News / Film

Prolific filmmaker Jonas Mekas passes away aged 96

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Spector Books: Conversations with Film-Makers

Pioneering underground film director Jonas Mekas has passed away at the age of 96, at his home in New York.

The Lithuanian-American filmmaker, writer, and artist was a hugely influential figure in the New York underground scene in the 1960s and beyond, having worked with the likes of Salvador Dali, the Velvet Underground, and Yoko Ono.

After arriving in the city after the Second World War, he would go on to found important publication Film Culture as well as being instrumental in the creation of, the Film-Maker’s Co-operative; the first artist-run organisation devoted to the dissemination of moving image art, which he co-founded alongside Stanley Brakhage and Shirley Clarke amongst others.

He also wrote a long-running film column in much-loved independent American magazine The Village Voice.

A statement posted on the artist’s Facebook page states, “Jonas passed away quietly and peacefully early this morning. He was at home with family. He will be greatly missed but his light shines on.”

Back in October 2018 we spoke to German design duo Bremer & Storz about its Conversations with Filmmakers project, the first edition of which was focused squarely on Jonas and his bulging body of avant-garde work.

Read that back and celebrate the life of one of 20th Century experimental filmmaking’s most singular figures.

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Spector Books: Conversations with Film-Makers