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Guns of the Trees


Location: Bartos Screening Room

Dir. Jonas Mekas. 1962, 75 min. 16mm. With Adolfas Mekas, Frances Stillman, Ben Carruthers. Jonas Mekas’s first film is a handmade, existentialist beatnik cri de coeur about a young woman (Stillman) searching for meaning in a damaged world. Mekas wrote, edited, photographed, and directed this free-associative work, which also starred his brother Adolfas alongside Ben Carruthers (Cassavetes’s Shadows). “Guns of the Trees deals with the thoughts, feelings, and anguished strivings of my generation, faced with the moral perplexity of our times. Conceived as an episodic, horizontal film, there is no apparent direct story connection between one scene and the next. The scenes act like pieces of a larger, timed, emotional mosaic. Where the direct word, or the direct image, fails—when we come to more essential things—the indirectness of the poet will seize the essence and the truth.” —Jonas Mekas.

Tickets: $15 ($11 seniors and students / $9 youth (ages 3–17) / free for children under 3 and Museum members at the Film Lover and Kids Premium levels and above). Order tickets online.(Members may contact [email protected] with questions regarding online reservations.)

Ticket purchase includes same-day admission to the Museum (see gallery hours). View the Museum’s ticketing policy here. For more information on membership and to join online, visit our membership page.