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Apie Marie Menken

Sveiki, persiunciu Tate Modern informacija apie lietuviu kilmes menininke ir filmu kureja Marie Menken (1909-1970), kurios filmai si savaitgali bus rodomi Tate Modern. Kvieciu apsilankyti! Pagarbiai, Daiva


Daiva Parulskiene
Cultural Attaché
Lithuanian Embassy in the UK
84 Gloucester Place
London W1U 6AU
Tel.: +44  (0) 20 7935 9872
Fax +44 (0) 20 7486 6403
Mob. +44 (0) 798 996 8815


Lithuanian culture and arts related events in the UK


To learn more about Vilnius - European Capital of Culture 2009 visit


15 – 16 November 2008
Tate Modern


Until recently, Lithuanian-American artist and filmmaker Marie Menken (1909-1970) was known only as the wife of filmmaker and poet, Willard Maas who tinkered with filmmaking and acting (she played Gerard Melanga’s alcoholic mother in Chelsea Girls, starred in Warhol’s The Life of Juanita Castro, and was muse for Edward Albee’s play, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf). For those more in the know (i.e. filmmakers like Kenneth Anger, Stan Brakhage, Jonas Mekas, Tony Conrad, and Carolee Schneemann) Menken was a gifted painter and filmmaker whose ease with a hand-held camera inspired a generation of filmmakers. As Brakhage noted, her ‘free swinging, swooping hand-held pans’ challenged the norms of the seamless dolly shot promoted by Hollywood.

This weekend of screenings presents a selection of rarely seen films by Menken and others in her milieu (such as Brakhage, Warhol, Maas and Charles Henri Ford) and considers the legacy of a filmmaker who is still better known for her influence on other filmmakers than for her own lyrical work.


Curated by Lucy Reynolds


Saturday 15 November at 7pm

‘There is no why for my making films. I just liked the twitters of the machine, and since it was an extension of painting for me, I tried it and loved it.’

Marie Menken’s films are fragmentary encounters with friends, landscapes and her urban surroundings. Their playful experimentation with formal techniques culminate in rhythmic montages of abstracted light and colour, from the image of New York constructed over several years of time-lapse filmmaking in Go, Go, Go, to the scratched, painted frames and delicate animated sequences of Notebook.

Moonplay, 1962, 5’
Glimpses of the Garden, 1957, 5’
Sidewalks, 1966, 6.5’
Go, Go, Go, 1962-64, 11.5 mins’
Arabesque for Kenneth Anger, 1961, 4’
Hurry! Hurry!, 1957, 3’
Bagatelle for Willard Maas, 1961, 5’
Notebook, 1963, 10’

Programme duration 50’

This screening is introduced by Melissa Ragona, Assistant Professor of Visual Culture and Critical Theory at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, and author of Swing and Sway: Marie Menken’s Cinematic Events (in Women Experimental Filmmakers, Duke University Press, 2007). A conversation between Ragona and curator Lucy Reynolds will follow the screening.


Sunday 16 November at 12pm

Two films which show the hand of Marie Menken: playing the lead in Andy Warhol’s film The Life of Juanita Castro, and back behind the camera as a Gryphon Film Group collaborator for the artist and poet Charles Ford Henri’s collage document of Factory luminaries.

Andy Warhol, The Life of Juanita Castro, USA 1965, 60’
Menken takes the title role of Fidel Castro’s wife in Ronald Tavel’s satirical take on the Cuban revolution. Both hilarious and disquieting in equal measure, Menken is a commanding central presence.

Charles Henri Ford, Poem Posters, USA 1967, 24’
This invaluable historical document shows Factory stars Edie Sedgwick and Gerard Malanga cavorting with Beat legend William Burroughs, musician Ned Rorem, film critic Parker Tyler, literary enfant terribles Frank O’Hara and Ted Berrigan, pop artists James Rosenquist and Andy Warhol, and many fabulous unknowns. Jayne Mansfield makes a show-stopping appearance, probably one of her last images. The soundtrack mixes free jazz, ambient sound, Charles Henri Ford reading his own poetry, and a wry commentary by Al Hansen. It is a collaborative enterprise, with camerawork by such luminaries as Marie Menken, Willard Maas, Charles Boultenhouse, Gregory Markopoulos, Robert Whitman, Andy Warhol, Rudy Wirtschafter, and Stan VanDerBeek. One can track the influence of almost all of them in the final mix, a luscious colour print rich in superimpositions, fish-eye views, and pixelations.

Programme duration 84’


Sunday 16 November at 3pm

‘We share equipment, ideas, dreadful experiences, debts and hopes.’

Along with her husband the poet Willard Maas, Menken was a founding member of the Gryphon Film Group, comprised of filmmakers and poets including Charles Boultenhouse, Charles Henri Ford and Gregory Markopoulos. The group predated the New York Film-Makers’ Co-op and Anthology Film Archives in their desire to provide a support network, forum and production fund for artist filmmaking. A selection of their rarely seen work includes Maas’ lyrical film Geography of the Body, filmed by Menken, and Boultenhouse’s mythical Dionysus.

Stan Brakhage, The Way to the Shadow Garden, 1954, 11’
Willard Maas, Geography of the Body, 1943, 7’
Charles Boultenhouse, Dionysus, 1963, 26’
Ben Moore, Willard Maas, The Mechanics of Love, 1955, 6’
Willard Maas, Narcissus, 1956, 59’

Programme duration 110’

This screening is introduced by Thomas Beard, editor of Cinematograph 7—Live Cinema: A Contemporary Reader (San Francisco Cinematheque, 2008), founder and director of Light Industry, and programmer and researcher on the Gryphon Film Group.


Sunday 16 November at 6.30pm

‘In film every frame is a picture and what a joy that is!’

Beginning as a painter before turning to film, many of Menken’s films make mischievous reference to the New York art world and artist friends. Her camera performs an anarchic dance around Noguchi’s inscrutable sculptural forms in Visual Variations on Noguchi, playfully animates Mondrian’s famous painting in Mood Mondrian, and Fluxus artist Robert Watts’ sculpture Box with Eggs in Watts with Eggs.

Watts with Eggs, 1967, 2.5’
Drips and Strips, 1963, 2.5’
Dwightiana, 1957, 3.5’
Mood Mondrian, 1963, 5.5’
Visual Variations on Noguchi, 1945, 4’
Eye Music in Red Major, 1961, 5.5’
Andy Warhol, 1965, 22’

Programme duration 45’




Prints courtesy Arsenal, The Film-Makers’ Cooperative NY, LUX, Light Cone, and The Museum of Modern Art NY.




Tate Modern
Bankside, London, SE1 9TG
Nearest Tube: Southwark / London Bridge / Blackfriars

Tickets: £5 / £4 concessions
Box Office: 020 7887 8888 uk/modern/film

Rodyk draugams

~ mari88 | 2008-11-14.

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  1. Very good contribution. Appreciate it. Please make sure to keep posting.

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