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Excerpt: Adolfas Mekas’ Hallelujah The Hills

Embedded above is a six-minute excerpt from the classic 1963 underground film Hallelujah the Hills, written and directed by Adolfas Mekas. (I’m assuming it’s the opening based on the title credits, but one never knows.) The film is a screwball comedy about two men trying to get over the heartbreak of losing the same woman. After a madcap dash through the woods in a jeep, the pair of losers get the bad news that the love of their lives has married someone else. It’s a funny opening.

The excerpt was uploaded by the French artist video distribution company re:voir that also sells a full copy of the film. I’m not sure if their DVDs will play in the U.S., but if you’re interested you can always ask, I suppose.

Woman raising her arm and smiling

Adolfas Mekas is, of course, the brother of Jonas Mekas and who has directed several films himself. Jonas is credited as an “Assistant director” on Hallelujah the Hills. The director of photography is the late Ed Emshwiller, a filmmaker and illustrator who famously painted the Mekas brothers onto a cover of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. Adolfas wrote, directed and edited the film.

Having not seen the full film, there’s not too much more I can say about it. For a review of the entire film, read Ed Halter’s 2003 write-up on the film for the Village Voice.


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  • Re-voir’s DVD is PAL format, region-free, so it will only play on ‘PAL-compliant’ players (check the specs). It also includes ‘Hallelujah the Villa’, an ‘interview’ to Adolfas by David Avallone (excerpt here)

  • Eric Johns says:

    Marcos: If it’s region-free, it should play with any DVD player software – I know I’ve used Apple’s DVD player for PAL format stuff before, so that should work.

  • Hi, Eric. In PCs and Macs there will be no problem at all. But the video format is important if you want to play the disc in a standalone player, as they are usually only able to handle one of them (NTSC in America, PAL in Europe)…

  • Thanks for the info both of you!

  • DIONYSOS ANDRONIS says:

    The Italian distributor Gloria Morano is working for the above parisian society “Re:voir”. She wrote an article for the huge catalogue “de l’argentique au numérique” which will be published next May 2010 by the french Sorbonne. If you want to read all the contents of that unpublished (yet) book, take a look at the bottom of that link :

    http://kaganof.com/kagablog/2010/04/05/peter-whitehead-and-terrorism/#comments