Francesco Urbano Ragazzi

Jonas Mekas. Cinema Is Young!

Cineteca Milano
Apr. 15 - Jul 23, 2023.

curated by Francesco Urbano Ragazzi
in the framework of Jonas Mekas 100!

Jonas Mekas. Cinama is Young!

SPECIAL EVENT: 14 April 2023, 8:30 p.m.
Screening of the movie Fragments of Paradise by K.D. Davison, winner of the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival.
Cinema Arlecchino, Via S. Pietro All’Orto, 9, 20121 Milano MI, Italy.

OPENING RECEPTION: 15 April 2023, 6:00 p.m.
From 15 April to 23 July 2023
Tue. – Sun., 15:00 – 19:00
Museo Interattivo del Cinema, Viale Fulvio Testi, 121, 20162 Milano

FILM PROGRAM with works by Germaine Dulac, Storm De Hirsch, Takahiko Iimura, Harmony Korine, Marie Menken, Jonas Mekas, Barbara Rubin, Jack Smith, Michael Snow, Andy Warhol.
Cineteca Milano MIC – from 15 April to 23 July 2023

Cineteca di Milano is proud to announce the opening of Cinema Is Young!, the exhibition curated by Francesco Urbano Ragazzi that in Italy concludes Jonas Mekas 100!, the international program of initiatives promoted by the Lithuanian Culture Institute to celebrate the centennial of the birth of Jonas Mekas, the legendary filmmaker who founded the New American Cinema Group, the Film-Makers’ Cooperative and the Anthology Film Archives. 

The show is the culmination of a journey that has crossed the peninsula from Rome to Naples, passing through Bologna, Pesaro and Venice to celebrate one of the most important figures in avant-garde cinema. It is also, in the words of the curators, the final chapter of a trilogy dedicated to the artist: «If the exhibition at the Mattatoio di Roma had a retrospective scope and the one at Le Corbusier’s Pavillon de l’Esprit Nouveau in Bologna focused on the symbol of the tree, the project we have conceived for Cineteca di Milano aims to highlight Mekas’ place in the history of Western cinema.»

A selection of films, videos, photo series and documents exemplifying the filmmaker’s 70- year oeuvre are displayed within the vast collection of the Museo Interattivo del Cinema. Mekas’ work is thus presented as a focal point in the trajectory that goes from the origins of cinematography to the digital age.

Cinema Is Young! inscribes this parable within a broad historical framework. On the one hand, the exhibition chronicles the frenzy of the 1960s and 1970s in which the New American Cinema Group, the American nouvelle vague, was born for opposing Hollywood and its industry. On the other hand, it pursues the artist in his more recent production, which embraces the advent of the digital, foreshadowing its developments. This is the case, for example, in the twelve-channel installation Dedication to Fernand Léger, presented for the first time in Italy, which combines the origins of avant-garde cinema and video technology in the dream of making a twenty-four-hour-long movie.

Opening on April 15th at 6pm at Museo Interattivo del Cinema, the exhibition celebrates the eternal vitality of Jonas Mekas’ cinema. A cinema that is produced at the pace of life and that anticipated this age in which everyone has a camera in their pocket. A cinema that, as Mekas says in his Anti-100 Years of Cinema Manifesto, is always beginning with every new buzz of the projector, with every new buzz of our cameras.

Throughout the duration of the show, Cinema Is Young! will also expand into the two Cineteca di Milano theaters via a screening program curated by Matteo Pavesi and Francesco Urbano Ragazzi. Films and videos by Jonas Mekas will alternate with titles that will help investigate both the legacy of the Lithuanian artist and the main innovations that have marked the long history of cinema. The first screening of the series is scheduled for April 14th at Cinema Arlecchino, which will feature Fragments of Paradise by K.D. Davison, Winner of the Golden Lion at the latest Venice Film Festival, the movie tells the extraordinary life of Jonas Mekas through an immersive excavation in the artist’s archive.