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Posted inArt

Watching the Beats Grow Old

From 1953 to 1963 — a period that corresponds with the publication of his most celebrated works — Allen Ginsberg snapped photographs of his cohort of soon-to-be famous friends. These shots weren’t intended for exhibition; they were mementos, thrown in the back of a drawer. He unearthed them two decades later and had copies made, in the borders of which he scrawled relevant details in felt-tip pen. It is these photographs, amended with shots from the ’80s and ’90s, that are on display at New York University’s Grey Art Gallery.

Posted inArt

Poets and Popcorn

America, says Charlie Citrine in Saul Bellow’s novel Humboldt’s Gift (1975), is proud of its dead poets. Especially the mad ones: the bridge-leapers, the drink-guzzlers, the pill-snackers. Robert Lowell thought everyone was tired of his turmoil, but he obviously wasn’t thinking ahead to the possibilities he and his fellow scribblers presented to the movie business. You can only imagine the film gurus and movie execs surveying the poetscape of the twentieth century with nods of excited approval, foaming about their mouths. Drink, adultery, jealousy, madness, suicide: who knew poets led such cinematic lives!

Posted inNews

Short Films by Jonas Mekas Surface Online [UPDATED]

In light of yesterday’s shocking news that avant-garde filmmaker Jonas Mekas is suing art dealer Harry Stendhal for a supposed swindle, I wanted to share one positive highlight of the business relationship between Stendhal and Mekas that just surfaced online … 14 short films, which include three episodes of his 365 web project from 2007 and 11 from the 40 Short Films release in 2006. UPDATE: Thanks to an anonymous commenter, I learned that ALL the 365 web videos are on an newer Jonas Mekas site that doesn’t seem to show up on individual video searches. ENJOY ALL 40 SHORT FILMS AND ALL 365 VIDEOS AT jonasmekasfilms.com. THANK YOU, ANONYMOUS COMMENTER!