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Jonas Mekas: A Letter From Greenpoint

Year: 2004, 80 mins
Code: RV-MekLet

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“Once an immigrant, always an immigrant: Mekas’s self-portrait in the 2004 diary film A Letter from Greenpointinstigates a retroactive dialogue with 1972’s Reminiscences of a Journey to Lithuania, the filmmaker’s account of his resettlement (with brother Adolfas) in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, after leaving Europe following World War II, and his trip back to the humble village of his birth.

In Greenpoint, the octogenarian Mekas undergoes another exile - from his high-priced apartment in downtown Manhattan to a cozier abode in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, barely a few blocks from his original home in America. Now shooting on a lightweight digital camera, Mekas documents - and poeticizes - his freshly adopted environment”. - Eric Kohn on Jonas Mekas’s A Letter from Greenpoint In February 2004, after 30 years of my life in SoHo, I made a decision to leave SoHo and move to Greenpoint, Brooklyn. This video is about what it feels like to leave a place in which one has spent more time than any other place, and which was also the place of my family life. I am somewhere else now. It’s about beginning of growing roots in a new place, new home, with new friends, new thoughts, experiences.

This video is also about video. When in 1949 I began filming with my Bolex, it took me fifteen years to really master it so that my Bolex would do for me what I wanted. When in 1987 I got my first Sony camera I thought it would be different. But no. Only today, after working with the video camera for fifteen years, I feel like it had become an extension of my eye, my body, A Letter from Greenpoint being my first real video work. J. M.

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