Guns of the Trees

Jonas and Adolfas Mekas' first feature film.

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Four young people are trying to understand why their friend, a young woman, committed a suicide. A film made up of disconnected scenes weaving between past and present. The title of the film comes from a poem by Stuart Perkoff which tells that some young people felt (around 1960) that everything is against them, so much that even the trees in the parks and streets seemed to them like guns pointing at their very existence.
J. M.

Guns of the Trees deals with the thoughts, feelings, and anguished strivings of my generation, faced with the moral perplexity of our times. Conceived as an episodic, horizontal film, there is no apparent direct story connection between one scene and the next. The scenes act like pieces of a larger, timed, emotional mosaic. Where the direct word, or the direct image, fails — when we come to more essential things — the indirectness of the poet will seize the essence and the truth.
J. M.

It is a bitter but lyric work. It is also revolutionary in form, being unlike, in its technique, anything you ever saw. It is a poster declaration, a manifesto. I regard Guns of The Trees as the most important film by far of the American “New Wave.”
Herman G. Weinberg, New York Film-Makers' Cooperative Catalogue n°6, 1975

It may be one of the most personal and revealing films of the intellectual, beat and hip fringe of society of America today.
Gene Moskowitz, Cahiers du cinéma, N°119, May 1961

 "Guns of the Trees deals with the thoughts, feelings, and anguished strivings of my generation, faced with the moral perplexity of our times."

35mm • BW • 75min

Grand prize (Najade d’oro), Mostra Internazionale del Cinema Libero di Porretta Terme, 1962

contains a 32 page booklet

Jonas Mekas - Guns of the Trees from RE:VOIR on Vimeo.

Author(s) Jonas Mekas
Artist(s) Jonas Mekas, Adolfas Mekas, Ben Carruthers, Argus Speare Julliard, George Maciunas, Allen Ginsberg, Frances Stillman
Format DVD5 PAL Interzone/Regions 0, Mono, 4:3
Original format 35mm
Year 1962
Language(s) English
Subtitles French, German, Lithuanian
Runtime 87'
Publisher Re:Voir

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