In one of the youtube links below, Jonas Mekas explains why he set-up Anthology Film Archives:
If I find a film that is ecstatic, that gives me great excitement, I have to share it with others, otherwise I am unhappy.
When I saw Mekas’ “As I Was Moving Ahead Occasionally I Saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty“, it profoundly affected my view of the world. Years after seeing it, I still think about it nearly every day. It’s a five-hour film. There was one screening of it at PFA in Berkeley, and that was it. I’ve been trying to see it again ever since. (It would make a tempting eyeball decathlon double-feature with Eggleston’s “Stranded in Canton“.)
Mekas’ work has been attracting attention recently because he lived within the NYC art world in the 70s, and as an autobiographical filmmaker, ended-up filming things like the John Lennon birthday clip on youtube. But Mekas’ life’s work is of a higher order.
If you’re interested in the visual expression of the documentary impulse (whether it’s moving or still), take a look at Mekas’ work. Here are a few more youtube links: