian: [ˈjonɐs ˈmækɐs]; December 24, 1922 – January 23, 2019) was a Lithuanian-American filmmaker, poet, and artist who has been called "the godfather of American avant-garde cinema" on many occasions. His work has been exhibited in museums and at festivals worldwide.
Mekas married Hollis Melton in 1974. They had two children, a daughter, Oona, and a son, Sebastian. His family is featured in Jonas's films, including Out-takes from the Life of a Happy Man.
Movies & TV Series
Self Discovery for Social Survival
Self Discovery for Social Survival is a collaborative surf and music film produced by Brooklyn based record label, Mexican Summer and Pilgrim Surf + Supply, a New York based surf and outdoor brand. Fi...
A meditative tribute to Verdi’s masterpiece and an homage to beloved filmmaker Jonas Mekas.
Gena Rowlands: A Life on Film
An intimate portrait of the superb actress Gena Rowlands, icon of independent cinema. Together with her husband, legendary director John Cassavetes (1929-1989), she lived an unusual life beyond the dr...
Beyond the Bolex
Filmmaker Alyssa Bolsey stumbles on a treasure trove of vintage cameras, old film reels, fading photos, technical drawings and boxes of documents that belonged to her great-grandfather Jacques Bolsey....
George: The Story of George Maciunas and Fluxus
In 1961 Lithuanian American artist and impresario George Maciunas established the avant-garde art movement Fluxus. George details the rise of Fluxus following a sensationalized tour of “concerts” in E...
From the diaries of a cinema maniac
Scenes from the life and work of independent film-makers. Includes Douglas Gordon, Peter Hutton, Ken Jacobs, Alexander Kluge, Harmony Korine, Peter Kubelka, MM Serra, Susan Sontag, Béla Tarr, Agnes Va...
I Don't Know Which Tree It Comes From that Fragrance
In his latest film, Mekas shares what he describes as “a valentine to Yoko Ono,” done in his signature diaristic style. Mixing the familiar 16mm film with DV video, he offers a fly-on-the-wall look at...
Yoko Ono Lennon's Courage Awards 2016: Laurie Anderson, Mohammad el Gharani, Eileen Boxer, RoseLee Goldberg, LoftOpera
Yoko Ono Lennon's Courage Awards 2016
I Had Nowhere to Go
I Had Nowhere To Go is based on Jonas Mekas’s diary. It’s been over 70 years since he left his village in Lithuania to escape Nazi persecution. He was 22 years old. Today he is one of the last survivi...
River of Fundament
Visionary artist Matthew Barney returns to cinema with this 3-part epic, a radical reinvention of Norman Mailer’s novel Ancient Evenings. In collaboration with composer Jonathan Bepler, Barney combine...
The Halloween festivities at the film archives were filmed by Jonas Mekas in 1990.
What is Cinema?
Using the words and ideas of great filmmakers, from archival interviews with Alfred Hitchcock and Robert Bresson to new interviews with Mike Leigh, David Lynch, and Jonas Mekas, Oscar-winning filmmake...
My Conversations on Film
This distinctly personal journey into the artistic possibilities of independent film is not to be missed. Jonas Mekas, Jean-Pierre Gorin, Robert Kramer and many other visionaries and mavericks of the ...
The Sixties Quartet
In the Kontti gallery, Kiasma presents a selection of Jonas Mekas’ films from the 1970s through to the 1990s. Born in Lithuania, Mekas fled from his native land in 1944 and finally settled in the Uni...
Reminiscences from Germany
A narrative presented non-chronologically of Jonas Mekas's time in German forced labour camps and displaced person camps from 1944 to 1949, in which he quotes his diaries, as well as the German wartim...
Out-Takes from the Life of a Happy Man
"A motion picture composed of brief diaristic scenes not used in completed films from the years 1960-2000; and self-referential video footage taped during the editing. Brief glimpses of family, friend...
Maya Deren, Take Zero
This documentary interweaves celluloid and voice recordings by Maya Deren, and colleagues who knew her firsthand: Jean Rouch, Jonas Mekas, Alexander Hammid, Cecile Starr etc. Maya Deren (1917-1961) wa...
3.11 A Sense of Home
In memory of the Japanese earthquake on 3.11, each director presents a 3 minute and 11 second short film in tribute to those who were lost.
Cinematic Correspondences: Jonas Mekas - J.L. Guerin
A series of video letters between José Luis Guerín and Jonas Mekas.
"Occasionally I join my music friends Dalius Naujo and Kenny Wollesen at Zebulon, a French music bistro in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. They are great musicians and I am happy to improvise with them, as a ...
Re: Maciunas and Fluxus
“Drawing on his personal archives, Mekas has assembled a Fluxus vaudeville starring Yoko Ono, Joseph Beuys, and the late Nam June Paik. Most of the material is relatively recent although Ben Vautieur ...
Sleepless Nights Stories
Director Jonas Mekas travels through New York nights, through apartments, studios, backstage rooms, galleries, bars, and clubs. Encountering old acquaintances like Ken and Flo Jacobs, Yoko Ono, friend...
Free Radicals: A History of Experimental Film
Experimental filmmaker Pip Chodorov traces the course of experimental film in America, taking the very personal point of view of someone who grew up as part of the experimental film community.
Part of 42 One Dream Rush
Mekas lived in SoHo for a long time, and the towers naturally kept popping up: when he would film his friends on the street, hippie happenings on rooftops, family outings to the waterfront.
42 One Dream Rush
There are 42 short films by auteur directors based on Dreams.
Jonas Mekas in Kodachrome Days
Using his trademark flicker method, Ken Jacobs pays homage to the oldest brand of color film, Kodak (whose production was discontinued in 2009) and to Jonas Mekas, who managed to breathe life into Kod...
It Came from Kuchar
It Came from Kuchar is the definitive, feature documentary about the legendary, underground filmmaking twins, the Kuchar brothers. George and Mike Kuchar have inspired two generations of filmmakers, a...
365 Day Project
This exhibition focuses on Jonas Mekas’ 365 Day Project, a succession of films and videos in calendar form. Every day as of January 1st, 2007 and for an entire year, as indicated in the title, a large...
The film documents an encounter at 202 Blvd Saint-Germain, in a cafe underneath Apollinaire's last place of residence. Jean-Jacques Lebel gives Jonas Mekas (who remains off screen), three objects asso...
Jack Smith and the Destruction of Atlantis
In this entrancing documentary on performance artist, photographer and underground filmmaker Jack Smith, photographs and rare clips of Smith's performances and films punctuate interviews with artists,...
Salvador Dalí at Work
The director followed the artist around the streets of New York documenting staged public art events.
The Song of Central Park
During the course of a single winter's day, January 16, 1966, Jonas Mekas captured impressionistic snippets of people playing and working in Central Park and around the city on 16mm film. The kaleidos...
Elio Gelmini interviews Avantgarde filmmaker Kenneth Anger. With archive footage of Angers films, he portrays the filmmaker from his childhood until present day.
John & Yoko Bed-In
Forty years ago, the couple staged an act of nonviolent protest in support of peace
A Visit to Stan Brakhage
In late 1966 I visited Stan Brakhage in Rollinsville, Colorado. This is a portrait of Stan at home, with his family, his animals, and the surroundings, 9000 feet high.
A Visit to Timothy Leary
This was filmed July 1-4, 1965 in Millbrook, at the estate of Timothy Leary. It is with Baba Ramdass and house guests.
Dedication to Matsuo Basho
Matsuo Basho's haiku are internationally revered for their clarity, brevity and insight. Learn about this great haiku poet.
Monks of Cinema
...they slept outside in the Vermont night...
Who Gets to Call It Art?
Metropolitan Museum of Art curator Henry Geldzahler reflects on the 1960s pop art scene in New York.
The Destruction Quartet
This was originally an art installation by Jonas Mekas which was later shown as a short film.
Notes on Marie Menken
A look at avant-garde filmmaker Marie Menken.
To Barbara Rubin with Love
This is a mini-portrait of one of the legendary figures of the 60s who should be credited for the discovery of the Velvet Underground, for saving Bob Dylan's mind after the motorcycle crash, for her p...
This Side of Paradise: Fragments of An Unfinished Biography
Unpredictably, as most of my life’s key events have been, for a period of several years of late sixties and early seventies, I had the fortune to spend some time, mostly during the summers, with Jacki...
Letter to John from Jonas
Jonas Mekas' video letter to John Hanhardt, in which he declines an offer for Anthology to be taken on by the Guggenheim, insisting that they must maintain their hard-won independence. Many years ago,...
Scenes from Allen's Last Three Days on Earth as a Spirit
This is a video record of the Buddhist Wake ceremony at Allen Ginsberg's apartment. You see Allen, now asleep forever, in his bed; some of his close friends; and the wrapping up and removal of Allen's...
Birth of a Nation
Filmmaker Jonas Mekas films 160 underground film people over four decades.
Happy Birthday to John
On October 9th, 1972 an exhibition of John Lennon/Yoko Ono's art, designed by the Master of the Fluxus movement, George Maciunas, opened at the Syracuse Museum of Art, curated by David Ross, presently...
Memories of Frankenstein
Jerome Hill had a little outdoor theater on the shore of the Mediterranean. Usually he brought over some musicians, like the Julliard Quartet. But in 1966 he persuaded the city of Cassis to cosponsor ...
A look into the many lives of Christa Päffgen, otherwise known as Nico; from cutie German mädchen to the first of the supermodels, to glamorous diva of the Velvet Underground, to cult item, junkie and...
A behind-the-scenes look at the man behind the trophy and the poisons that taint an otherwise jubilant jamboree.
The Education of Sebastian or Egypt Regained
A video record of a mental and physical journey through 5,000 years of Egypt at the End of History; an attempt to reconnect with the Source, with Jean Houston acting as Virgil; as Sebastian watches an...
Zefiro Torna or Scenes from the Life of George Maciunas (Fluxus)
The life and work of Fluxus artist George Maciunas as seen in clips filmed between 1952 and 1978.
Carl G. Jung by Jerome Hill or Lapis Philosophorum
In 1950 Jerome Hill went to Zurich with the intention of making a film about Dr. Carl G. Jung. The project was abandoned when Hill decided that Jung was not a good subject. After Hill's death, Jonas M...
Quartet Number One
Quartet Number One (1991) 8 min.
Mob of Angels: Baptism
One hour with a women's drumming group led by Layne Redmond, who has devoted her life to reviving the ancient Mediterranean tradition of women's ceremonial drumming and ritual celebrations. Using one ...
Scenes from the Life of Andy Warhol: Friendships and Intersections
This intimate portrait of Andy Warhol pulls together a unique library of material shot by New York film legend Jonas Mekas. Spanning from 1963 to 1990, the film features a cast of counterculture icons...
Superstar: The Life and Times of Andy Warhol
Documentary portrait of Andy Warhol.
Step Across the Border
An avant-garde documentary film on English guitarist, composer and improviser Fred Frith
Filmed on Dec. 15, 1990. On a rainy day, I have a walk through the early Soho. I begin my walk on 80 Wooster Street and continue towards the Williamsburg bridge, where, 58 minutes later, still raining...
He Stands in a Desert Counting the Seconds of His Life
A film collage tracing the story of the lives, loves, and deaths within the artistic community surrounding Jonas Mekas.
Invocation: Maya Deren
Maya Deren is a legend of avant-garde cinema. This authoritative biography of the charismatic filmmaker, poet and anthropologist features excerpts from her pioneering Meshes of the Afternoon and her u...
"STREET SONGS is a 1966 performance, in France, of a section of the Living Theater's 'Mysteries and Smaller Pieces.' Based on a chance-determined scenario written by Jackson Maclow in 1961, STREET SON...
Made 1965 / 1983 With Kenneth King and Phoebe Neville. "Kenneth King's CUP/SAUCER/TWO DANCERS/RADIO (1964) is an essay in Pop Art style, in which all the elements listed in the title have equal emphas...
Drawn together from two decades of itinerant shooting in Europe, Travel Songs evokes Jonas Mekas' improvisatory approach to sightseeing, with Assisi, Moscow and Stockholm all filtered through his sing...
The Song of Stockholm
Sightseeing Stockholm offbeat through the lens of Jonas Mekas.
Cinématon is a 156-hour long experimental film by French director Gérard Courant. It was the longest film ever released until 2011. Composed over 36 years from 1978 until 2006, it consists of a series...
Notes for Jerome
In the late 1940s, Jonas Mekas and his brother Adolfas were living in a displaced persons camp in Wisenbaden, Germany, following the end of the Second World War. There, for the first time in their liv...
Footage from 1964-1968 that did not find its way into the Walden reels is joined in this classic period piece. Mostly centered in New York, it also includes travel footage and appearances by David Wis...
A home movie by Adolfas Mekas and wife Pola Chapelle on their travels to Lithuania and Europe. It was filmed concurrently with the more highly regarded “Reminiscences of a Journey to Lithuania” by Jon...
A surreal, half-fiction, half real life footage of a day in the life of John lennon and Yoko Ono, composed to music from John's historic 'Imagine' album and Yoko's 'Fly'.
Reminiscences of a Journey to Lithuania
A 1971–72 documentary film by Jonas Mekas. It revolves around Mekas' trip back to Semeniškiai, the village of his birth.
Journey to Lithuania
During the trip back to Lithuania, Jonas Mekas made Reminiscences of a Journey to Lithuania, Adolfas Mekas made Going Home, while Pola Chapelle, Adolfas’ wife, made this Journey to Lithuania, which bo...
The Song of Moscow
Images of Moscow filmed in 1971 as part of Mekas's "Travel Songs" series.
Diaries, Notes, and Sketches
An epic portrait of the New York avant-garde art scene of the 60s.
Iimura creates a short self-portrait as well as brief portraits of five of his peers: Brakhage, Vanderbeek, Smith, Mekas and Warhol. In each portrait, Iimura attempts to copy the styles and traits of ...
A verité portrait of Jonas Mekas making his daily rounds, JONAS shows us the underground impresario attending a peace rally, filming in Central Park, typing up notes at the Village Voice and projectin...
Underground New York
A rare behind-the-scenes view of the exploding New York “underground” in the late sixities, a turbulent time and place that was to change American culture forever. A German TV crew, led by journalist ...
Time & Fortune Vietnam Newsreel
Jonas Mekas zoomed in from a completely different angle for his Time & Fortune Vietnam Newsreel. This fake interview with ‘Lapland’s Minister of Foreign Affairs’ brings an outsider’s perspective t...
... with real-life portraits of Jayne Mansfield, Frak O'Hara, Ruth Ford, Ned Rorem, Virgil Thomson, Claes Oldenburg, Roy Lichtenstein, William Burroughs, Andy Warhol, Rudy Gernreich, Jonas Mekas and o...
Notes on the Circus
The short film is a montage of sped up clips of The Ringling Brothers Circus in action set to a musical track. The film is separated into four segments, each segment which focuses on different acts wi...
The Song of Avila
In 1966 I came up upon a book of Meher Baba, the Indian guru/scientist, in which he said that there are three great holy places in Europe: Avila, Assisi, and Fatima. In 1967, I decided to visit Avila ...
For Life, Against the War
First shown on January 30, 1967, FOR LIFE AGAINST THE WAR was an open-call, collective statement from American independent filmmakers disparate in style and sensibility but united by their opposition ...
The Song of Italy
Part of the series of Travel Songs by Jonas Mekas.
The Song of Assisi
Part of the series of Travel Songs by Jonas Mekas
The Italian Notebook
A record of a journey through Italy, filmed in 1967.
A short film from Jonas Mekas depicting an afternoon in New York of people joining in singing "Hare Hare"
The Love Merchant
Biker Click procures lovely willing young women for decadent millionaire playboy Kendall Harvey III. Kendall sets his sights on Peggy Johns as his next conquest, but the married and straight-laced Peg...
Report from Millbrook
An oblique documentary about the LSD group experiments of Timothy Leary, with off screen commentary of a participant and shots of Leary's house and the surroundings.
I was visiting Jerome Hill. Jerome loved France, especially Provence. He spent all his summers in Cassis. My window overlooked the sea. I sat in my little room, reading or writing, and looked at the s...
In March and April of 1966, Markopoulos created this filmic portrait of writers and artists from his New York circle, including Parker Tyler, W. H. Auden, Jasper Johns, Susan Sontag, Storm De Hirsch, ...
Jonas in the Brig
A newsreel of Jonas Mekas shooting his filmed version of The Brig on the set of the Living Theatre production.
Award Presentation to Andy Warhol
In 1964 Film Culture magazine chose Andy Warhol for its annual Independent Film award. The plan was to show some of Andy's films and have Andy come on stage and hand him the award. Andy said, no, he d...
Film Magazine of the Arts
"In Spring, 1963 Show Magazine called me and asked that I make a film on arts in New York. I told them, why did they want me to make it - didn't they know I was a bit unusual? ... 'We want something u...
Andy Warhol Screen Tests
The films were made between 1964 and 1966 at Warhol's Factory studio in New York City. Subjects were captured in stark relief by a strong key light, and filmed by Warhol with his stationary 16mm Bolex...