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19 January - 1 February 2020: As I Was Moving Ahead Occasionally I Saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty


As I Was Moving Ahead Occasionally I Saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty
Jonas Mekas, 2000, 288 min, 16mm

"The film is a first: the home movie as epic. A fleeting storm of a film, with pockets of rhythms that suggest the ebb and flow of a naturally unfolding event" – Elvis Mitchell

"A rare and beautiful work made by one of the greatest practitioners of autobiographical cinema, Jonas Mekas' As I Was Moving Ahead… is composed of diary footage shot in New York City and environs mostly between 1970 and 1974, the selections and sequencings ordered largely by chance. What we see in this nearly five-hour-long epic is a wonderfully poetic expression of the sweet little moments of everyday life: personal celebrations and joys, a child's first steps, sunlight dancing through a sheer curtain, cats at play, a Manhattan snowstorm. The time lapse between the shooting of the footage and the completion of the film allows Mekas to bring greater perspective, depth, and meaning to the work, as he interrogates the distance between the self (and the world) in these images and the state of those same entities in the present." – TIFF

"As I Was Moving Ahead... is a record of subtle feelings, emotions, daily joys of people as recorded in the voices, faces and small everyday activities of people I have met, or lived with, or observed – something that I have been recording for many years. This, as opposed to the spectacular, entertaining, sensational, dramatic activities which dominate much of contemporary filmmaking. The film is not conceived as a documentary film, however. It follows a tradition established by modern film poets. I am interested in intensifying the fleeting moments of reality by a personal way of filming and structuring my material. A lot of importance is being given to color, movement, rhythm and structure – all very essential to the subject matter I am pursuing.” – Jonas Mekas

Part of our Reminiscences of Jonas Mekas programme, presented in partnership with the Lithuanian Culture Institute