Jonas Mekas, a hero in his home town

The town of Vilnius, Lithuania has paid homage to its famous filmmaker and critic citizen, Jonas Mekas, with a new visual arts centre named after him. The centre opened last month with the show, The Avant-Garde from Futurism to Fluxus. The centrepiece of the exhibition was a wall-to-wall installation of Jonas Mekas’s 40 Films. Classic films from Dada filmmakers Duchamp, Leger, and Richter completed the show.

During the opening reception Ben Vautier, legendary Fluxus artist and longtime friend of George Maciunas and Jonas Mekas, treated attendees to a Fluxus concert. Vautier re-enacted classic Fluxus performances of the 1960s. Shigeko Kubota, Vice-President of Fluxus, was also in attendance to lend her support, as was Robert Haller of Anthology Film Archives. Catalogs in English and Lithuanian, with essays by Princeton film scholar P. Adams Sitney, film critic and art historian Amy Taubin, and Fluxus scholars Hollis Melton, Astrit Schmidt-Burkhardt, Julia Robinson, and Mari Dumett were signed by Mekas.

The Avant-Garde From Futurism to Fluxus will be on view at the Jonas Mekas Visual Art Center in Vilnius, Lithuania until 03 February 2007.


New on Kamera: Oberhausen

Fancy showing your experimental short film at one of the most prestigious venues in the world?
Find out more here.


New on Kamera

Hello all, one last blog before the Christmas wrap-up. We have a great review of Second Sight's DVD release of Fassbinder's Berlin Alexanderplatz and a instigating essay on the legacy of the maestro of horror-chic, Val Lewton, which is a section from the latest title coming out on Kamera Books, penned by our in-house horror experts, Michelle Le Blanc and Colin Odell. Please help us spread the word, have a great Christmas and a fabulous 2008!


Merry Xmas all

Merry Xmas and Happy holidays to all Kamera readers... and if you can support one film this Festive Season check out "American Gangster", which is excellent

Best wishes
Calum Waddell


New on Kamera

Asian cinema fans: click here for a review of Invisible Waves and here for Bright Future. If you have made a film that deals with human rights, here's a chance to show your work.


My Top 10 Films of 2007

Here's the top 10 movies I saw in 2007. All personal opinion of course!

Brad Pitt gives a career best performance in a drama that genuinelly grips from start to finish.

What Would Jesus Buy?
Produced by Supersize Me's Morgan Spurlock, this documentary focuses on the Reverend Billy - a man on a mission to stop the mass shopping epidemic that takes over the world during the festive season. Don't write him off - ethical commentary on sweatshops, globalisation and multinationalism make this an essential, and smart, watch.

David Fincher's best movie to date - a thrilling investigation into San Francisco's Zodiac Killer and utterly unmissable.

Stuart Gordon cements his evolution as a thoroughly mature director following his impressive due of King of the Ants and Edmond. This is edge of your seat stuff and another five star offering.

A film festival favourite and for good reason - girl meets boy, things go a bit too far, boy realises that girl has some seriously scary gnashers in a very personal place. Both hilarious and stomach churning.

Blood Diamond
DiCaprio continues to impress with his roles and this is probably his best turn since The Aviator. And to think he was once that wee fella in Titanic...

A Mighty Heart
The true story of Daniel Pearl, Michael Winterbottom follows up his vital Road to Guantanamo with this moving little tear jerker that is sure to nab Angelina Jolie an Oscar nomination.

American Gangster
Another based-on-a-true-story offering, Ridley Scott's epic starts off a little slow but soon manages to accomplish what any great movie does - it glues you to the screen and makes you forget that time is even passing...

Obviously if you are a fan of Joy Division this film carries an extra wallop but even if you are not the story of Ian Curtis is tragic enough to pull on anyone's heartstrings.

Michael Moore strikes with the movie of the year - an impassioned call for the US to follow the leads of so many other countries and introduce socialised healthcare. If you watch this as a Brit you WILL breath a sigh of relief for the good old NHS...

The Big Shave (Dir: Martin Scorcese, 6', 1967)


Pasolini in Cairo

The press agency ANSAmed has a report on the film that director Daoud Aoula-Syad has made to pay homage to Pier Paolo Pasolini. In a village in the middle of nowhere in Morocco, satellite dish salesman Thami announces to his fellow villagers the imminent arrival of a troupe of Italian film makers who will shoot a film there, thus triggering cinema fever. So begins ''Waiting for Pasolini'', that previewed last week at the Cinema Festival of Cairo. ''I wanted to render homage to the great master of Italian cinema, whom I admire and I have studied for many years,'' said the Moroccan film maker.



New York Film Critics Online awards 2007

The title says it all and the winners can be seen here.


Tony Tenser RIP

Just heard this sad news from Gil Lane at the Manchester Fest of Fantastic Films. My thoughts go out to his family:

[I]Sadly I am advised that Tony Tenser died on the 5th Dec - we'll be putting something on the website in a day or so.[/I]

Keep an eye on the Manchester Festival of Fantastic Films web site at:


In a long and illustrious career Tenser produced the classic Witchfinder General in 1968 as well as Roman Polanski's masterpiece Repulsion (1965) and later Cul-de-sac (1966).

I, personally, will cherish the memory of sharing the back seat of a car with Tenser as we drove him back to his nursing home in August 2005, shortly after his appearance at that year's festival in Manchester (where he amusingly referred to the then 66 year old Ruggero Deodato as a "young man"). A very frail, but nonetheless enthusiastic and warm, gentleman - Tenser entertained the car with his stories of Brigitte Bardot, Vincent Price and Polanski. There was a real sadness when he said that his 2005 honour would probably be the last one that he would experience.


Calum Waddell


Best films of 2007

The inevitable best-of lists have started to pop up but I was curious to see what art-world bible Art Forum had in stock in its lists compiled by two critics: Amy Taubin, who chose David Fincher's Zodiac as the best film of 2007 and T. J. Wilcox, whose chose Paul Verhoeven's Black Book as the top film of the year.

European Film Awards pay homage to Godard

The 2007 edition of the European Film Awards, an organisation founded in 1988 as a platform to promote European cinema, made winners out of Jean Luc Godard, for his lifetime contribution to cinema and Cristian Mungiu, for his film 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, which won the Best European Film award. The ubiquitous Helen Mirren received yet another Best Actress prize for her role in The Queen while the veteran Portuguese director Manoel de Oliveira received a Honorary Award. For the full list click here.