Movie Journal: The Rise of the New American Cinema, 1959-1971

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Columbia University Press
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6.0 X 8.9 X 0.9 inches | 1.4 pounds

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About the Author

Jonas Mekas is a filmmaker, critic, and poet who lives and works in Brooklyn. His "Movie Journal" column ran in the Village Voice from 1958 to 1975. In 1954, he cofounded the journal Film Culture. His major films include The Brig (1964), Walden (Diaries, Notes, Sketches) (1969), Reminiscences of a Journey to Lithuania (1971), and As I Was Moving Ahead Occasionally I Saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty (2000).

Peter Bogdanovich is an American director, writer, actor, producer, critic, and film historian.

Gregory Smulewicz-Zucker is the managing editor of Logos: A Journal of Modern Society and Culture.


A welcome addition to the literature of film. The columns feel fresh off the page and scorchingly energetic; Mekas, still active at ninety-three, is around to add a jaunty afterword.--Australian Book Review
highly personal, expressive style.... the directness of Mekas's prose reads as fresh today as when it was first written.--Pop Matters
Throughout his Movie Journal, Jonas Mekas grows to be an eminent thinker on the aesthetic importance of cinema as a perceptual art form.--Film Matters
You cannot overestimate Mekas's importance as a writer, organizer, and polemicist. He is a unique and highly important figure in American film culture; his voice is eccentric and inimitable.--J. Hoberman
Jonas Mekas's 'Movie Journal' entries are as remarkable, invaluable, and original as his films. We are so lucky to have them finally back in print!--Jim Jarmusch
Smulewicz-Zucker does an excellent job chronicling the importance of Mekas as a figure in criticism, filmmaking, and alternative screening and distribution networks.--Maureen Turim
Jonas Mekas's 'Movie Journal' column was my underground bible growing up as a teenager in Baltimore, Maryland and it's still a radical, highly original call to arms against the tyranny of mainstream cinema. I am who I am today because of it.--John Waters
Jonas Mekas's Village Voice criticism (his 'Movie Journal') was far and away the most influential and most astute for the Sixties and Seventies for a generation of readers dissatisfied with mere commercial reviewing. Mekas dared to write for the future as well as the present, pointing to films that would endure, even if they were hidden or despised. Of course, it turned out he was right.--P. Adams Sitney
[Movie Journal] is a rich trove of cinematic wisdom, an artistic time capsule of New York at a moment of crucial energy, and a reflection of controversies and struggles regarding independent filmmaking that endure to this day.--Richard Brody "The New Yorker "
A vital document of the nation's cultural crack-up, a pulsing record of a decade-plus of art experience, and the unvarnished testimony of a fanatic single-handedly trying to reshape society's idea of cinema.... There's a whole constellation that owes its existence to the advocacy and far-out ideas Mekas set out in his column, and with the republication of Movie Journal perhaps he can return to his rightful place at the center of our cinematic conversation.--Dante A. Ciampaglia "The Paris Review "