mercredi 2 janvier 2008

Jonas Mekas

Brian Frye: Well, one of the reasons I ask is because your films seem to have a quality or themes to them that are uncharacteristic of American films. For example, this theme of exile…

Jonas Mekas: Yes, well, because I happen to be an exile, while Americans in general, they are not exiles. They are not even immigrants, those who make films. They grew up here. So that theme does not really exist for them. But I cannot avoid it. One thing I was thinking the other day about the terms: I think that I have not seen anywhere recently what we call avant-garde, experimental referred to as oppositional cinema. I think that the dynamics, what made the '60s so exciting was that oppositional aspect. In the same way I would say that bohemia is an oppositional way of life, as compared to the rest of society. This duality is always needed, it produces a dynamic; energy is created. The independent, the avant-garde cinema is the opposition to Hollywood cinema. If you eliminate the oppositional cinema, the same as if you eliminate bohemia, cinema would become dead. A certain energy would go out. And there are little periods in various countries where that oppositional cinema disappears. In Italy, there was one in the '60s, for three or four years. They even had a filmmakers' cooperative there. And then it sort of disappeared. In Germany, also, there was one, and it disappeared. Somehow, in the United States, there was and still is, the oppositional cinema. It managed to keep alive, though it seems sometimes like there are three or four years where it falls asleep. But then it picks itself up again. I think we are in a good period now. There is an oppositional cinema.