Jonas Mekas and the Underground Cinema
Zwei Filme von Gideon Bachmann mit einer persönlichen Einführung des Regisseurs
Wed, 01.10.2014, 6.30 pm CEST

The screening includes two films by Gideon Bachmann. The event is part of the exhibition »Jonas Mekas. 365 Day Project«.

The films

»Underground, New York«

(broadcast in Germany as »Protest – What for?«
1967, USA, 50 mins, b/w

The underground movement in the USA culminated in Underground Cinema. The experiments, both formally and in terms of content, revolutionized the idea of the possibilities of film as public medium. This documentary by Gideon Bachmann shows several of the movement’s protagonists – later greats of the film scene – as well as excerpts from their works, tracing their biographies and everyday working lives:

Among others, Andy Warhol, Shirley Clarke, Bruce Conner, Jonas Mekas, the Kuchar Brothers, the USCO group, the Movie Subscription Group etc.


1967/1968, USA, 30 mins, b/w

Gideon Bachmann and Jonas Mekas met at City College, New York, in Hans Richter’s film classes, in 1952. They became friends, founded a film club and shot their first films with Mekas’ Bolex cameras. This first film by Gideon Bachmann shows how Jonas Mekas lives, how he films and amuses himself. There is no accompanying commentary in the film aside from what Jonas Mekas says in English, German and Lithuanian, and what he communicates to us in his films.

Gideon Bachmann

is a German-born filmmaker and radio commentator who grew up in the USA. He returned to Germany in 2004, where he directs the acoustographical voice collection »VOX HUMANA – The Voice Bank« within the ZKM. In America he co-founded the movement »Underground Cinema« following graduation from the film academy (directed by Hans Richter at New York City College) at the same time as Jonas Mekas and Shirley Clarke.

Bachmann’s articles have been published in over 100 newspapers and journals, and his films have been awarded at numerous film festivals. »PROTEST – What For?« was awarded the Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival.