7.6/10
547
3 user 7 critic

Diaries Notes and Sketches (1969)

Not Rated | | Documentary | December 1969 (France)
Clip
1:09 | Clip
A chronogical about life including self, family, friend, couple and idol in 6 reels

Director:

Jonas Mekas
Reviews
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Timothy Leary ... Self
Ed Emshwiller Ed Emshwiller ... Self
Franz Fuenstler Franz Fuenstler ... Self
Jack Smith Jack Smith ... Self
Mario Montez Mario Montez ... Self
Nico ... Self
Edie Sedgwick ... Self
Andy Warhol ... Self
Judith Malina ... Self
Storm De Hirsch Storm De Hirsch ... Self
Norman Mailer ... Self
Allen Ginsberg ... Self
John Lennon ... Self
Yoko Ono ... Self
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Leo Adams Leo Adams
Learn more

More Like This 

Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Artist-writer-poet-filmmaker Jonas Mekas documents his early years building a life and discovering an arts community in New York.

Director: Jonas Mekas
Stars: Peter Beard, Ed Emshwiller, Ken Jacobs
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A film diary divided into three episodes. In the first part Jonas Mekas tells about his time as emigrant in New York in 1950s, after leaving the home country of Lithuania. The second part ... See full summary »

Director: Jonas Mekas
Stars: Jonas Mekas, Adolfas Mekas, Pola Chapelle
Spettacolo (2017)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Once upon a time there was a tiny hill town in Tuscany that found a remarkable way to confront their issues - they turned their lives into a play. "Spettacolo" is a portrait of this 50-... See full summary »

Directors: Jeff Malmberg, Chris Shellen
Stars: Andrea Cresti, Chiara Del Ciondolo, Gianna Fiore
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Director Jonas Mekas provides an intimate glimpse of his personal life by constructing a feature length narrative from over 30 years of private home movie footage.

Director: Jonas Mekas
Stars: Jonas Mekas, Jane Brakhage, Stan Brakhage
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Footage shot in l950, this is the first movie shoot by Jonas Mekas when he came in New York, in the neighborhood of Brooklin. This is the first time he shoot his new home with his first Bolex.

Director: Jonas Mekas
Hare Krishna (1966)
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Jonas Mekas's freewheeling camerawork leaves itself open to the possibility of a second Great Awakening in this impressionistic sketch of a Hare Krishna troupe taking to the streets. Later ... See full summary »

Director: Jonas Mekas
Stars: Rabindranath Das, Vamanadeva Das, Barbara Rubin
Cassis (1966)
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

One day of the Cassis port filmed in one shot.

Director: Jonas Mekas
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Black gay prostitute Jason Holliday is rigorously interviewed on his story and character, revealing nuanced truths about life and art.

Director: Shirley Clarke
Stars: Jason Holliday, Shirley Clarke, Carl Lee
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

With hopes of becoming a doctor and not a product of her environment, a Brooklyn teenager is faced with numerous challenges that threaten her dreams.

Director: Leslie Harris
Stars: Ariyan A. Johnson, Kevin Thigpen, Ebony Jerido
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The short film is a montage of sped up video clips of The Ringling Brothers Circus in action set to a musical track. The film is separated into four segments, each segment which focuses on ... See full summary »

Director: Jonas Mekas
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Jonas Mekas' elegant report on a Poughkeepsie police department's raid of Timothy Leary's base-of-operations amply demonstrates the political potential of his diary filmmaking. The film's ... See full summary »

Director: Jonas Mekas
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Filmed in 1971, this film includes images of Moscow the beginning of the end of the Soviet Union.

Director: Jonas Mekas

Photos

Edit

Storyline

A chronogical about life including self, family, friend, couple and idol in 6 reels

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated
Edit

Did You Know?

Alternate Versions

On 9 July 1996 it was released a 30-minute version titled Frozen Film Frames from the 16mm Mekas Diaries. See more »

Connections

Edited from Notes on the Circus (1966) See more »

User Reviews

Mathematization
29 July 2013 | by chaos-rampantSee all my reviews

Aptly titled, this is a series of visual sketches by Jonas Mekas, trips he had, parties he went to, friends he had over for coffee, a circus he visited, a wedding he attended, strolls around 42nd Street, anti-war demonstrations, breakfasts he shared with a cat. The point? Celebrating all the things that pass from the eyes, the fleeting rush of remembered life.

You should know that he was from that time and scene that allowed him to know Warhol, Ginsberg, Brakhage and the Velvet Underground, all of whom appear in the film. So the exercise probably had its own cultural gravity at a time when all sorts of solid beliefs were challenged, down to how we perceive reality and what constitutes art and meaning

The same year Mekas began filming this, the physicist Bell released his famous refutation of Einstein's 'hidden variables' theory. Some hidden variables, Einstein had proposed, should when revealed concretely determine all the perceived craziness that happens in the world of quantum physics. No such thing, Bell showed. The world in the microscopic level is wonderfully bizarre, entangled in spatial simultaneity, realized in observation.

The philosophical framework goes back to the 20s and before, and so it is with the cinematic framework: silent city symphonies, Epstein, Dziga Vertov. The eye creates the world. As with Vertov, there's only a succession of lived events here, inseparable from consciousness. Like Vertov and others, flows are captured so the eye can have something to slice; the whole thing is burrowed with rapid-fire editing, jerky camera, jumps, whirls and eddies in cinematic space.

Well okay, that may be the framework. Did I like it though? Even finding here some of the most marvelous editing I have ever encountered in a film, even finding here a myriad striking images and admiring the working ethos, the dissonant eye and diaristic format, the answer is still no. Whereas Vertov was building on rhythm, Mekas is completely atonal and jerky; a natural progression one could argue.

I'll have you imagine the film as someone turning on the faucet of a gardening hose and moving the hose around, the gushing stream is clear images, there is no noticeable dramatic touch-up anywhere, but the very motion is turbulent. So far, I'm firmly behind the exercise.

Simply on a moment-by-moment basis it is marvelous, the film is a vast reservoir of layered image. Whole segments were at the same time unwatchable for me, strictly physically speaking. But my big complaint is that in the long run, it achieves no deep value. It is the materialistic opposite extreme of idealized classic Hollywood, nothing but form and the objects. Warhol, a superficial dandy, would take this to extremes in his Empire, set-up for him by Mekas himself.

Oh we catch glimpses of human connection, they're unavoidably embedded in the images. There is a rich tapestry of glimpses and spaces. But life, the pulsing life of being made conscious of others and things, ultimately is about how the objects being 'in' awareness color the eye, how a loved one can relax your time or lighten up a room, this having its quantum sense.

Here, we have constant transformations in the eye but none of it springs from being-made-conscious of valued facts, it's all been applied mechanically after the fact (quite literally) in pretty much the same way. It happens not to any (hypothetical) self in the film, but around a camera. We can metaphorically speak of quantum images, but there is complete disorganization here, none of the mysterious connections.

Weird complaint for Mekas maybe. But I can see why Tarkovsky famously objected to films of this sort, I think Brakhage in particular. Tarkovsky did not use to film ordinary life, but patiently sculpted a rich consciousness. Cassavetes was even more gruesome in his materialism than Mekas, but the larger point was creating a flow of consciousness, transcendent in mind. That is always the great gamble.

On the other hand, this strikes me as a mathematization of cinematic nature, an abstract tool awaiting application in lived situations. Budding filmmakers need to have this in their creative life, even if it's for the most part empty technique.


16 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 3 user reviews »

Videos

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

DVD | DVD | See more »

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

December 1969 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Diaries Notes and Sketches See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series



Recently Viewed