HANOVER AND OTHER GERMAN CITIES HOST RETROSPECTIVES CELEBRATING THE CENTENARY OF JONAS MEKAS
On 25-26 November, Hanover’s Kino im Sprengel hosted several screenings dedicated to the life and legacy of Jonas Mekas. On the first evening, four short films were shown: the documentary Kalbėti į pačią širdį (To Talk to the Core of the Heart; by Bytautė Pajėdienė, Petras Abukevičius, Kornelijus Matuzevičius, 1976), which records the first visit of brothers Jonas and Adolfas Mekas to Lithuania in 1971, imbued with longing for their homeland; Savojo aš beieškant (Looking For Your “I”; Rimtautas Šilinis, 1977), the working material of the film which did not make it into the final cut; and Robertas Verba’s J. Mekas (1980), in which Jonas Mekas talks about the work of Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis in the artist’s house-museum in Druskininkai.
The evening of short films ended with the film by Jonas Mekas, Zefiro Torna, or Scenes from the Life of George Maciunas (1992), in which Mekas reads his diaries and talks about Maciunas’ beloved composer Claudio Monteverdi, whose madrigal Zefiro Torna is played at the end of the film.
On the second evening, Mekas’ film As I Was Moving Ahead Occasionally I Saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty (2000) was shown.
All films have been translated and subtitled in German thanks to the Lithuanian Film Centre and the Lithuanian Culture Institute. This is already the second programme dedicated to Jonas Mekas’ centenary in Hanover: when the centennial programme began in the spring at the Sprengel Museum, four films by Mekas were shown and the second volume of his New York diaries, published by Spector Books in Leipzig, was presented.
After the screening in Hanover, the programme of films by Jonas Mekas’ will move to the German Film Museum, Bielefeld, Heidelberg and Düsseldorf in December. Programmes of works by Jonas Mekas were initiated by the cultural attaché of Lithuania in Germany, Rasa Balčikonytė, and financed by the Lithuanian Film Centre and the Lithuanian Culture Institute. The programme dedicated to the centenary of Jonas Mekas in Germany will culminate with an international week-long event at the Berlin Arsenal on 18-25 January.
The international programme dedicated to the centenary of Jonas Mekas, comprising over 50 various events, has been prepared by the Lithuanian Culture Institute, the Lithuanian cultural attachés and the Estate of Jonas Mekas. Film screenings, exhibitions, video installations, concerts, poetry readings, discussion and thematic residency programmes, poetry translation workshops, publishing projects and other initiatives will take place in leading cultural institutions in many countries around the world. The programme is partially funded by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania. The Jonas Mekas 100! programme is available on the website www.jonasmekas100.com