Notes on Marie Menken

Friday, November 9, 2007 - 7:00pm

Filmmaker Martina Kudlacek explores the nearly forgotten story of the legendary artist Marie Menken (1909 - 1970), who became one of New York's outstanding underground experimental filmmakers of the 1940s through the1960s, inspiring artists such as Stan Brakhage, Andy Warhol, Jonas Mekas, Kenneth Anger, and Gerard Malanga. Menken was probably the inspiration for the character "Martha" in Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, and ended up as a Warhol Superstar.

The filmmaker Jonas Mekas wrote, "Marie was one of the first filmmakers to improvise with a camera and edit while shooting. She filmed with her entire body, her entire nervous system. You can feel Marie behind every image, how she constructed the film in tiny pieces and through the movement. The movement and the rhythm—it is this that so many of us seized upon and have developed further in our own work. ... And she gave us a new beginning. She took the film - the non-narrative film, the poetic film, the language of film - in a completely new direction, away from classic filmmaking and into a new adventure." (Martina Kudlacek, 2007, 35mm, 97 minutes)