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Martina Kudlácek - Notes on Marie Menken

As in her previous film, Im Spiegel der Maya Deren, Martina Kudlácek investigates in Notes on Marie Menken the life and work of one of America’s most unusual avant-garde artists. In a personal, diary style, Kudlácek looks at the life of the almost forgotten Marie Menken (1909-1970). The occasionally delightful images, entirely in keeping with Menken’s work, are complemented by a musical score by John Zorn. In addition, the film includes work by Menken that has never been seen before, including a ‘duel for Bolex cameras’ between Menken and Andy Warhol. Menken started her artistic career as an abstract painter, but later started experimenting with film. Her underground films inspired artists including Stan Brakhage, Jonas Mekas, Andy Warhol (in whose films she also acted) and Kenneth Anger. Apparently, she was also the inspiration for Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virigina Woolf. In this film, old friends and acquaintances reminisce about this gracious yet fragile woman, her artistic struggle and radical integrity. Film maker Jonas Mekas wrote about her: ‘Marie was one of the first film makers to improvise with the camera and edit while shooting. She filmed with her entire body, her entire nervous system. You can feel Marie behind every image, how she constructed the film in tiny pieces and through movement. The movement and the rhythm, this is what so many of us seized upon and have developed further in our work.’ (PvH)

Bonus Includes four films by Marie Menken:

Visual Variations on Noguchi

Glimpse of the Garden, Selected by the Library of Congress for the National Film Registry in 2007

Arabesque for Kenneth Anger


Label: Index / 030
Medium: DVD
Category: .


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