16mm, colour – filmed 1964 to 1968
Poet Jonas Mekas, born in Lithuania in 1922, invented the diary form of film-making. ‘Walden’, his first completed diary film, is an epic portrait of the New York avant-garde art scene of the 60s, is also a groundbreaking work of personal cinema.
The film features figures of the scene such as Jonas Mekas, P. Adams Sitney, Tony Conrad, Stan Brakhage, Carl Th. Dreyer, Timothy Leary, Baba Ram Dass, Gregory Markopoulos, Allen Ginsberg, Andy Warhol, Jerome Hill, Barbet Schroeder, Jack Smith, Edie Sedgwick, Nico, Velvet Underground, Ken Jacobs, Hans Richter, Standish D. Lawder, Adolfas Mekas, Shirley Clarke, Jud Yalkut, Peter Kubelka, Michael Snow and Richard Foreman.
“Since 1950 I have been keeping a film diary. I have been walking around with my Bolex and reacting to the immediate reality: situations, friends, New York, seasons of the year. On some days I shoot ten frames, on others ten seconds, still on others ten minutes. Or I shoot nothing…. Walden contains material from the years 1964-1968 strung together in chronological order.” – Jonas Mekas