Jonas Mekas was one of the most important filmmakers of the ‘60s American Avant Garde, a movement that was at first existential and then aesthetic. The “new filmmakers” wanted to release the retina and call the consciousness and senses to engage with the audiovisual experience.
Mekas maintained a diary of films and recordings spanning almost 70 years, sin 1950 until his death in 2019. Writing such a diary crystallizes the emotional truth through the body's improvised movement and personalized observation. This so-called emotional truth is the imprint of the internal processes, emotions and lurking memories, which never liberate the individual. The idiom of these audiovisual diaries, in addition to the multiplicity of sensory stimuli produced, lies in the dual time of writing. The first one concerns the recording of the fragments during which Mekas needs to react with his camera directly to life in the brief moment that it exists. The second chronicle includes the process of composing and sorting of the fragments, when the retrospective view of memory is displayed in the editing room.
In this text I map my own reactions to the stimuli of Mekas’ Film Diaries. The tracing of the sources of the stimuli was organized through these two chronicles of the poetics that unfolds in the diaries. At the end a third one is added, the one of my own observations.