Notes On Marie Menken
Martina Kudlacek, director of the critically acclaimed In the Mirror of Maya Deren, brings us the story of Marie Menken (1909-1970), one of New York s outstanding underground filmmakers, who inspired and worked with renowned artists Andy Warhol, Stan Brakhage, Jonas Mekas, Kenneth Anger and Gerard Malanga, and became known as the mother of the avant-garde.
Originally an abstract painter and collage artist, Menken produced nearly two dozen experimental shorts, gracefully using a hand-held Bolex camera to create rhythmic patterns of light, color, form and texture, and compose exquisite visual poems. Rich in excerpts of Menken's work, the film also features the rare and fascinating footage of The Duel of the Bolexes she conducted with Andy Warhol on a New York rooftop. The large, loud and tempestuous Menken, whose volatile relationship with husband Willard Maas reportedly inspired Edward Albee's play Who s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, became a Warhol superstar making memorable appearances in The Life of Juanita Castro and The Chelsea Girls.
Featuring interviews with Jonas Mekas, Kenneth Anger, Gerard Malanga, Peter Kubelka, Alfred Leslie, Billy Name, and the Chelsea Girls star Mary Woronov.
Shines a quavering if welcome light on a largely forgotten figure in the American avant-garde film scene. --Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
Kudlacek helps us rediscover one of the most influential but neglected women filmmakers... Menken's delicate lyrical yet powerful and often sardonic films are here revealed as part of a complex and often tragic life of a women artist. --Tom Gunning, Film Historian
Martina Kudlacek is an extraordinary scholar and filmmaker who makes an exceptional contribution to preserve our film heritage. --Jonas Mekas, filmmaker/director of Anthology Film Archives
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