In December, the Gene Siskel Film Center joins cinemas and museums across the world in celebration of the life and work of Jonas Mekas (1922 – 2019), one of the most influential voices in cinema, and considered by many to be the “godfather of avant-garde cinema.” The Lithuanian-born filmmaker seemingly always had a camera in his hand. Though his oeuvre spanned seven decades and includes dozens of titles, the eight programs in our Mekas 100 presentation exemplify the heart of what Mekas distinctively captured so often: daily life. Through his lens, Mekas observed the seemingly mundane routines we all keep, and found poetry.
“I am standing in the middle of the information highway and laughing, because a butterfly on a little flower somewhere in China just fluttered its wings, and I know that the entire history, culture will drastically change because of that fluttering. A Super 8mm camera just made a little soft buzz somewhere, somewhere on the lower east side of New York, and the world will never be the same.” – Jonas Mekas