Underground Film Journal

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Jonas Mekas: In Solidarity With Tartars And Ukraina

By Mike Everleth ⋅ April 24, 2014

And now a little dinner music courtesy of the short diary video In Solidarity With Tartars and Ukraina by Jonas Mekas, who captures a lively performance by roaming musicians. The where, the why, the wherefore are all unimportant. All that matters here is the energy of the moment captured by a master video diarist.

The old world charm on display by this musical trio is so infectious that it snaps Mekas out of his verite filming and thrusts him right into the action, singing along with the tune with such verve and vitality the camera jumps around wildly until the filmmaker regains his grip. Regains it mostly, anyway.

Two musicians, one playing an accordian and the other playing a violin

This is quite a simple little video, but extremely charming both for the musical content as well as the poetic way it is filmed from a low angle, making the musicians seem a little bit larger than life. Mekas also keeps the camera almost constantly moving, taking in the entire scene in a slowly revealing way. We see each musician, both as a group as well as solo shots, we get glimpses of the background, and — if we’re not mistaken — that’s Mekas’s daughter Oona sitting just to his right.

Everyone is enjoying his and her self here, so it’s hard not to enjoy watching this little slice of happiness, too.