March 31, 2008
On April 1, Austrian President Heinz Fischer will award this country's highest distinction for artists, the Medal of Science and Culture, to the American filmmaker Jonas Mekas. Born in Lithuania, Mekas emigrated to New York in the late 1940s where he soon became a central figure of the "New American Cinema". Today, he is considered one of the most significant artists, educators and initiators in the history of the medium. On the eve of his receiving this award, the Austrian Film Museum will show his masterpiece Reminiscences of a Journey to Lithuania (1971), a deeply personal diary film whose final apotheosis takes place in Vienna. Jonas Mekas will be present for the occasion. Before the screening, Peter Kubelka will contribute a few introductory remarks on the life and work of Jonas Mekas.