“He remembered another day, 10 years ago. He sat on this beach 10 years ago with other friends. Memories, memories, memories. I have memories. I have been here before.”

Filmmaker/critic Jonas Mekas contemplates his exile in his nearly 3 hour ‘diary film’. These are simple images, shown with little context, no sound, snowstorms and street vendors, family dinners and political meetings, everything moving together at 24 frames per second, unless it’s less than that, and then it’s less than 24 frames per second. The important thing is that these aren’t memories, not in the traditional sense. These are fragments of time itself, all washed together in what I see as Mekas’ attempt to gain some hold of that dimension, to put together some sort of anchor to his life in America, a life he once considered a temporary object . . . until it wasn’t.

This is a man slowly realising he can never go home.

I wonder, when I continue into Mekas’ filmography, what, if anything, else Mekas can say with this technique. Or if he needs to say anything else.


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