what is this about?
I see that Timothy Leary, amongst others, is in the film. So I am curious to know what this documentary is about which shares the name of Thoreau's magnum opus.
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It's alternative title (Diaries, Notes, and Sketches) is actually much more fitting. Mekas tries to recreate his life over a specific span of time, in this case 4 years. He records every aspect of life regardless of banal content. Then, once he felt it was time to recreate his life on film, he tried to remember things without the aid of his filming material and thus, in essence, recreated his memories. Moreover, he edited and altered the film material in order for it to imitate how he remembered the events in his head. Techniques used would include imposition of material, faster or slower frame projection, and others. Mekas only utilized single takes. Since Jonas was well acquainted with other artists, they appear ceremonially throughout the film. The first well known person we see in the picture is Stan Brakhage as he leisurely (and non-eventfully) walks through the park. Accompanying and/or intercalating the scenes is Mekas' profound narration and inter-titles, poetically fusing his memories in addition to amorphously molding them into a stream-of-conscious experience.share