Life is Unpredictable: Films by Jonas Mekas | Chicago Reader

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Seven short works from the guiding light of the American avant-garde. The playful Award Presentation to Andy Warhol (1964) shows the pop-art genius and his Factory coterie eating fruit and vegetables while posing formally as the Supremes blare on the soundtrack. Notes on the Circus (1966) uses fast motion, double exposures, and the skiffle song “Storybook Ball” to create an elegy for the vanishing performance art. The most personal are Cassis (1966), a time-lapse experiment Mekas filmed while visiting the Provencal bay where Seurat lived, and the video essay Letter to Penny Arcade (2001), in which the octogenarian bon vivant drinks and dances while extolling New York. Cup/Saucer/Two Dancers/Radio (1983) is a buzz-kill, a strident dance film that hasn’t held up over time.

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