Last week, filmmaker Jonas Mekas, above, at his dining table in Brooklyn, told me he scribbles with his camera, taking notes on the scene. I loved this idea, since I feel like I do the same for Homebodies, shrugging off some kind offers from pros who'd like to take "better" pictures for me. But that's never been my point, and everyone has something to sell, don't they?
When I went over for dinner, an impromptu offer that day, I walked into the spacious apartment--books, film reels, tables with work stations, and a smattering of fluorescent orange--and found a crew of people scattered around: a woman at a computer, a German film student in a Batman T-shirt drinking wine at the table, Sebastian, Jonas's son, preparing to cook in the kitchen. "It's like a factory," said Jonas, who was close to Andy Warhol as a friend and creative collaborator.
Another guy came in. Then another. When I asked them both how they knew Jonas and Sebastian, they shrugged and said, "Lithuanian." Jonas is from Lithuania.
Sebastian cooked us all delicious pasta. The student, who's studying film theory in Vienna, explained his thesis, about the philosophy of Walter Benjamin he sees in Jonas's films. "Does Jonas see Walter Benjamin in his films?" I asked the student. "I don't know yet!" he said. "We'll see! I got here yesterday." We talked about work, and jobs, and freedom, and creativity, and scribbling, and--yes, thanks, more wine--and photography, and the history of Lithuania, and Palestine.
Before I knew that Jonas had made Sleepless Nights, a film about his lively evenings due to insomnia, I took a few photos around the apartment, excusing myself at the early-bird hour of 10:30 pm.
Below: a binder of "Pieces + scribbles;" a view of the apartment when you walk in; a cat; a cow that his daughter saved from slaughter, lucky cow; Sebastian holding a kitty, one of two in the place that loves to snuggle in boxes.