Jonas Mekas, Sleepless Night Stories (2011), color, sound, 114 minutes.
“For two hours we stroll with Jonas Mekas through New York nights, through apartments, studios, backstage rooms, bars and clubs. We meet old acquaintances like Yoko Ono, Patti Smith, Carolee Schneemann, Marina Abramovic, friends, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, and also many new acquaintances. The father of the diary film begins with the words ‘I can’t sleep.’ Who hasn’t been in that situation. Sleepy and yet wide awake, you find yourself in the world of those exhausted from the day’s exertions. In Sleepless Nights Stories we witness (approximately) 25 tales from a thousand and one nights – remnants of films by one of the greatest avant-garde filmmakers whose life rewrote film history”–Berlinale 2011. “SLEEPLESS NIGHTS STORIES originated from my readings of the One Thousand and One Nights. But unlike the Arabian tales, my stories are all from real life, though at times they too wander into somewhere else, beyond the everyday routine reality. There are some twenty-five different stories in my movie. Their protagonists are all my good friends and I myself am an inseparable part of the stories. The storyteller of the Arabian Nights was also part of his or her tales. Some of the people in the movie you’ll recognize, some not. The fact that some of them you’ll recognize has no bearing on the stories: after all, we all recognize John Wayne or Annette Benning, but in their stories they are no longer the people we know. The subjects of the stories cover a wide range of emotions, geographies, personal anxieties, and anecdotes. These are not very big stories, not for the Big Screen: these are all personal big stories . . . And yes, you’ll also find some provocations . . . But that’s me, one “me” of many. The very question “What is a story?” is a provocative question. LOCATIONS AND CAST – [INTRO] Staff of . . . Masters [STORY 1 – THE STORY OF MARINA] Marina Abramovic, Chrissie Iles [STORY 2 – THE STORY OF CAROLEE] Sebastian Mekas, Benn Northover, Carolee Schneemann [STORY 3 – THE STORY OF GREENPOINT] Ken Jacobs, Florence Jacobs [STORY 4 – THE STORY OF THE LIZARD OF LUCCA] Sebastian Mekas [STORY 5] Louise Bourgeois [STORY 6] Yoko Ono [STORY 7 – THE STORY OF DOUBT] Phong Bui, Raimond Abraham, Nathalie Provosty [STORY 8 – THE STORY OF LEFTY] Harmony Korine, Rachel Korine (Simon), Lefty Korine [STORY 9 – JEAN-JACQUES GIVES GOOD ADVICE TO HIS FRIENDS] Jean-Jacques Lebel, Hans Ulrich Obrist [STORY 10 – THE STORY OF LOUIS] Louis Garrel, Sebastian Mekas, Benn Northover [STORY 11] Sebastian Mekas, Luxemburg Guy, Pip Chodorov, Benn Northover [STORY 12] Raimond Abraham, Dodo, Violinist [STORY 13 – THE STORY OF THE TREE] Benn Northover, Sebastian Mekas, Hopi Lebel, Kristijonas Kucinskas, Tomas [STORY 14] Sebastian Mekas, Benn Northover, Pip Chodorov [STORY 15 – THE STORY OF PEEKSKILL] Dalius Naujokaitis, Audrius Naujokaitis, Jonas Lozoraitis [STORY 16 – THE STORY OF AMY, OR WHY NORMAL PEOPLE SING IN MIDDLE CLASS VOICES] Dalius Naujokaitis [STORY 17 – THE STORY OF LEE] Lee Stringer [STORY 18 – THE STORY OF ARTAUD] Jean-Jacques Label, Sebastian Mekas, Benn Northover, Hopi Lebel, Pip Chodorov [STORY 19] Patti Smith, Benn Northover [STORY 20 – THE STORY OF DIANE AND PIRANESI] Raimond Abraham, Phong Bui, Diane Lewis, Nathalie Provotsy, Pip Chodorov, Sebastian Mekas [STORY 21] Sebastian Mekas, Kristijonas Kucinskas [STORY 22] Dalius Naujokaitis [STORY 23 – FLUXUS VIOLIN] [STORY 24 – THE STORY OF THE WOODS OF MY CHILDHOOD] French Children [STORY 25] Adolfas Mekas, Oona Mekas [STORY 26] Bjork Gudmundsdottir
Storm De HirschPeyote Queen (1965), color, sound, 6 minutes.
An exploration into the color of ritual, the color of thought; a journey through the underworld of sensory derangement. “Among my favorites … beauty and excitement.” – Jonas Mekas, The Village Voice.