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In accordance with the recent mandate from Oregon Governor Kate Brown, masks are required during Open-Air Cinema at OMSI. Masks continue to be required for all staff and visitors at the Portland Art Museum, including Venice VR Expanded.

September 15, 2019 – December 15, 2019

Pioneering 16mm filmmaker Jonas Mekas, who lived a long and fruitful life, died earlier this year at the age of 96. Mekas, a leading light of not only filmmaking but of living as an artist in the contemporary world, forged a career from his own experiences, often filming his immediate surroundings, friends, family, and acquaintances. With this series running through the end of 2019, we pay tribute to Mekas through his diary films—a major body of work full of beauty and wisdom. “We need less perfect but more free films.”—Jonas Mekas.

As I Was Moving Ahead Occasionally I Saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty

Directed by Jonas Mekas

Mekas’s magnum opus diary film, comprised of footage from his early life, is one of the most beautiful films ever

Diaries, Notes, and Sketches (aka Walden)

Directed by Jonas Mekas

Mekas’s first major diary film is a vibrant portrait of underground filmmaking in the 1960s, and sees the filmmaker developing

He Stands in a Desert Counting the Seconds of His Life

Directed by Jonas Mekas

Covering the years 1969-1984 and featuring a huge number of New York art-world luminaries, Mekas described He Stands in a

Lost, Lost, Lost

Directed by Jonas Mekas

Covering the years 1949-1963, this trove of “lost” material features Mekas’s arrival in New York and the subsequent hand-to-mouth years;

Out-Takes from the Life of a Happy Man

Directed by Jonas Mekas

Mekas’s final diary film, after nearly 50 years of his integration of life and art-making with a camera always in

Paradise Not Yet Lost, or Oona’s Third Year

Directed by Jonas Mekas

Mekas’s fourth major diary film was shot in 1977, the third year of his daughter Oona’s life, in which they

Reminiscences of a Journey to Lithuania

Directed by Jonas Mekas

In the early 1970s, Mekas returned to his homeland, Lithuania, with trusty Bolex 16mm camera in hand, creating this diary

The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.