Diaries, Notes, and Sketches, also known as Walden

New York: Jonas Mekas, 1969. Vintage large format poster for the 1969 experimental film by shot and edited by Jonas Mekas from his "film diary" footage shot between 1965 and 1969. Either unique or very nearly so, with no examples found in OCLC or institutions worldwide.

The poster also doubles as liner notes for the film, briefly describing the scenes, and annotating them with the music cues and time stamps, for each of the six reels so that the viewer could engage with the nearly three hour work "according to the time available to him, according to his preference, or any other good reason." The introduction goes on to explain that after a fire in the neighboring building nearly destroyed the work, he decided release a three hour "First Draft" cut of the film he had been assembling as "Walden."

Beginning in 1950, Mekas would carry around a small Bolex camera, capturing what he saw, commenting on his website "On some days I shot ten frames, on others ten seconds, still on others ten minutes. Or I shot nothing." Already established as one of the leading figures in avant garde cinema and the New York arts scene, Mekas was able to capture a who's who of famous and experimental figures in both performative and candid moments, including Allen Ginsberg, Timothy Leary, Gerard Malanga, Edie Sedgwick Andy Warhol, Judith Malina, Shirley Clarke, Hans Richter, John Lennon and Yoko Ono during a bed-in, and the first public performance of the Velvet Underground, as well as almost the entirety of the fourth reel being dedicated to footage of a trip Mekas took to visit Stan Brakhage and his family in Colorado. These scenes are interspersed with abstract images, shots of weather or nature, children playing, Mekas alone, a family wedding, to create, paraphrasing Mekas' voiceover in the film, a celebration of what he saw.

A turning point for Mekas as a film maker, who would go on to use what are essentially his home movies in several of his most acclaimed films, including "Reminiscences of a Journey to Lithuania" (1972), "Lost, Lost, Lost" (1975), "Zefiro Torna" (1992) and "As I Was Moving Ahead Occasionally I Saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty" (2000).

22.5 x 17.5 inches. Very Good plus. Light horizontal and vertical fold creases, pinholes to the corners, starting to a couple of folds, and light soil overall.

[Book #139554]