“A motion picture composed of brief diaristic scenes not used in completed films from the years 1960-2000; and self-referential video footage taped during the editing. Brief glimpses of family, friends, girl-friends, the City, seasons of the year, travels. Occasionally I talk, reminisce, or play music I taped during those earlier years, plus more recent piano improvisations by Auguste Varkalis. It’s a kind of autobiographical, diaristic poem, celebration of happiness and life. I consider myself a happy man.” –J.M.
“In a film of amazing delicacy and poetic insight, Mekas celebrates the beauty of imperfect images…” –Amy Taubin
“OUT-TAKES starts with Mekas alone at night while the city sleeps, editing his old films. As he looks back over his life he starts to talk, insisting that his life’s work amounts to ‘just images, some fragments of this world’ that he will bring together for himself and a few friends. But as images of the people who brought joy into his life pass by, we realize that most of them are no longer alive. Mekas sees them again, but he is seeing them alone. As much as it is about his happy life, the film is also about emptiness, loss, and a longing for some sort of spiritual consolation. At one moment the cover of St John of the Cross’s MEDITATIONS appears on screen. This is Mekas’s long dark night of the soul.” – Richard Dorment, THE TELEGRAPH
Out-Takes from the Life of a Happy Man, Jonas Mekas
USA/UK, 2012, 68 min, 16mm&video, color, mono