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Acclaimed filmmaker Jonas Mekas thinks Lady Bird was snubbed by the Oscars

The celebrated auteur says it’s ‘very, very, very special’

Jonas Mekas, the celebrated filmmaker, artist, and writer has praised Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird, and addressed its Oscars snub.

In a new interview with Another Man, the Lithuanian auteur detailed some of his most solid advice for young filmmakers. In advising would-be directors to not give a damn about Academy recognition, he praised the Sacramento coming-of-age story, starring Saoirse Ronan. 

“Greta Gerwig’s film Lady Bird is very unique and very, very, very special,” he says. “It’s well made and with subtle nuances – a man could not make this film. OK, the Oscars passed it, but I think it’s the best film of the year. Not easy to make, there is no big action, everything is in the small but subtle details.”

Mekas, known as the godfather of American underground cinema, also complimented Jim Jarmusch’s Paterson. He told Another Man: “It’s a perfect little film. It’s a film that never reaches Oscar nominations (laughs), it’s too good to go to Oscars.” 

His impressionistic and highly personal films have influenced everyone from Harmony Korine to Jarmusch. Mekas collaborated with many other boundary-pushing artists, from Salvador Dali to Andy Warhol, making films with stunning storytelling that captured a Lithuanian community in Brooklyn (Lost Lost Lost) and his own summers spent with Jackie Kennedy (This Side of Paradise).

The now 94-year-old filmmaker said he was watching fewer current films, adding that “I think contemporary cinema is very, very bad and boring”. Elsewhere, he offered advice on working alone, seeking inspiration beyond film, and panning criticism. 

Read the full interview on Another Man here.

Mekas’ early 00s documentary, As I Was Moving Ahead Occasionally I Saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty, is now available on MUBI.