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Jonas Mekas (1922-2019), Lithuanian-born poet, philosopher and film-maker, has made hundreds of films and set up the Anthology Film Archive. He emigrated to American in 1949 where he earned the title of 'the godfather of American avant-garde cinema'. [Listener: Amy Taubin]
TRANSCRIPT: The first people that were helpful to make contacts were Hans Richter and Herman Weinberg. Herman Weinberg had very close to all the Hollywood people and he called the Orson Wells, to get people like Orson Wells. Others you know I called or wrote directly and expanded very, because everybody was very excited that there is a new publication because there was nothing. In 54, December 54, when the first issue came out, there was only Films in the Review or the review of films, that's Henry- "Films in Review", yeah- -which is a miserable little nit-witty nothing and in the University of California, there was the "Hollywood Quarterly". I think it was called, "Film Quarterly", which was very serious and very good. It used to just come out once a year, never maybe four or five issues that came out and then there was the extreme left publication "Film Sense". It was nothing, nothing else. Everything else came "Sight and Sound", "Sequence" from England and "Cahiers du Cinema" from France and nothing else here. So, when this came out, I mean it was very bleak and to them, enthusiasm and support and was very easy to test, sort of, you know, of course needed some persuasion and especially and one of my co-editors that I had befriended some time before, to talk, we need somebody from Europe was George Fennin. George Fennin came from Italy and grew up there and knew everybody in France and from Bazin to Aristarto in Italy and traveled, went to all, because he was writing for Italian publications. So, I thought he will be and we were friends and- drinking friends so, you know, come here on the Editorial Board. So, when they first see who came up, and he was also president of the Foreign Correspondents Association in New York. He said, ah, we have a room at Waldorf Astoria, which is our room when we have meetings and this next week, so, we have no meetings but we have that space. Why don't we present "Film Culture" magazine, the first issue, at Waldorf Astoria, in this room. This, of course, it's very nice. So, we are there at Waldorf Astoria and this huge space, you know, where all the presidents are staying, so the [?] told the local filmmaking community and I remember Willem Mast come in with, how do you, where do you get this money to get? In any case, after the opening, and plus, you see, they were provided, we were provided with drinks and everything else on the account of the Foreign Journalists Association, okay. So, later, the people did not know what to think about, you know, are we, first they got the idea that this is serious, if they can have an opening presentation of the first issue at Waldorf Astoria, we have to take them seriously. So, that helped, of course. On the other hand, when we were asking for money, it's, why, you need money? I mean, you don't have money? You had this opening at Waldorf Astoria. I said, no I'm slaving at Graphic Studios.