May 15, 2019

POSTED BY

Jose Fresan

CATEGORY

Jonas Mekas’ Anthology Film Archives

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© Anthology Film Archives The 1960s were a time of rebellion and experimentation in the arts. And the East Village was one of the most important places for this new wave of bohemia creating disruption around all the branches of the arts. Poetry found a place in Saint Marks Church …

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© Anthology Film Archives

The 1960s were a time of rebellion and experimentation in the arts. And the East Village was one of the most important places for this new wave of bohemia creating disruption around all the branches of the arts. Poetry found a place in Saint Marks Church at the Bowery, music was sheltered in places like the Webster Hall but cinema was lacking a shrine to prosper in.

Through the 1960s, Jonas Mekas, ran the Film Makers’ Cinemateque, however he always dreamt of having a permanent home for independent cinema. So, in 1969, he was joined by Jerome Hill, P. Adams Sitney, Peter Kubelka, Stan Brakhage, and together they drew up plans to create a museum dedicated to the vision of the art of cinema as guided by the avant-garde sensibility. In 1970, Anthology Film Archives was founded at Joseph Papp’s Public Theater, and in 1979 it moved to its current location, Manhattan’s Second Avenue Courthouse in the East Village.

Anthology Film Archives offers a cultural space for avant guarde cinema to prosper. Based on the original manifesto, the museum features film cycles so people and students can concentrate and analyze certain part of cinema history. According to their manifesto:

“One of the guiding principles of this new film museum is that a great film must be seen many times. For that reason the entire collection will be presented in repeated cycles. With three different programs each day, an anthology of one hundred programs (approximately equivalent to our present collection) can be repeated monthly. In this way frequent periodic viewing will be possible for the dedicated spectator. The cycle will also provide a unique opportunity for students of the medium to see a concentrated history of the art of film within a period of four or five weeks. One would have to travel extensively and spend a few years in film museums to acquire the cinematic education of equal magnitude.”

So if you’re looking for something more avant guarde than the 35th Marvel movie and are trying to escape the filthiness of AMC, Anthology Film Archives offers a real artistic experience. Visit their website to check this month’s program and help keep Anthology Film Archives alive.

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Essential Cinema screening committee members (l-r): Ken Kelman, James Broughton, P. Adams Sitney, Jonas Mekas, and Peter Kubelka © Anthology Film Archives
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© Anthology Film Archives
new york branding sports graphic design firm
© Anthology Film Archives
new york branding sports graphic design firm
© Anthology Film Archives
new york branding sports graphic design firm
Andy Warhol at Anthology Film Archives. Credit: Gretchen Berg.
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Mekas, Ono and Lennon watching movies in the early 1970s. Courtesy Anthology Editions. Copyright Jonas Mekas