A few Film-moments, in progress: information for website, P.Sempel, 6/21:)


Jonas reads from FBI-papers: “...Mekas, according to – the name crossed out – has the “mind of a child and is a true artist”. Wow! Wow, that is a great compliment!”


Jonas (to the camera): “Running?... November 1946. When I was a child, I often watched the gypsy wagons roll among the muddy, wet roads. They would sit surrounded by bundles and crates, wrapped up, with their faces hidden, wet, cold, blown by the winds. But whenever we spoke to them, they seemed to be very happy.
At the edge of the woods, where our village ends, there they used to set up their tents and we saw their fires burn all through the night. A miserable bunch, but they danced and they sang. Their wagons contained all their belongings. They carried their world with them, …” (from “I Had Nowhere To Go”)


Jonas(at Anthology Film Archives): “Harry Smith?... , he was one of the geniuses…, .. I had the fortune to know…” / PSe: “Can you give us an idea?” Jonas: “He was just a genius…, no great reason…, he was just a genius.” (and chuckles…).


John Waters: … Jonas Mekas saved my life when I was a 15-year-old, angry child, … in Maryland, ..… trying to tell stories, but not figuring out the way to do it. But I got a copy of the “Village Voice” and I read his movie column every week, and it amazed me, he made me believe that I could… make these movies…, Jonas saved my Life!...



Michael Stipe: …This past summer I was lucky enough to get a personal tour of ANTHOLOGY with Jonas, and he told me that ANTHOLOGY is the bastion of poetry and cinema, and we are here to stay. This is the building where the poets of cinema love…. . It is a metaphor... this building, and he was right. …I was very moved. Jonas has dedicated his entire life to preserving a legacy that we need now, more than ever. And the ever-changing landscape of this beautiful city, New York


Simon de Pury, auctioneer for the Anthology CompletionProject&Harry Smith-Library(on Auction-stage, full house, about 400people), The Capitale, Bowery): “…Laurie Anderson will compose a song for you! And, you will choose the title of the song. You decide. Laurie Andersen will compose this music, for you, and, she will put it on her next album!..5.000 dollars, 5.000 dollars for the lady on my left, 5.000 now – 5.000.. - 10.000! …,…, Auctioneer: 15.000 dollars now! 15.000 dollars? 15.000 dollars now!” (and down goes the hammer.)


Jim Jarmusch: and even when he was first renovating Anthology, in the 1980’s..6, maybe?, I got to shoot a little film in there, my first “Coffee and Cigarettes”… And Jonas just said “Oh, yeah, you just shoot in here, whatever you need”, but I love that man! And I love the people that work with him, incredible people. He’s been archiving films, preserving films, celebrating films. You can talk to him about poets from all over the world, he knows about all the artists and writers and poets and film-makers – He’s Jonas Mekas! PSe: What do you think about the title?

JJ: He’s like a teenager - still.  PSe:..still, yeah. At 94!
JJ: …yeah and very excited about new things he might investigate. … anyway, I’m really proud just to be here – …

PSe: This book, “I’ve Nowhere To Go” JJ: Yes.. PSe: “Had Nowhere To Go”? JJ: Yes.
PSe: I like this title, what do you think?

JJ: Oh, I always liked that title. The kid in some remote Lithuanian village somewhere, and then look where, look at all the places he’s been - both mentally, spiritually, physically..
So yeah, “Nowhere to Go”, it’s the idea of going everywhere – if you can’t go anywhere, you go everywhere, I guess.


Simon, Auctioneer: “ … Richter, yes,yes! 180.000!!” Jim: Fantastic. Bad-ass!


Sebastian Mekas: “I’m going to read from I Seem To Live, New York Diaries, 1950 – 1969
Ok.  No date, 1964. …Here are the names of a few filmmakers whose work I think is breaking new grounds in film aesthetics and film techniques, and therefor in script writing practices: Ricky Leacock, John Cassavetes, Morris Engel, Lionel Rogosin, USA; Godard, Truffaut, Rouche, France; Bernhard Schuck, Karl Teuser, Shukhray, Tarkovsky, USSR; Lindsay Anderson, England; Pasolini, Orly, Rossolini, Seta, Italy; etc. The list is incomplete, but if we look at the working practices of these directors, we shall sooner realize that they have one thing in common: mistrust of detailed scripts. The degrees vary,… “ (Spector Books, Leipzig, 2020)

“…This decade will be marked by the explorations in improvisation.
In any case, Godard works with 1-page scenario… / “Shadows” was made with no script at all,  (Double exposure with Sebastian at the window, reading)…

Life caught by the tail, so to say, at the moment of improvisation. Rouche uses no scripts, Pasolini uses no scripts,… . ….What good poem was ever written with pre-conceived ideas? A poem is born during the moments of creating its content, and its form, and its life.


Jonas doing exercises at home by the window whilst photo-copying

Jonas holding up file “I Seem to Live” for the camera /PSe: This is the follow-up of..

Jonas: “I Had Nowhere to Go”. Diaries. / PSe: But you do feel at home in New York, Jonas?
Jonas: Yes.

Jonas (watering his plants, singing): …boy,… the rain, it will never come again..


Sunflowers, wilted flowers, painting “Jonas Lives” infront ANTHOLOGY-entrance, piano

Posters infront  St.Marks church: Homage to a Happy Man: Celebrating Jonas Mekas (1922-2019). Saturday, May 25th, 2019, 1 pm. FREE The Poetry Project   …piano music

Many people gathering inside St. Marks, East Village / stain-glassed windows

…, …

Julian Schnabel: I just came here to say ‘Thank you’ to Jonas.
…,…,  Tarkovsky said “Art is a representation of Life. Life contains Death. Art, being a representation of Life, is the denial of Death.” So all Art is optimistic; no matter if the subject matter is tragic. There’s only mediocrity, … and talent. And Jonas had all the talent, and all the generosity. And when I first started to make movies, he gave me footage from his movies to put in mine. It made it much better. (Laughing) ….He was uncompromising…,

…We ought to see to get that thing realized! (AnthologyCompletionProject)…


Vyt Bakaitis:  “… Jonas recalled from memory one of the first entries he had made in a diary: “Today, I saw three cows and five chickens” , “…a kind of dream, but with eyes wide open…”


John Leland: “…, I was worrying about something, and Jonas said: ‘I never worry. I’ll start to worry when something happens. Why worry, if it doesn’t happen? Then why even worry, when it happens? You deal with it. You waste time worrying.

So, that’s it: Get a camera, nothing to …., cultivate poetry in that sense, be one …


Lillian Isabella    (reading Jonas): … ‘Ok, this is impossible, I don’t know what to do. …So, since I don’t know what I’m doing, and they say, Angels know everything. ‘So, now it’s up to you, Angels. You work. You do it for me! I leave it totally up to you. I trust you. I did my thing, but now you do your thing!’ I give up myself and throw it at Angels, and usually, since I give up, they have pity on me and they do the right thing…


Andy Lampert: …, Jonas was The Impossible. His whole life was spent achieving the impossible. If you worked with him, he could be impossible.  …, … but here’s the thing: He isn’t, he won’t leave, and he cannot go.

…, Consider all the writing that he published, and all that never got to see the light. Jonas, he’s not going anywhere. And here’s another reason why: This isn’t a memorial, this is the first formal meeting of the ‘Jonas Mekas Preservation Society’ (laughter and applause),

We were fueled by wine, sausage, garlic, which we used to stay healthy, and it works, for 96 years. Bread, poetry, music, cinema, and comradery. …, …


-In Birzai, Lithuania, Library,

Indra Drevinskaite opens by chance a Jonas-poetrybook and reads:


'This glass of wine 

smells like a field. 


Lips are touching 

the coolness of the cellar


the friendship of the sun 


let’s go to the 

center of the dance 

Musicclub „Golden Pudels“ in Hamburg (part of presentation of his book “Scrapbook Of The 60´s - Writings 1954-2010

Jonas on little stage,  (interviewed by Anne König, SpectorBooks, Leipzig):

 Good to be here…, and good to be in the Poodle! (audience hoorays!).

…My introduction to dance.. really was in Germany,… in displaced-personcamp, in Wiesbaden,…in 1945, I saw  little announcement: Kreuzberg, …Kreuzberg will be appearing in Wiesbaden, …actually early master of the modern dance, very important period, and there he is!, so I went, … in a little place like this, (audience laughs), very crowded, and I got a cornerplace, standing,… and before his performance, he was talking, illustrating his theory of dance. And then he points at me, he points at me!... and says: “Come and walk across the stage.” And that´s what I did…, … and he sent me back to my place. … then I understood, he said, that actually every movement of human body, any movement is already a dance.” ……


New York, a  moment inbetween, without talking, but happy, Jonas meets Butohdancer Kazuo Ohno backstage, presents him his hat, and Kazuo gives Jonas a sunflower.


In progress…