CORRESPONDENCE: JONAS MEKAS - J.L. GUERIN (work in progress)
Country: Spain / United States
Direction: José Luis Guerin, Jonas Mekas
José Luis Guerin takes an idea coming from Jonas Mekas: film is a response to life. With this concept in mind, they start exchanging a series of letters and develop a personal relationship which reveals the impressions and similarities of two filmmakers linked by their wish to share opinions and concerns. They establish a unique relationship through a correspondence displayed in the eyes of the viewer and in search of his sympathy, thus creating a new intimate space for thought. Correspondences: José Luis Guerin-Jonas Mekas shows the experimentation with the expressive language and the visual reflections of two artists who have found a new form of creation and use of images. The series of exchanged letters involves the activation of different times: the shooting of the first delivery, opening a road at random; the waiting time; the reply, a new letter stemming from the previous one and demanding a new one; and, finally, the time of screening.
José Luis Guerin, Jonas Mekas
José Luis Guerin, one of the leading representatives of auteur cinema in Spain, was born in Barcelona in 1960. His work has a poetic, reflexive language and an unsophisticated style. After a series of short films shot between 1976 and 1981, Guerín made his debut in feature filmmaking with Los motivos de Berta/Berta’s Motives (1985), which received the Quality Award granted by the Spanish Ministry of Culture and the Sant Jordi Award from Spanish National Radio, RNE. In 2001 he hit the headlines with En construcción/Work in Progress, which won the Goya Award for Best Documentary and the Special Prize of the Jury in the San Sebastián International Film Festival in 2002. En construcción explores new possibilities of film language. Unas fotos en la ciudad de Sylvia/Some Photos in the City of Sylvia (2007), consisting of photographs and videos of anonymous women collected for two years as the director travelled across Europe in a personal pursuit of an elusive former lover, opened Punto de Vista 2008.
Jonas Mekas was born in Lithuania in 1922. In 1944, he was taken by the Nazis and spent eight months in a forced labour camp. After the war, he moved to New York with his brother. Two weeks after arriving in America, he borrowed money to buy his first Bolex 16mm camera and began to record moments of his own life that he would later include in a series of films that made him one of the leading figures of American avant-garde cinema. In the 1960s, he co-founded the Film-Maker’s Co-op (FMC) and the Filmmakers’ Cinematheque, which eventually became the Anthology Film Archives, one of the world’s most important experimental and avant-garde film archives. In those years, he was part of the experimental film and pop art scene, meeting legendary artists such as Andy Warhol, John Lennon, or Salvador Dalí. In 2007, he shot 365 short films to be shown online, posting a new video each day for the entire year. Mekas has received numerous awards for his contributions to film culture and the art of filmmaking.
365 Day Project (2007). 365 short films, one for each calendar day of the year 2007.
Notes on Utopia (2003-5)
As I Was Moving Ahead Occasionally I Saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty (2000)
Autobiography of a Man Who Carried his Memory in his Eyes (2000)
This Side of Paradise (1999)
Scenes from Allen's Last Three Days on Earth as a Spirit (April 1997)
Happy Birthday to John (1996)
He Stands in a Desert Counting the Seconds of His Life (1969/1985)
Paradise Not Yet Lost (aka Oona's Third year) (1979)
Notes for Jerome (1978)
Lost Lost Lost (1976)
Reminiscences of a Journey to Lithuania (1971-1972)
Walden (Diaries, Notes, and Sketches) (1968-69)
The Brig (1964)
Guns of the Trees (1962)
A co-production by: