Jonas Mekas, ‘godfather’ of avant-garde, dies at 96
  • Friday, April 19, 2019
  • 83°
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Jonas Mekas, ‘godfather’ of avant-garde, dies at 96

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Lithuanian-born director Jonas Mekas attend the Whitney Museum Gala in New York in 2014. Mekas, 96, who survived a Nazi labor camp and years as a refugee, died today at home, according to the Anthology of Film Archives. He was artistic director of the New York center for film preservation, a leading avant-garde movie theater.

NEW YORK >> Jonas Mekas, the Lithuanian-born director, critic, patron and poet widely regarded as the godfather of modern American avant-garde film and as an indispensable documenter of his adopted New York City, has died. He was 96.

Mekas, who survived a Nazi labor camp and years as a refugee, died today at home, said the Anthology Film Archives. Mekas was artistic director of the New York-based center for film preservation, which is also a leading avant-garde movie theater.

Mekas was at the center of a historic era for the avant-garde and befriended celebrities like Jacqueline Kennedy, John Lennon and Andy Warhol. He published poetry and memoirs, made hundreds of films and videos and helped open the Anthology Film Archives, where a young Martin Scorsese was among the attendees.

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