Jonas Mekas

Glimpses of Paradise

Screening + Exhibition + Talk with Francesco Urbano Ragazzi

18th, August 2023 / h 7pm

Palazzo San Giuseppe / Polignano a Mare / Bari

Celebrating the life and art of Jonas Mekas on the occasion of his 100th birthday

The screening of the film As I Was Moving Ahead Occasionally I Saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty (USA/2000) by Jonas Mekas will be accompanied by a discussion with the curatorial duo Francesco Urbano Ragazzi and a book exhibition, all dedicated to Mekas’ important avant-garde film work. The event will be introduced by Erika Lastovskyte, cultural project curator and translator, with the artistic direction of Giuseppe Laselva, coordinator of the PerSe Visioni festival. During the event, visitors will have the pleasure of tasting wine kindly offered by Varvaglione 1921, the family winery with a history stretching back more than a hundred years. The event is free of charge.


As I Was Moving Ahead I Saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty is a profound and introspective documentary film that offers an intimate portrait of life, love, and human connection. Jonas Mekas, often called ‘the godfather of avant-garde cinema’, presents a poetic montage of his own life, captured through a series of personal home movies spanning several decades. Through this unique compilation, Mekas explores the beauty of everyday moments and the transient nature of life. The intimate and personal nature of the film promises to touch the hearts of audiences and inspire a profound reflection on the beauty hidden in everyday life.


Jonas Mekas (Semeniškiai, Lituania, 1922 – New York, USA, 2019) – a legendary filmmaker, poet, and artist, renowned for his avant-garde approach to cinema and profound impact on the art world. After immigrating to the United States, he became a key figure in the underground film movement, co-founding the Film Culture magazine, New American Cinema Group and Anthology Film Archives. Through over 40 films and numerous writings, Mekas captured the essence of everyday life, leaving an enduring legacy that continues to inspire artists and filmmakers worldwide.


Prior to the screening, Francesco Urbano Ragazzi, a curatorial duo with extensive experience in cinema and contemporary art, will provide will provide an illuminating introduction to Jonas Mekas’ life and his seminal body of work, and will offer unique insights into Mekas’ artistic vision and his lasting impact on the world of cinema. Following the screening, the audience will have the opportunity to engage in a discussion with Francesco Urbano Ragazzi, introduced by Erika Lastovskyte, during which the curators will share insightful reflections on the film’s significance, Mekas’ cinematic techniques, and his profound influence on the art world.


The book exhibition presents an opportunity for the public to delve into the fascinating world of Jonas Mekas through his poems, notes, letters and interviews. The collection of books, carefully selected by Erika Lastovskyte, will be on display for visitors to browse and explore Mekas written work, philosophy and artistic journey in greater detail.

The organisers are incredibly grateful to those who made this event possible: Estate of Jonas Mekas and Sebastian Mekas, Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania in Italy, Lithuanian Culture Institute, Lithuanian Film Center. Publishers and institutions that generously provided books for the exhibition: Spector Books, Humboldt Books, Cura Books, Post Scriptum. Littera, Anthology Editions, Lithuanian National Art Museum, Edizioni Joker and Edizioni ETS, Erika and Dino Frittoli’s private library. A wine tasting kindly presented by Varvaglione 1921.


PVXVI / PerSeVisioni 16
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