Thursday, May 28, 1998

FilmStories 3: Jonas Mekas' Birth of a Nation

California College of the Arts

Mekas, “raving maniac of the cinema”, filmmaker, advocate, and founder of New York’s Anthology Film Archive, creates his own history of cinema in this impressionistic encyclopedia of 160 portraits of independent fimmakers and film activists shot between 1955 and 1996. This journey across the memory of film includes encounters with Langlois, Rossellini, Frank, Ana Karina, Warhol, Richter, Brakhage, Akerman and others. “Why Birth of a Nation? Because film independents IS a nation in itself. We are surrounded by a commercial cinema Nation in the same way as the indigenous people of the United States or of any other country are surrounded by the Ruling Powers. We are the invisible, but essential nation of cinema. We are the cinema.” (JM)