Notes on Marie Menken

Notes on Marie Menken explores the almost forgotten story of the legendary artist Marie Menken (1909 - 1970) who became one of New Yorks outstanding underground experimental filmmakers of the Fifties and Sixties, inspiring artists such as Stan Brakhage, Andy Warhol, Jonas Mekas, Kenneth Anger, and Gerard Malanga. The documentary allows a glimpse on her social and artistic struggle and radical integrity, drawing the picture of a modern myth in personal diary style. Marie Menken was an abstract painter when she began to experiment with film. «Film making was a natural evolution while I was engaged in painting, particularly since I was primarily concerned with capturing light, its effect on textured surfaces, its glowing luminescence in the dark, the enhancement of juxtaposed color, persistence of vision and eye fatigue», Marie Menken explains. The filmmaker Jonas Mekas wrote: «Marie was one of the first filmmakers 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 the movement. The movement and the rhythm this is what so many of us seized upon and have developed further in our own work.» (Production Note)

Austrian Screenings 2006
Martina Kudláček
Austria 2006
97 minutes