Pioneer avant-garde filmmaker, poet and artist Jonas Mekas (b. 1922) was the barometer of the New York art scene in the 1960s and 1970s. His interviews with Andy Warhol, Stan Brakhage, Susan Sontag, John Cassavetes, Carolee Schneemann, Yvonne Rainer and Claes Oldenberg, Kenneth Anger and Michael Snow, among many other avant-garde artists and filmmakers for his weekly column in the Village Voice between 1958 and 1977, are gathered here for the first time in this substantial publication.
Originally recorded by Mekas using multiple mediums including film camera, still camera and tape recordings, 60 conversations have been transcribed. Peppered with photos or stills from his films, each interview is a record of the artistic vision of the late 20th century and also a wonderful scrapbook and visual document of these noted artists. Letters and extracts from related scripts and an index supplement the texts.
Born in Lithuania, Mekas came to Brooklyn via Germany in 1949 and began shooting his first films there, developing a form of film diary to record his daily observations. This is Mekas' second publication with Spector Books, following the acclaimed collection of his writings and reviews featured in Scrapbook of the Sixties. Mekas continues to produce interviews-over 70 years documenting and critiquing the reigning film and art scenes. Featured interviews include Jerome Hill, Vittorio De Seta, Gregory Markopoulos, Storm De Hirsch, George and Mike Kuchar, Mike Getz, Andy Warhol, Nico Papatakis, Taylor Mead, Claes Oldenburg, Shirley Clarke, Albert and David Maysles, Tony Conrad, Peter Kubelka, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Ken Jacobs, Susan Sontag, John Cassavetes, Michael Snow, Kenneth Anger, Anna Karina, Hollis Frampton, Yvonne Rainer, and Carolee Schneemann.