OK, retirement over, back blogging due to "popular" demand :: Jonas Mekas interview @ Sense of Cinema
Check out this great interview with Jonas Mekas at Sense of Cinema. Although I have only seen very little of his movies (so far just a few of the 365 shorts project that he is doing this year), the amount of work he's done over the years on behalf of avant-garde cinema is staggering & deserving of much respect. The Anthology Film Archives, an organization that Mekas had a key role in creating, is still around & contributing to the NYC film scene (i saw the place with my own eyes last week, scroll down a couple of posts for a pic of the venue).
Here is an interesting segment from the interview (this reminded me a little bit of the recent film & photography permission & insurance protest by Picture NY), re: "the controversy surrounding the seizure of Jack Smith's Flaming Creatures (1963)":
"We were arrested and the films seized. Again we were bailed by Jerome Hill. The court procedures took place and we had witnesses in our support – Susan Sontag, Allan Ginsberg – and we lost. We were sentenced to six months of suspended sentence. Emile Zola did his job in that at least we got only a suspended sentence.
But we did not accept that and went to the Court of Appeals. We lost. Then we went to the Supreme Court in Washington, and that’s where a judge named Abe Fortas came out in support of Flaming Creatures. He made copies and distributed them to the other judges and some senators, and that caused his downfall. He was being promoted [by President Johnson] as the new Chief Justice. But they said he was a peddler of pornography and he was not appointed.
The case created a big stir and was reported in all the newspapers. As a result, a year later, censorship in New York was practically abandoned. So, it was not for nothing."
Read the entire interview here.
Thanks GreenCine Daily for the link.