Tributes to avant-garde master at IFFK

Still from Hallelujah the Hills by Adolfas Mekas  


The International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) pays tribute to Adolfas Mekas, avant-garde filmmaker and teacher who died recently, through a retrospective of four of his films.

Mekas was a Lithuanian migrant to the United States who had significantly influenced the growth of American films. His films, which endure as avant-garde land marks, take the movie enthusiast through the evolution of Hollywood.

The best known among these is the Hallelujah the Hills that tells an elliptical tale of two young men and their slapstick pursuit of the same girl. It was among the critically acclaimed hits of the inaugural session at New York Film Festival in 1963.

In 1971, after 27 years, Mekas and his brother Jonas Mekas returned to their homeland. Going Home is a journal of experience that narrates his childhood, hardships, and sufferings at a forced German camp during the Nazi regime. The movie also includes several songs sung by Mekas and his brother.

The Brig, co-directed with Jonas, is a movie that portrays a Marine Corps prison where the guards do not know the meaning of humanity. There, brutality and torture are dished out by the book. The Brig is a raw slice of modern American cinema filmed with such a brutish authenticity that it won the grand prize for best documentary at Venice film festival in 1964.

Windflowers is a romantic and elegiac film which portrays a draft dodger who lived under fictitious name in a strange town for several years. The twist arises when the cops find out his trickery. As he tries to escape, the police mistake a branch that he had picked in the woods for a gun and shoots him. Innovative cinematography techniques have been applied in this movie.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2018 4:04:22 PM |