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Film Programs
Guns of the Trees followed by The Brig

August 3 at 2:00
East Building Auditorium

Oona Mekas, Sebastian Mekas, and MM Serra in person

With a cast of friends and supporters that included his brother Adolfas, Frances Stillman, Ben Carruthers, and Allen Ginsberg, Mekas made his first film, a portrait of a young woman struggling to come to grips with an imperfect world. “Guns of the Trees deals with the thoughts, feelings, and anguished strivings of my generation, faced with the moral perplexity of our times. . . . Scenes act like pieces of a larger, timed, emotional mosaic. Where the direct word, or the direct image, fails — when we come to more essential things — the indirectness of the poet will seize the essence and the truth” — Jonas Mekas. (1962, 16mm, 75 minutes)
    The Brig was based on an off-Broadway production by the Living Theatre, an influential avant-garde theater group that became one of the first in the United States to produce works by modernists such as Bertolt Brecht and Gertrude Stein. “As I watched [The Brig] I thought: suppose this was a real brig; suppose I was a newsreel reporter; suppose I got permission from the US Marine Corps to go into one of their brigs and film the goings-on: what a document one could bring to the eyes of humanity” — Jonas Mekas. (1964, 16mm, 68 minutes)

still from Guns of the Trees
courtesy Film-makers' Cooperative/ New American Cinema Group

Film Programs

The National Gallery of Art’s film program provides many opportunities throughout the year to view classic and contemporary cinema from around the world.

View the current schedule here.

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